Anatomy of the Hornsey stool

The whole is greater than the sum of its parts…. but what lovely parts.
Want a closer look? Please hover over photographs to magnify. And for more detail, see list below.
Interested in how it’s made? Please select Manufacture from the dropdown menu.
How did we get here? Evolution reveals the long and winding road.

Top and treads are made from 12mm FSC furniture grade birch plywood. It is CNC* machined, then sanded by hand, then stained, then left to dry, then another light sanding, then clear lacquered… phew.
*computer numerical control, since you asked.
Frame is made from mild steel ERW* round tube, rolled in Birmingham. It is expertly bent in our workshop in Barton-le-Clay, Beds, on a twin head compression bender, cleverly modified to accommodate the very short distance between the bends on the stool. The main frame uses slender 19mm diameter tube, the fold-out steps a chunkier 22mm diameter.
*Electric Resistance Welded, natch!
Joints are TIG welded by hand, a hand holding a TIG welder to be precise. TIG stands for Tungsten Inert Gas, and TIG welds take longer but look nicer than MIG welds, so ideal for the beautiful Hornsey stool.
Frame is powder-coated* for a tough durable finish by our contractor in Luton, Beds, who devised an ingenious way of hooking it up to avoid the moving parts touching during the process.
*paint in powder form is applied using an electrostatic gun which charges the paint particles which then stick to the grounded metal object. Then it is cured at a high temperature so the powder melts and spreads and forms a skin.
Nice word that. Each stool has 8 in total, 6 feet and 2 tube inserts to neaten the open tube ends, in black or white to complement the frame colour. They are made of tough plastic, Low Density Polyethylene to be precise. LDPE for short.
Each stool has a shiny stainless steel plaque stamped with the Giggy and Bab logo, only visible when steps are retracted (we don’t want to draw too much attention to ourselves). It is securely attached with hammer rivets.
Wooden parts are securely fixed to the frame using pop rivets. The rivets are blind, so-called because the rivet is inserted using a special tool which expands the blind end of the rivet inside the tube, fixing it without piercing the underside. The flat headed rivets sit in counterbored holes in the plywood. Neat.
Not visible in the photo as they are hidden on the underside of the cross bars but if you turn the stool upside down you see 2 tiny holes. During the powder coating process, the frame is heated to 200 degrees Celsius to cure the paint. Any water trapped inside expands and can blow out through even a pinprick hole in any of the welds, ruining the paint finish, but not if you have these holes for the frame to let off steam.