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I am new to wood working, did some projects using Kreg and got very excited. Rushed to make a stool for my daughter using 1X2 furring strips and Kreg Jig . Well the wood split!! tried pre-drilling of holes but no good. Then googled up and came to know that its not a good idea to use 1X2 furring strips.


Question: Can I make stools/bar stools using 2X2 furring strips? Has any one done it? Will 1.5 inch thickness allow for wood displacement so as to prevent splitting? 


OR i need better (more expensive) wood?


Eager to get started!!



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Furring strips are generally 1x2 stock, and made of pine or fir.

Not suitable for a sturdy stool.


I'd suggest 1-1/2" minimum stock, for the legs.

They can be made from standard 2x2 stock---generally pine or fir; however, other harder more dense materials are available.

If using this approach, carefully select wood pieces.


Personally, I'd make the bar stools, from ''round'' stock, 1-1/4 to 1-1/2" stock size.

Make round mortise and blind tenon joints, and glued into the seat.

The cross members can be made from 1'' stock---make the mortise and tenons 3/4" dia.

(turn down or cut-down the ends to 3/4" dia and 1" long---akin to a peg in a flat bottom hole).


A round mortise can be cut by hand---by cutting, chiseling and filing smooth, 'until it becomes rounded. 

Blind tenons, can be made by drilling round holes, with a flat bottom, using mortising drill bits.


Bar stools will experience ''twisting and turning'' during their normal use, by persons getting up and on the stool seat, and rest their feet on the cross members.


You can make the seat, using 1-1/4 to 1-1/2" thick material, assemble strips of wood, using the Kreg joinery, and glue the butted joints.

Cut the desired seat into a circle, a diameter to suit your liking---

drill the holes, in the underside of the seat the desired diameter and at an angle to receive the legs.


4 legged stool is preferred over a 3 legged stool.

3 legged stools are okay, but only when the stool is short---akin to a foot stool.


The legs need to be taper outward at the bottom---

with the base of the legs wider at the bottom than at the top.

The base of the feet, the bottom of the legs outside dimension, the diameter of the seat.

Place the top of the legs, 1-1/2" in from the edge of the seat rim.


Make the stool height to facilitate the fixture, table, desk, or the like, that the person will be sitting at,

and allow for lap/leg clearance.


Round stock can be obtained from home centers, or the like.

Look at round stock, hand railing stock, or the like.

The stock can  be cut to length and the ends dressed, as described above.


Check various sources, such as home centers, furniture stores, on-line, for applicable stool sizes and heights.


Hope the above helps, with your planning.


Good luck in your undertaking.

Alternate design:

Legs of 1-1/2" sq stock---

cross members of 1x2 stock.

Legs straight vs slanted out-word at the bottom.


The cross members secured to the legs with the Kreg joinery.

Cross members needed near the bottom---location height to suffice as a foot rest.

Also cross members, about 1/4 the way down from the top.


I'd recommend using a hardwood, for a sturdier construction. 

Hi Ken,

Thank you for such detailed information. Will help me now and in future as well.


Best Regards,


Hi AK,

Thanks for your reply.

Happy to be of help to a fellow woodworker.


Re: stools:  I teach special ed art and my kids (grades 5-12) love woodworking more than anything else we do.  I was blessed to receive an incredible grant this year from Lowe's Toolbox for Educators; it allowed me to add more hand tools, power drivers and sanders, lots of lumber, etc.  I would not make stools from those small furring strips.  I had the kids who chose to make stools measure 15 - 18" lengths of 2" by 2"s, measuring each cut from the first cut, not the cut just before it ("measure twice, cut once").  Sure of equal lengths, they are sanded.  I then have them measure about 3" down and wood glue both pairs of legs with 1" by 3" by 15" of well-sanded furring strips (we hand-sand, then power-sand each piece as it is cut).  Clamps are applied until the glue sets.  By the end of class time, students can draw X's over the rectangle formed by where the cross supports cover the legs, then drill a starter hole, drill a counter-sink hole, and drive a 1 1/4" screw (on each leg). The cross pieces must be at the same height.  Then they cut two 1" by 6" by 15" lengths of nice pine.  These are glued and clamped long-side to long-side to make the seat.  It is well-sanded again the next day after the wood glue has adequate time to dry.  About 2" below the top pair of cross supports, they glue 1" by 2" furring strips; repeat as above.  Having this short a gap provides the needed additional support, but intentionally reduces the gap so that feet cannot fest on the lower cross supports.

With extra student hands holding the legs, the builder then holds the seat on top of the legs so s/he can begin to envision the completed project.  S/he then draws a square on the bottom of the stool around each leg, which is then measured more precisely and drawn on with a square.  Two 8" lengths of 1" by 3" furring strips are glued width-wise on the bottom of the stool to strengthen the seat (screwed in after the glue sets - starter holes, counter-sink holes, then 1 1/4" screws).  Then lengths of 2" by 2"s are measured and attached inside of the marked corner squares, clamped.  The seat is again positioned atop the legs to be sure it will fit, before the glue on the 2" by 2"s is allowed to dry.  If the seat fits and the legs are still square, the supports are left to dry.

Outer cross supports are attached to match up with the ones already placed.  Once all glue is dry and pieces are screwed together, the legs are attached from inside with 1 3/4" wood screws on the width ends.  The length of the long sides allows for easier attaching from the inside once all legs are attached to the seat.

After final inspection and trial, the stool is stained or painted, allowed to dry, and then given a clear-coat (I like polyurethane).  I didn't bring home my prototype stool for the summer; I apologize if I have incorrect directions.  You can probably envision it, though.  It would look like a rectangular cube with portions of sides missing.  It's pretty sturdy and is a project that my kids can manage well.  Each one seems to be improvised.  I do want to find more ways to use my Kreg equipment at school, and am always open for suggestions.  Thanks, members!

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