Morley Bar Stool

Philip Morley

The iconic Morley Bar Stool was originally designed for Banger’s Sausage House and Beer Garden in Austin, Texas. The owner was searching for a nice looking bar stool that would survive in a bustling commercial setting. Philip's goal was to create a stool that was solid and looked slick. The stools are made out of walnut featuring brass accents, curved solid wood accent seat, brass back spindles, and a brass foot rail.

These are bar-height stools that measure 29 3/8" from floor to seat and 42 1/2" floor to back. 21" Deep x 17 3/8" Wide.

  • 14 lessons
  • 200 min
  • $99.00
  • Morley Bar Stool Templates

    If you want to hit the ground running and don't want to make your own templates, add these to your order.

Here's what we'll cover:

  1. Introduction and Templates

    The story of the bar stool and a look at the templates we’ll use for the project.

  2. Roughing Out

    The parts are rough cut using the bandsaw and miter saw.

  3. Milling

    The parts are milled to thickness and the rear legs are flush-trimmed to shape.

  4. Frame Assembly Mortises

    Mortises are cut in the front and rear legs.

  5. Frame Assembly Tenons

    Tenons are cut in the rail parts.

  6. Rail Mortises

    The back mid rail and the front top rail receive their mortises.

  7. Seat Stretchers

    The seat stretchers are shaped and tenons are added to each end.

  8. Feet Stretchers

    The foot rail receives mortises and some additional shaping.

  9. Shaping Crest and Mid-Rails

    The crest rail and back mid rail receive gentle curves.

  10. Making The Seat

    The seat is constructed using some clever fixtures at the bandsaw.

  11. Back Brass Rods

    Brass rods adorn the back of the stool and provide support.

  12. Foot Rest with Brass

    L-shaped brass is inlaid into the foot rest.

  13. Finishing

    Conversion varnish via HVLP is the finish of choice.

  14. Final Assembly

    The pre-finished parts of the chair are now glued together.

This is an Advanced Project!

Advanced does not necessarily mean DIFFICULT. It simply means that there won’t be quite as much hand-holding as we normally feature in Guild projects. You may have to construct a couple of shop-made fixtures/jigs to get some of the tasks done but if you’re interested in a project of this caliber, that shouldn’t be a deal-breaker.

What will I receive?

  • Detailed cut list and plans including a PDF and a SketchUp file (Metric and Imperial).
  • Hours of detailed video instruction (14 videos in total) showing every step of the Morley Bar Stool build.
  • All videos and plans are digital and will be available for download upon purchase. 

What will I learn?

  • Slip tenon joinery
  • Mortise and tenon joinery (Integral)
  • Cutting accurate double-slip tenons using spacers
  • How to cut mortises efficiently and accurately with plunge router
  • Using spoke shave, hand planes to shape parts
  • Using templates and jigs for pattern routing to produce accurate and efficient parts
  • Use an “L” fence effectively
  • Importance of reference faces
  • Cutting brass and inlaying into wood
  • Cutting and Shaping Curved Seat and Curved Crest Rail
  • Pinning with brass dowels
  • Conversion varnish finishing tips

What will I need?

General Tools for building the Morley Bar Stool:

Table Saw, Bandsaw, Jointer, Planer, Drill Press, Drill, Random Orbit Sander, Plunge Router, Router Table


  • 18 BF 8/4 Hardwood
  • 3 BF 4/4 Hardwood
  • Wood Kits can be purchased here.


  • If you’d like a simple kit that contains all the brass you’d need, head to Southern Specialty Supplies. As a Guild member, you’ll receive a code for an additional 10% off your purchase.
  • Below, I’ve included links to the parts from other sources, though it will cost more than the kit.
  • McMaster-Carr 8953K149 Ultra-Machinable 360 Brass Rods, 3/8″ diameter, 1 Foot Long (5 per stool or purchase longer and cut to size)
  • McMaster-Carr 9124K58 385 Brass 90 Degree Angle, 1/8″ Wall Thickness, 2″ x 2″ Outside, 1 Foot Long (5 per stool or purchase longer and cut to size)
  • 1/8″ Brass Rods (These are optional and Philip uses two small pieces to pin the brass to the foot rest so you don’t need much. Shop around.)


Stuff I use that you might find useful:


Great project and plans. I enjoyed Phillip’s easy going manner and the way in which he explains how to do things.

Scott Emrich
Guild Member
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About Your Instructor:

Philip Morley was born in London, England. After a rough academic start, struggling with dyslexia, he found his true passion in trade school where he studied for four years to become a joiner under the City and Guilds program. Once graduated, Philip worked as joiner doing restoration work on various prestigious historical buildings in central London. After moving to the US, he studied with furniture designer Richard Chillcott in Ruskin, Florida for three years before moving to Texas where he apprenticed with Michael Colca for 7 years. He is now a contributing author to Fine Woodworking Magazine and has been published in Woodworker West and Woodskills Magazine. He has taught at Austin Community College, Marc Adams School of Woodworking and Austin School of Furniture and Design. Phil continues to build one-of-a-kind pieces in his small studio located on his property where he can be close to his family.