If you’re looking to save that extra buck from purchasing a squatty potty, then a DIY stool is your best bet. It is relatively easy to make, handy in the pocket, and you can design it whichever way you like. Creativity has no limits!
The best thing about making a DIY stool is the freedom to change any aspect of it to fit your personal needs. That’s what we intend to do with this guide. Gather your toolkit, materials, and this step by step guide below and you’ll be all set for the project.
Before we hit the guidelines, let’s have a look at a few essentials;
- Angling – the stool should be at 35 degrees so get your angling tools ready
- Storage – you want to be able to store the stool after use instead of leaving it by the toilet side.
The aim of the project is convenience. So you can start by looking for old props around the house such as boxes, wooden boxes or cardboard, buckets or galvanized as they have a great height. If you have such, then your work is way easier and spares you the effort of designing on.
If you don’t have these items, then let’s skip to the first step.
Step 1: Designing
The first and most important step to making anything has to be designing. Creating an image or a sketch of how you want the actual item to look or appear, once you are done. You can use an application that offers 2D and 3D simulations or simply sketch it on a paper, get the measurements, and get busy.
- Begin by getting the right estimates or measurements for your stool. That is the angle of elevation, width, height, and length. You can use a base of a foot angle of approximately five degrees, and measurements of seven inches high, 20 inches wide, and 12 inches deep just like the first squatty potty.
- Design the u-shaped cut-out on the top which is meant to slide around the toilet from the toilet. So you can roughly measure your toilet.
- Draw the arcs to indicate where your feet will be on the stool.
- You can add the beam along the front of the stool for the lateral stability of your feet.
This is the first part of the project. You have the freedom to choose how you will angle stool either up or down. This will depend on the flexibility of your ankles. You want to be comfortable during bowel movements. Furthermore, for the measurements above, you can opt for the seven-inch beginners’ friendly stool or an advanced nine-inch model for higher toilet seats.
Once you have your sketch, print it out if you were using the app and proceed to the next step.
Step 2: Gathering Tools and Materials
Because it’s difficult to DIY the making of plastic, the common option is wood, precisely hardwood. You will need a few items to get you started for example the pieces of wood you need for the project, glue, and jigsaw. Here’s a complete list of all the tools and materials you need;
- Three-quarter inch poplar hardwood – it’s relatively easy to find and offers a great aesthetic finish to the end product.
- Jigsaw to cut the wood to your liking
- Palm sander
- Wood filler
- Wood glue
- Butcher block oil or polyurethane for a nice finish
These are just the basic items you’ll need and should have handy with you. Of course, you have protective clothing like the dust coat and probably gloves when finishing with the oil.
Step 3: Assembling
Now the work begins. This is the most important part and requires you to have full attention to detail.
- Take your poplar hardwood and measure ten inches of width. Cut the wood using your jigsaw or other appliance you may have. Cut two plank pieces.
- Glue the two ten-inch wide planks to form a monolithic pane where you will lay your feet. This combination is essential for the sturdiness and longevity of the stool.
- Now take the other piece of wood and shape to form ‘legs’. Clamp them onto the footboard to form a stool. Use corner clamps to ensure you get the right angles and the footboard matches well with the legs.
- Add another pressure clamp right in the middle to ensure both surfaces are solid in contact.
- Gluing the end grains is also a good choice. Go with what you have at the moment. Let the sides cure before you continue.
- Add the beam to the center of the front edge to add to its stability. The beam adds some weight to the stool therefore preventing it from bending due to weight capacity.
- To keep the stool from shifting side to side you can use the wood fillers or some 0.75 inch by 0.75-inch scrap pieces to the inside corners on the sides.
If you don’t have the scrap pieces, any other scrap material can be used as long as it’s not easily affected by humidity. Remember the stool is used in a highly humid area.
Step 4: Finishing
This is where the sketch comes to light. After all the glue you used has cured, add wood fillers to gapings and cracks. Let that cure again then grit down the wood into a smooth surface, allowing for easy cleaning, easy carriage, and better aesthetic appearance.
Keep sanding down the wood to 220 grits or until you are satisfied. Now it’s time to oil it down with some butcher block oil. Apply three coats allowing it to dry after every application. Alternatively, you can apply high gloss polyurethane or some other slick finish. Just as long as it makes it easy to clean.
Step 5: Testing the Finished Product
Now it’s time to test out your DIY project. Go with it to the toilet and step firmly on it. Observe any weaknesses or areas that need fixing. If you’re happy with the results then congratulations on your cost-effective handmade squatty potty.
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