In my last post about this shop stool, I hinted that, despite its advantages, I didn't like the way it looked:
I concede that it doesn't push the upper bound of the woodworking aesthetic. :( I have an idea for the next version that I think would look fantastic while retaining the functionality of this one.Turns out that, in addition to not looking right to me, it didn't function too well either. The bicycle seat and the tall height are clearly right for a woodworking shop stool, in my opinion of course, but it was too stable. I know that sounds odd, but it's true. The four legs and high seat height made it hard to get on and off the stool and, once on, you were nailed to the floor, not suitable for woodworking. I felt that I was almost but not quite there.
I finally realized that this should be a one-legged stool to work well; the other two legs have shoes on them. The main purpose of the base is to keep the stool upright when you aren't sitting on it. The stool holds you in the most stable, agile position a two or four legged animal can have--look at the stance of a basketball player on defense, a safety in football, a cougar about to pounce. That's why you only need one leg on the stool and there is little danger of falling over. So, with another dive into the scrap pile, here is what I came up with:
The funny thing is that, although this is probably the best original design I have ever done, I doubt anybody other than me likes it. It just looks weird and it probably isn't apparent to anyone other than possibly an avid bicycle rider what a great work position it creates, while taking a load off your feet and legs. You have to use it to appreciate that. A one-legged stool seems unstable, even though it isn't because, if it did slip or tip out from under you, you'd just be standing up in a stable position with your knees slightly bent.
There is a popular Saturday craft market in Portland and I have toyed with the idea of making a few for sale there, just to see what would happen. I have a feeling it would be a bust, but there is a large bicycle community here, so I might be wrong. I can see a bicycle mechanic really liking it. For the time being, I think I will just use it and enjoy it.
One more thing. My wife is so happy that I spent all Saturday morning making her a mid-century modern plant stand: