4

I'm making a bar stool from OSB. I do know it's a very questionable material choice, but it fits my aesthetics, and I'm willing to try my chances.

I'm going to varnish and sand all people-facing edges , as suggested on DIY SE.
I'm still concerned with the edge facing the floor:

Stool foot and edge

How do I prevent chips from coming off the outer layers when the stool is shifted around?

What would be better(less labor and material cost, longer lasting) given the choices below?

  • Round the edge, so that no outer chips would be subject to lateral forces from friction with the floor. If I go this route can I avoid renting a router and do it with a sander? What's the radius I should be aiming at?
  • Put on PVC edge banding.
  • Just have few extra layers of varnish.
  • 1
    Just so we are clear... Your picture is not OSB (does not look veneered either). Are you actually using OSB in the project and the picture is just a design reference? – Matt Jun 1 '16 at 19:58
  • @Matt, Yes. The picture is from original design, where I'm going to replace the material. – Gleb Jun 2 '16 at 10:30
4

The first thing that comes to mind is a nail-in furniture foot like this:

https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/1150H7EwifL.jpg
Image from this Amazon product page - no endorsement implied

However, that doesn't really fit with the aesthetic of your stool, and probably isn't what you're after. I would imagine that the nail would be difficult to drive straight into your thin OSB, probably wouldn't hold forever, and the foot itself would be considerably larger than the leg.

And, now that I've shot down my suggestion... I thought I'd just throw it out there.


The long game comes into play (thanks Matt!):

  • Sand the floor contact surface nice and flat
  • Round the edge slightly (sand paper should be sufficient)
  • Make a felt "runner" for the bottom of each leg so that it slides along the floor
  • Attach it with glue and a few small ring-shank brads with the heads sunk below the level of the felt.
    • The ring-shank helps prevent it from popping
    • The counter sink prevents it from scratching the floor
  • 2
    You could nail/glue in your own custom sized felt feet as well. Save caveats apply though – Matt Jun 1 '16 at 19:53
2

Route a groove along the length. Glue a piece of hardwood into it.

This will give the stool a long hard piece of hardwood to stand on and wear down instead of OSB. The stool will be elevated a millimetre or two.

2

I'm making a bar stool from OSB. I do know it's a very questionable material choice, but it fits my aesthetics

OSB gets a lot of hate these days (reflected in some of its unfortunate nicknames, including Old Sh*t Board) but I think a lot of it is unjustified. The material has at least a few things to recommend it, including its high strength and moisture-resistance. It's also very heavy, which is usually cited as a negative* but of course might be advantageous in certain applications.

And as you say it can fit an aesthetic:

OSB used as OSB

I don't see this as any different to proudly using MDF or plywood where in the finished project the material — face and edges — is seen for what it is, not hidden by joinery or an opaque finish/laminate. Eames lounge chair anyone?

How do I prevent chips from coming off the outer layers when the stool is shifted around?

The general method for helping to prevent this in solid wood is what I was going to suggest first as it wasn't on your bullet-point list. This is to add a small chamfer around the bottom edges.

Adding a chamfer is basically the same principle as rounding over the edges, but simpler and easier to do, while being just as effective. By doing this the actual arris (the very apex of the edge) won't drag against the floor when the piece is moved, usually enough to prevent the lifting of chips/grain from the face.

In solid wood a very modest chamfer can be effective, but because this is OSB the thickness of the surface flakes should dictate the width of the chamfer you use.

Sealing the edge
Your bullet point number three is a good idea, not as an option but to be done in addition to chamfering or rounding over the edge.

I was going to suggest sealing the edge in contact with the floor anyway, but using epoxy.

Epoxy is sometimes used to treat the end grain of legs on outdoor furniture, or on something intended for a location where the floor will be washed down regularly, sealing the end grain and giving very good waterproofing. A few coats of varnish will accomplish the same thing, the epoxy is just a little to a lot faster depending on the varnish being used.

If you want to use epoxy, heat the edge of the OSB with a hairdryer first, then lay on the glue and it'll soak in well as the wood cools. One application should be sufficient.

I should note that it's likely that this isn't needed to prevent rot, only to prevent discolouration. OSB is generally very weather-resistant from what I've read recently, and only last week I saw some OSB site doors in another part of the city that I know have been exposed to the elements for much longer than a year (I think close to three years) and other than having silvered/greyed they are in good shape. Much better shape that I would expect if an exterior-grade plywood was used given the generally poor quality of that these days!

*I notice also that weight is rarely given as a negative when it comes to heavy solid timbers :-| We woodworkers can be a very capricious lot.

  • How would I make a chamfer on OSB? How deep it needs to be -- does 1-2 chips deep sounds enough? – Gleb Jun 2 '16 at 10:21
  • And on your note of the edge seal's purpose -- does it mean that I can skip it if I'm not concerned with the color? At DIY SE they tell me it's also required to prevent swelling. – Gleb Jun 2 '16 at 10:25
  • @Gleb, how best to chamfer it would depend on what you have. On solid wood it's usually done with a plane, but OSB is likely to be nearly as abrasive as particleboard/chipboard so while that should work you might need to resharpen once or twice. A router might be the ideal tool. If you had to you could use a mill file. Re. sealing the edges, swelling and discolouration are both an issue only *if* water gets in there. If that's not likely for your stool then sealing wouldn't be a requirement. I'd still put at least one coat of varnish on myself though. HIH! – Graphus supports Monica Jun 3 '16 at 7:57
  • I don't have neither of the tools. I can buy hand plane or file for this job, though. I'm imagining that a plane would catch and rip off chips off OSB, wouldn't it? – Gleb Jun 3 '16 at 13:49
  • @Gleb, there is some risk of catching and tearout (as there is when chamfering solid wood BTW) but if the plane is sharpened very well and used with a light cut it should be manageable. If you haven't used a plane before this is probably not the project to get one for — in addition to the plane you'd need to buy sharpening gear and learn to use it to a high standard to get the cutting iron as sharp as it should be (sharp enough to shave hairs from the forearm being one of the standards people aim for). – Graphus supports Monica Jun 4 '16 at 7:04

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.