Heavy with fruit -- 2x4 contest entry

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Project by Alin Dobra posted 01-30-2008 05:02 PM 9784 views 18 times favorited 48 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Here it is, almost 28 hours before the deadline, my entry for the 2×4 contest. This bandsaw box is made entirely form a 2×4 construction grade pine I purchased from HD (2.57$). I hope this project will convince you that pine, despite being a construction material, can legitimately be used to make delicate and sophisticated things.

My entry for the “not just any box” contest ( ), is a carefully designed, thoroughly thought out project that I “cooked up” over a month. This project is exactly the opposite. After first trying to make a turned box (oh boy, do I hate turning dry wood), I purchased another stud from HD and thought about making a bandsaw box (I was running out of ideas). I had no idea how the box would look like but I cut the stud in 6 15” sections (6” leftover). While playing with the pieces, it struck me that I can make a two sided box. I immediately though about joining the two sides at an angle. The rest kind of just followed naturally. I drew the patterns directly on the board without any sketch and mostly followed my instincts. After finishing the shaping of the top part, I started thinking about a base. Since the top seems very light, I wanted (and ended up doing) an almost surreal base. Since the pine is so light, when I look at and handle this piece I have the feeling that it wants to fly.

I picked as the name for the piece “Heavy with fruit” since it looks like a tree that bent due to the heavy fruits it has to carry. As it is usually the case for bandsaw boxes, different people see different things. If you post a comment on this box I am curious what the books looks like to you.

Details about the box:
1. It is 14” tall, 18” wide (wingspan) and 7” deep (3” for the top part since it is made out of 2 pieces of stud glued together).
2. The finish is shellac. I applied a single coat and sanded it down with 400 grit paper. I know from some of my other projects that pine does not look good with a heavy finish. It does look and smell good with almost no finish at all
3. The box is made entirely out of pine, glue and two screws to attach the top to the base. Gluing the top to the base is a bad idea due to wood movement (I would have really liked to avoid using screws but it is not possible).
4. The drawer handles and the branch details are hand carved (I’m all worked up after carving the rose for the other box).

In terms of construction difficulty, besides tight curves with the bandsaw, sanding is difficult and tedious.

Here are some more pictures of the result of my creative impulse discharged on a 2×4 (click on the pictures to get a higher resolution photo):

Thanks for looking,

-- -- Alin Dobra, Gainesville, Florida

48 comments so far

View rikkor's profile


11295 posts in 4328 days

#1 posted 01-30-2008 05:07 PM

Alin, that is utterly stunning. Great work sir!

View Russel's profile


2199 posts in 4393 days

#2 posted 01-30-2008 05:09 PM

Very cool. A 2×4 turned into a beautiful piece.

-- Working at Woodworking

View Alin Dobra's profile

Alin Dobra

351 posts in 4342 days

#3 posted 01-30-2008 05:14 PM

Thanks guys. I actually liked working with the pine. I do not think I wold have finished the box if I would have made it from a hard wood (sanding it is just off the charts since everything is crammed).


-- -- Alin Dobra, Gainesville, Florida

View CharlieM1958's profile


16283 posts in 4672 days

#4 posted 01-30-2008 05:16 PM

Beautiful work of art and engineering, Alin. I don’t know how I could possibly pick one project to vote for in this contest!

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View SPalm's profile


5334 posts in 4336 days

#5 posted 01-30-2008 05:27 PM

Good job Alan!
That is just wonderful. I really like it.


-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

View Zipsss's profile


206 posts in 4567 days

#6 posted 01-30-2008 05:32 PM

You have my vote. Excellent design.

-- Zipsss

View MsDebbieP's profile


18619 posts in 4614 days

#7 posted 01-30-2008 05:35 PM

I really love this. I especially like how the “stems” wrap around the fruit/boxes and gently support them.
Simply stunning!!!

(I’m with you Charlie.. I have no idea how I can choose a top 5)

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (, Young Living Wellness )

View Paul's profile


660 posts in 4546 days

#8 posted 01-30-2008 05:52 PM

beautiful and beautifully created

-- Paul, Kentucky

View Alin Dobra's profile

Alin Dobra

351 posts in 4342 days

#9 posted 01-30-2008 06:26 PM

Thanks guys,

You are too nice, as always.


-- -- Alin Dobra, Gainesville, Florida

View Patrick Jaromin's profile

Patrick Jaromin

406 posts in 4286 days

#10 posted 01-30-2008 06:27 PM

Very unique and creative design. I really like this piece.

-- Patrick, Chicago, IL

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27250 posts in 4275 days

#11 posted 01-30-2008 06:40 PM

Alin you have a vivid imagination to go along with your talent. When I first looked at the piece I didn’t dream that it was a box. Very clever and beautifully done.

I appreciate the effort that went into this piece. I wouldn’t have the patience to deal with something detailed.

Thanks for sharing.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View mot's profile


4926 posts in 4490 days

#12 posted 01-30-2008 07:07 PM

That came out pretty cool, Alin! This challenge has certainly brought out some pretty amazing pieces from a 2×4.

-- You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation. (Plato)

View cheller's profile


254 posts in 4563 days

#13 posted 01-30-2008 07:49 PM

Very nice work, Alin.

I’m curious what wood movement you think would cause a problem with gluing the wings to the base. From what I see the grain in the wings is in the same orientation as the grain of the base, which would make gluing the two together perfectly acceptable.

-- Chelle

View Max's profile


56000 posts in 4727 days

#14 posted 01-30-2008 08:08 PM

That is really cool. I really like how graceful it is. What a great job…..

-- Max "Desperado", Salt Lake City, UT

View Alin Dobra's profile

Alin Dobra

351 posts in 4342 days

#15 posted 01-30-2008 08:17 PM

Thanks Patrick, sbryan55, tom, cheller and Max.

Cheller, when the wood expands, the distance between the two bases will increase. The grain goes along the base (thus no expansion) and the two branches will split in the middle if constrained by the glue. In any case, I think it is better to be safe than sorry. The screws make disassembly easy in case something needs to be fixed.


-- -- Alin Dobra, Gainesville, Florida

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