We were looking for modern, compact yet comfortable bar stools that would go with my bar. We have limited space, so back-less saddle style was the way to go. Plus, this style is actually pretty popular right now.

We found the perfect ones at Wayfair.com, the Mahaffey 29″ Bar Stool in black. These were only $129 for a set of three, perfect for what we needed, so I ordered them!

They arrived in a little over a week in a flat box, very densely packed.

Assembly Tricks

The stools come totally disassembled. The seat is one piece, and each leg and crossbar are separate. Each piece is labeled with a sticker. In the end, everything is held together with glue, along with a wood screw for each joint.

Some of the reviewers online complain that these stools are hard to assemble. I don’t think they were too difficult, but I did encounter some potential pitfalls and had to learn a few tricks along the way.

The legs and crossbars have pegs at the end which go into corresponding holes. Some of the pegs were kind of rough, so I lightly sanded them to make sure they would go into the holes smoothly.

The instructions tell you to attach the legs to the seat first. I found it difficult to add the crossbars doing it that way. Instead, I assembled two legs with crossbars first, then attached them to the seat. That seemed to work better.

In my opinion, they don’t provide enough glue. They give you a small plastic container (one of which had leaked for me) of white glue. Before you begin, I suggest getting your own white glue or yellow wood glue ready, because running out of glue in the middle of assembly is disastrous. You need to assemble the whole thing before the glue dries. You can’t stop half way through to run to the store.

On my first stool, I smeared the glue on the pegs, then put them into the holes. Big mistake – the glue just oozed out and made a mess.  I quickly learned from this that it was better to pour a few drops of glue into the hole, smear it around, then insert the peg. Duh.

After the parts are glued together, you screw in a single anchor screw to tighten the joints. Make sure the parts are fully engaged. I had to use my body’s weight to push some of the pieces together.

Mahaffey 29" Bar Stool joints

The joints are mortise-and-tenon held together with glue and a screw. Make sure the screw is tightened all the way.

The instructions tell you not to over-tighten due to the risk to stripping the wood. I found this not to be a problem. At first, I was too careful and didn’t screw the screws in enough. Take a bright light and make sure they are in all the way. They get pretty hard to turn towards the end. When you’ve gone far enough, they will simply stop. Don’t be afraid to use some muscle here.

The Result

We’re very happy with the look!

Mahaffey 29" Bar Stool

Completed bar stool

Knowing how tight the screws are, along with the fact that I used plenty of glue, I know these will be very sturdy stools!

The next day I went out and bought some 1 1/2″ self-adhesive felt furniture pads for the legs so they wouldn’t scratch the floor. They fit perfectly.

Felt pads, 1 1/2"

Felt pads, 1 1/2″

In the end, we’re thrilled with the look and compact size of these barstools. The finish and quality are great. Oh, and they’re comfortable too! You can find them at Wayfair. – Brian

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