I want to try making a stool based on this video series by Paul Sellers. Unlike Paul, I will use some power tools (power drill, oscillating tool for sanding/cutting, maybe rotary tool for sanding). Also I don't have a plane or spokeshave. I'm planning to use saw, chisel and a lot of sanding to smooth out the wood instead of planing/shaving.

I also don't have such nice wood on hand. I have a scrap piece which appears to be made from boards glued on a plywood, with some veneer as well (the veneer won't make it into the project). As you can see there are cracks and it's not in the best shape, but this stool will likely see abuse anyway, so I don't care if it looks rough. My question is, will the stool break during use in a dangerous way if I use this wood?

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I tried suspending the wood with the plywood side down, and two blocks below the short edges, then climbing on top of it and pumping my legs. I'm 170 lbs and a decently good pumper. The wood buckled, perhaps by about 0.25-0.5", but didn't break or make sounds.

The wood is 1.148" thick, and 16" x 22". I can only guess at its original purpose, I found it by the dumpster.

  • So basically you're making Paul Sellers's stool but not using the same wood, the same method or tools? ^_^ Because of the way a stool is supported evenly by 3 legs I suspect this may work OK, but if it fails it may fail catastrophically during use. Want to take the risk? Paul's proposed stool uses pine (or SPF, construction-grade softwood) which is the cheapest wood available to just about everyone, so not a huge added investment once the leg material is obtained. Why not make it from solid wood and be sure it won't fail, rather than take the risk and be in doubt about whether it might?
    – Graphus
    Jan 22 '19 at 8:13
  • Is that softwood fastened to plywood? That looks like a scrap from some construction. Maybe flooring of some kind. I can't imagine this would ever break under the sorts of loads a stool encounters. Don't assume you can remove that veneer easily!
    – jdv
    Jan 22 '19 at 15:34

The plywood would be a bit thin on its own as a stool seat, as would the solid wood. Together they will be fine (provided they are well glued together of course).

I wouldn't bother trying to remove the veneer from the plywood.

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