Parsimony for the Win


I could start a shopping advice hotline for counter-height stools. I’m quite sure I’ve looked at every version commercially available in the United States, and quite a few from individual makers. I also considered making the stools myself (but because I wanted metal, that would have required learning welding). Seriously – if you’re looking for a particular style, color, material, price point…I can help.

Following weeks of dithering and narrowing my selections solely on aesthetics to the four below, I went with none of them.


After stacking up some boxes to the right height (24″), I realized I needed a footrest for my Hobbit legs. Only two of the above have a foot rest, so that narrowed it to those on either end.

After reading lots of buyer comments, I decided three-legged stools and my bourbon habit are a bad mix. Down to the one on the far right. It’s $745 (limited quantity and vintage). And I needed two of them.

Back to surfing.

Instead, I got the two at the top from World Market for a grand total of less than $300, including shipping*. Four legs – check. Adjustable seat – check. Foot rest – check. Metal base – check (I think; anyway, it’s powder-coated something).

No, they don’t look as good as the $745 version (or the shiny tippy ones), but they look good enough – and my butt fits on ’em just fine.

Though it’s a good thing I know how not to follow directions.


I find it particularly amusing that the directions have the capital P correct but misspelled Phillips. (And of course, that what is really needed here is a slotted driver.)

* Note: I do feel somewhat uncomfortable with the price; they’re no doubt cheap because they’re made in a country with an emerging economy where child labor may not be illegal. So now Heifer International is getting a guilt-ridden/guilt-written check from me.

About fitz

Woodworker, writer, editor, teacher, ailurophile, Shakespearean. Will write for air-dried walnut.
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22 Responses to Parsimony for the Win

  1. Russell Pitner says:

    I certainly admire your choice! I’m sure you’ll find ’em very useful for you needs.
    And, (HAHA) the editor in you just had to kick in.

  2. Potomacker says:

    Count the little blessings. The slotted screws look much better in brass.
    Also, I can now spot Chinglish grammar so easily, as in: “Remove [the] seat from its shipping position by loosen[ing] up [the] seat[‘s] center post.”

  3. Tom Dickey says:

    Once an editor always an editor. Like the stools [ not that it means anything]

  4. bobprime0 says:

    What is the rightmost stool of the 4? It looks awesome.

    • fitz says:

      The pricey one is a vintage offering from (I’m going to continue haunting antique stores in hopes of finding similar ones in a more reasonable price range).

  5. I see you clocked your screw.

    Wait, that sounds bad…

  6. ctregan says:

    You could remove what ever finish is on the metal frame and scrub it with bleach. It will make it rust and give it the vintage look!
    Also, Did you try looking on Ebay or craigslist for vintage stools?

  7. Super cute and the work station/counter is so versatile. Clever, clever woman.

  8. wb8nbs says:

    Maybe you can get Greta de Parry to make something for you.

  9. Patrick says:

    They look very nice and I’d quit shopping; however, since you did say you were still looking, Pottery Barn has the one on the far right for a whole lot less $$$.

  10. steveschafer says:

    So, speaking about editing… Where do we send the typos we find in Calvin Cobb?

  11. ctregan says:

    You could replace the disk seat with something handmade and really cool. Find a slab… chuck it in a lathe…. be creative!

  12. toolnut says:

    Did you make it to Pottery Barn? (Noticed they had 10% off first order if you sign up for their emails. If you don’t get the message, try clearing the cookies. If you still don’t get it, call in your order and tell them you saw it. Bet they give it to you.)

  13. Pingback: See What Happens? | Rude Mechanicals Press

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