How to make a DIY stool with a log seat

This striking DIY stool uses a log to create a handy seat, comfy footrest or useful side table. We show you how to make your own.

A finished DIY log stool

DIY stool with a log seat: striking and functional

Looking for a new wood project? How about a unique and useful stool that brings the charm of natural wood into your home in a modern and stylish way?

There is huge appeal in making your own furniture, as it means you can design to suit your individual style and needs. This DIY log stool offers plenty of scope for design choices too: you can decide the size, wood type, and colour of the piece. Whatever you go for, in just a few hours you will be the proud new owner of an elegant piece of furniture. All you need is a log, a couple of MDF boards for the legs, and a high-powered chainsaw.

We’ve called it a stool, but this piece is multi-functional, working as a seat, a footrest, a small side table, or even a plant stand. You can make it in whatever size you like, so there’s bound to be at least one spot in your home that will benefit from this handmade wooden piece. It makes a great gift too!

DIY stool with log seat: selecting the wood

Stacked logs

Wood has its own unique character, and for this project you can choose whatever wood appeals to you most. Hardwood is a safe choice for a rustic stool, though softwoods such as pine are a sustainable and low-cost alternative. Bear in mind though, that softwoods have a tendency to release resin.

Choose a log that has already been debarked and, ideally, de-splintered. It should have a maximum residual moisture of 15-20% to prevent further cracking after it has become part of your DIY log stool. You can use a wood moisture meter to measure the moisture content of the log.

The right chainsaw

A suitable chainsaw will help you make this DIY log stool quickly and efficiently. STIHL offers a wide selection of compact chainsaws for DIY projects.

Committed to your safety: protective equipment

Using a chainsaw is a great way to help you get the job done, but you should make sure you always have effective protective clothing while using it. Always wear your personal protective equipment when working with your chainsaw. This includes a helmet, cut protection trousers, safety boots and more. More details are available in the operating instructions for your product.

Before using your chainsaw for the first time, fully familiarise yourself with the power tool and ensure it is in flawless condition before each use. On request, your STIHL dealer will be happy to prepare your power tool for its first job, and will also advise you on models and sizes of protective clothing that you can try on at your leisure. Please remember that personal protective equipment is no substitute for safe working techniques.

DIY stool with log seat: materials and tools

This stool makes a great DIY project because it requires just a few tools and not too much time.

Here’s what you’ll need to make it:

 A log, STIHL MS 231 C petrol chainsaw, gloves, helmet and ear protection set arranged on tree stumps
  • Log without bark (we suggest a diameter of around 25-30 cm and length of approx. 40 cm)
  • Tree stump to use as a work surface
  • 2 MDF boards
  • Wood varnish
  • Glue
  • Chainsaw (e.g. MS 231 C)
  • Plane
  • 120-grit and 240-grit sandpaper
  • Pencil and ruler

DIY stool with log seat: instructions

Now let’s make a start on your DIY wood stool.

Summary: make your own DIY stool with a Log seat

  • Choose a wood that suits your taste and your interior design. Attractive tree log stools can be made from hardwood or softwood.
  • Always wear personal protective equipment according to operating instructions.
  • Very few materials are needed for this stool: just a log and two MDF boards.
  • Cut the log to length and then split it lengthwise. Smooth the cut surface with a plane and sandpaper.
  • Cut two slits for the stool legs.
  • Sand the MDF boards and glue them into the slits.
  • Seal the wood surface to protect the stool.