Quick & Easy DIY Rolling Shop Stool

Thinking about building your own DIY rolling shop stool? Check out this easy DIY project where I made a cushioned shop rolling stool!

Last year, for my husband’s birthday I made him this tool caddy to help keep his tools organized while working on cars and his wheelers. This year I tried my hand at making him a shop stool. He has the typical shop stool already that has a gas lift on it, but I often find him sitting on the garage floor because the stool doesn’t get him as low as he needs to be. So I made him this creeper type stool that is really low to the ground but still rolls around.

1Here is a video showing the build process:

1) The first thing I did was go shopping and buy what I needed. I picked up:

  • 5 – 2″ casters at Northern Tool.
  • 1 yard (way too much but I wanted extra) of black pleather material and also a high density foam cushion at Hobby Lobby.
  • 20 – 1/4″x1″ carriage bolts, as well as 20 1/4″ nuts at Home Depot
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2) Next I nabbed my husband’s current shop stool and I flipped it upside down on top of some 3/4″ plywood I had then traced around the seat and cut it out using a jigsaw.diy rolling shop stool 15diy rolling shop stool 143) I took the seat and laid it on top of my cushion and used a sharpie to roughly make a circle that was 1″ larger then also cut that out.diy rolling shop stool 13Note: This stuff was not easy to cut! I tried several different tools but ended up using a good pair of scissors to cut it in layers. I would jab the bottom of the scissors into the cushion about half way then start cutting like that all the way around. Then tear off those top layers I just cut, then cut off the bottom layer. A turkey carver would probably work wonders on this stuff…..: ) I’m not joking.

Ok, with the cushion cut, I now needed to line out where to place the casters.

4) I decided to use five casters because I wanted this to be very stable. I laid them out roughly where I wanted them and then took turns pointing them at each other to make sure they were spaced far enough apart to not collide with one another.diy rolling shop stool 125) Then I held them in place and traced each screw hole with a pencil. Next I came back with a 1/4″ drill bit (because I’m using 1/4″ hardware) and drilled a hole in each location.diy rolling shop stool 10WilkerDon’t: When I drilled my holes I aimed for the middle of my pencil markings. Mistake! Even though the casters will go on, it made it difficult to get the nut on because some of them were a little close to the caster body itself. So instead of drilling them in the middle, drill your hole to the outside position of your marking and that will take care of the issue.

Notes: Alright let me pause in the steps and explain my hardware choice in case you want to make any changes.
  • I am using 1/4″ hardware because it fits in the holes of the casters I purchased. If you buy different casters, then I would take it with you to the hardware store to make sure 1/4″ will work with yours.
  • I’m using 1/4″ x 1″ specifically because I needed something long enough to go through the material and allow me to thread on a nut, but also something short enough where it wouldn’t interfere with the caster rotating around.
  • I chose to use carriage bolts because they are designed to sink into the wood and create a self locking action so you don’t have to access both ends of the bolt to tighten it down and since a seat will be covering up one end, this is perfect.
  • Also, I am using the carriage bolts over screws because this stool will be experiencing a lot of movement. So instead of relying on the threads of the screws biting into the 3/4″ seat to keep the casters in place, this will be the bolt head and nut sandwiching the caster in place and will (hopefully) be more durable in the long run and keep those casters from developing slop.
6) Next I took my 1/4″x1″ carriage bolts and placed them in the holes and hammered them in, trying to sink the heads in flush. Since this plywood isn’t that soft, I ended up threading on a nut then using a wrench to suck them down instead.
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7) To attach the cushion to the wood, I used some 3M spray adhesive (a hot glue gun would also work great) and coated the cushion as well as the wood real good. Then I placed it where the wood looked centered and sat on it for a few mins until it was dry. ….you don’t have to sit on it of course : ) You could always use a paint bucket or something.

Now it was time to start with the upholstery. Remember I’m not an expert! but this is how I did mine.
8) I laid my fabric face down and use a sharpie to make a circle that was 2 1/4″ wider than my seat. I actually used a tape measure and make several marks around it then connected the dots to form a circle. Then I simply cut it out.
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9) I grabbed my staple gun and started stapling down the material. I would fold up one side, pulling it kinda tight, then put in about three staples. Then I would move to the opposite side and repeat until all sides were stapled down.
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10) Then I took some scissors and trimmed off all the extra fabric, making sure to cut away any material that was in the way of my bolt threads.diy rolling shop stool 2So what I did next, was I actually cut a circle piece of material and I planned on attaching it to the bottom to make this bottom look better. However, this little bit of added thickness makes the casters stand off the wood too much where I could no longer thread on an entire nut so I ended up scraping the idea and left it ugly.

11) Last thing was to start putting on the casters. I would put the casters on and then thread on a 1/4″ nut and tighten it down with a wrench.diy rolling shop stool 11And there we are. : ) Now he can still be low enough to the ground to work on his four wheeler but won’t have to sit on the hard garage floor. Hopefully this is actually useful, I will post an update and let y’all know what he thinks.

Have a great weekend.
Total Cost: $30
Note: Half of my cost was from the casters alone, but if I can give you any tip it would be to invest in good casters. I paid $3 each for these.

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