Craft the Hartley footstool

From beginning to end, craft and build your very own piece from the hard wood frame to the upholstery.

In this 2 day course you will be aquiring the skills involved with making your very own version of our Hartley footstool using a combination of time honoured Joinery techniques and tools along with modern upholstery techniques. No prior experience is necessary however with regards to the Joinery aspects I do run a introduction to wood working course you may find beneficial to attend beforehand should you wish to familiarise your self with the tools and and how different timbers behave under them. That said I have kept the Joinery simple with this course and we shall be using dowel Joinery to make the stool frame but not before we have accurately measured and cut the component's to their finished dimensions and created the leg tapers.

whilst we will be taking a very serious approach to tool safety and accuracy this course has been designed with the beginner in mind. The course sizes will be kept small usually 2 people with a maximum of 4 if needs be, which means I can guide you every step of the way and provide you as much time and attention as possible.

What the course will cover 

Day 1 

  • Safe use of tools including chisels, hand saws, and hand planes
  • Understanding the importance of sharp tools, recognising when they become dull and the impact that has on their accuracy and use.
  • Dimentioning stock, checking for square and rectifying inaccuracies with a hand plane.
  • Set up and use of hand plane
  • Cutting to a line with a hand saw accurately and different types of hand saws and their uses.
  • The importance of accurate marking using a square and marking knife 
  • Dowel making using a Dowel jig. 

After discussing and practising the processes above you will then receive the stock to make your stool and check that it is square and straight, rectifying and inaccuracies you find before accurately marking the final dimensions on the legs and rails. Once hand cut to their final dimensions you will move on to the dowel Joinery learning how to accurately mark out ready to drill the holes. We shall at this point be using a powered drill press and a battery drill to create holes and make your own dowels using a jig.

Next we shall turn our attention to the marking out of the leg tapers using a bevel gauge and marking knife before using the hand saw to cut the tapers and hand plane to smooth out the saw marks and fine line the transition.

Finally we shall move on to the sanding, glueing and finishing ready for the upholstery and base layers on day 2.


Day 2

 Starting with our newly hand crafted hard wood frames we will discuss all the layers within the Hartley footstool, what they do, how to attach them and what alternative materials and techniques can be used.

Layers : webbing, hessian, foam core, foam topper, wool barrier cloth, dacron and finishing with your chosen fabric.

Once all the layers are applied we will move on to your finishing fabric. Starting with how to accurately measure what fabric you need but before marking out your fabric we will discuss the warp, weft and bias of the fabric, learning what the bias is, what it is used for and how to counter it when needed.

The design of the Hartley footstool is a sewn tapered corner, patterns will be available for you to use but we will go through the measuring, marking and shaping of the corners double checking accuracy before we cut out our fabric piece. After hand stitching the corners we will be ready for a final step of attaching the top fabric, learning where to make corner cuts and secure corners before finishing off with by applying a bottom cloth.

 If you would like to upholster your footstool with a piece of your own art work please do let us know and we can discuss sizes and composition