Guerrilla Furniture Design: DIY Hex Stool
Hexagons break down into triangles, which is a structurally sound coincidence. Bees figured this out long ago. More recently, paperboard manufacturers and carbon-fiber fabricators have engineered this pattern into load-bearing panels. This article will show you how to make your own DIY hex stool.
The design is supremely simple: six triangular columns, folded out of corrugated boxes, form a geometrically pure seat. Quick and cheap to make, these stools are a perfect solution for temporary event seating, impromptu dinners, or birthday parties. For longer-term use, finish the stool with a coat of wax, water-based polyurethane, or enamel paint, and top it with a pillow or foam pad.
- 6 pieces of corrugated cardboard (double-wall is best), 21" x 18" each
- PVA (white) glue or wheat paste (read below on making your own wheat paste)
- (12) 3/4" #8 coarse-thread drywall screws
- (12) #8 washers
- Tape measure
- Box cutter
- Binder clips or spring clamps
- Phillips screwdriver
How to Make Your Own DIY Hex Stool
- Cut six pieces of corrugated cardboard, as shown above, orienting the grain along the vertical axis. Score lightly along the dotted lines, using the box cutter to slit only through the face paper. Cut all the way through the cardboard along the solid lines. Pay attention to the layout of the template on the cardboard to preserve graphics from the original box for a pop-art touch.
- Fold along the scored lines, overlapping the 3" panel with the first 6" panel to form a triangular column. Glue the 3" flap to the 6" panel and clamp with binder clips, or pin the pieces together with screws, zip-ties, rivets, or machine bolts. Repeat to create the five remaining triangles. Let the glue dry.
- Clamp the six columns together, forming a hexagon when viewed from above. The center of the stool should be lower than the outside rim, forming an ergonomic cup shape. Secure each column to the next with two drywall screws, one at the top and one at the bottom, each fitted with a washer under the head. Use a regular (non-powered) screwdriver to prevent blowing through the material. Alternatively, you can use zip-ties, pop rivets, binder clips, or glue.
Note: To dispose of the stool, remove the screws and break the columns into flat pieces. You can then recycle the material, cut it into strips for use as mulch or compost, or use it as tinder for the fireplace.
A Different Alternative
If you’re really in a hurry, use three 36" triangular shipping tubes from an office supply store. Cut each in half and binder-clip together.
How to Make Your Own Wheat Paste
Do you know that with the help of a wheat paste, you can have a good adhesive that can be used for pasting posters, binding book, etc? Here's how to make your own.
- Add five parts water to a saucepan and set it on high to boil. While the water is heating, dissolve one part flour into one part cold water by gradually adding the flour and whisking constantly.
- When the water boils, add the flour-water mixture to the pan, again whisking constantly. Return to a boil for 30 to 60 seconds. It should thicken somewhat, but don’t be alarmed if it appears thin; it will thicken further as it cools. Remove the pan from the heat and let the paste cool to room temperature before use.
- Adding a few tablespoons of sugar at the end of the boiling (so the sugar doesn’t burn) increases stickiness, which is helpful because plain wheat paste doesn’t have much “grab” when wet. The same amount of salt or vinegar acts as a preservative to increase shelf life. For a stronger, thicker paste, increase the proportion of flour or use whole-wheat flour, which contains more gluten than white flour. If you can’t use all of the paste immediately, you can refrigerate it for up to a week; let it come up to room temperature and whisk out any chunks or coagulated “skin” before using.