Bondo Gaposis
38 posts and 6 followers
1380 views, 8 comments and 1 fave in

Dragon Claw Stool

This was a most challenging project for a simple stool. There are 9 mortices and 9 tenons all angled. There nothing to reference from except a drawing on a piece of MDF. Very enjoyable process but it had me head scratching more than once.

-- Bondo Gaposis

Beautiful stool, well done!

-- -- Michal,

The simple lines are very misleading as to its complexity. You did a fine job!


-- “Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.” Benjamin Franklin

This is a very beautiful example of this type of stool construction. As I understand it from other posts by builders of stools like this, it seems that the main problem is getting the joints together and that they have to be cut in a way that leaves some slop in the joint to allow for assembly in it’s tight confines. My thought is that the main problem could easily be solved by using loose tenons and driving them in through the open mortises on the legs. I can’t see that any significant reduction of strength would result from this approach since the stretchers do not appear to bear much weight or stress when in use. This should greatly reduce the complexity, (and as a consequence maybe the fun too), but I think it would work.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway

Mike 40, I’m not sure that would work for this project at least not for me. You have to take it apart and put it together many, many, times to get the angled shoulders on the mortises fitted tightly. If every thing was rigid tight you would beat it to splinters taking it apart and putting it back together the multiple times that you need to get everything looking right.

-- Bondo Gaposis

You would surely know more about what is possible than me since you have actually made one. My theory was that the lack of tenons on the ends would allow putting the pieces together to test the angles before inserting the loose tenons, but I realize that theory and reality can be quite different things. I would like to make one of these stools though as I think they are really special. I love the seat on yours and coincidentally I recently bought a 2-1/2" thick plank of purple heart which after seeing yours would be perfect for the seat.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway

This is the sort of project that non-woodworkers would look at and say “It’s just a stool, how complicated can it be?” However, I cringe when I look at all the joinery, I imagine that a small mistake on one part throws the rest of it completely off! Would be a great project to practice making careful, complicated joints.

-- Rob, Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario

I imagine that a small mistake on one part throws the rest of it completely off!

Yeah, I had to discard a leg and make a new one because of a mistake in a mortise.

-- Bondo Gaposis

Very cool design Bondo.

-- woodworking classes, custom furniture maker