2x4 Project #1: Progress

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Blog entry by shaun posted 01-19-2008 06:00 PM 4219 reads 6 times favorited 17 comments Add to Favorites Watch
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Here’s a blog on the progress of my 2×4 project for the Winter Awards Contest. It’s not completed yet, I still need to put some hinges on it and clean it up before I post it as an entry but it’s almost there. I should be ready to enter it this weekend.

I nearly spent as much time deciding what to build and then figuring the cut list, as I did actually building the project. So here’s he cut list first.


I’m showing the 2×4 in two four foot sections so I could get it to fit in the post legibly. The actual deminsions ended up being a tad smaller than what’s shown after jointing, planing and sanding. The resawed sections are 1/2” thick and the panels are more like 3 1/4” in the finished product. There isn’t much of that 2×4 left to waste, cutting the pieces drove me a little nuts.

I started out with my 2×4


And cut the sections that were being resawed to width first. From those I cut the rails, styles, panels, and bottom of the box to length on the SCMS.


I used the table saw to rip the rails and syles to width then I ran the rails, styles, and raised panels over the router table. I had to use my portable router table since I haven’t finished buillding the new one for the shop yet


This was particularly challenging for me since I’m not used to working with small pieces like this. I did the detail sanding and shaping first.


Then taking a lesson from Doug Bordner, I put the finish on the pieces before any glue up. In one of his posts Doug mentioned using masking tape to protect the joinery that will be glued up later and applying the finish prior to final assembly, making it easier to finish the inside of the box. This also helped me out since I used two different stains to add contrasting colors and give the illusion of there being two different types of wood here.


Both stains are from Minwax, the darker color is Sedona Red #222 and the lighter is Golden Pecan #245

Here’s some close ups


This will be the back of the box


Here’s the sides


and the front


I was going for an early american colonial look so I sanded the center of the panels into irregular shapes and added some dings here and there to make the box look old and worn.

Here’s a general idea of where I’m going with this


Then I started in on the lid and bottom.


The lid floats in a frame. I routed the grooves about 1/4” deeper than they needed to be then slipped some flexible tubing in them to keep the panel centered while leaving room for expansion.


Here’s a couple shots showing the bottom and the legs



Here’s a couple of dry fit shots to give you a better idea of where I’m headed



I used a stacked dado to cut 1/4” grooves into all the sides


and routed a 1/4” tounge into the bottom so it would float as well


Here’s some shots of where I’m at now. The lid is just resting on the box for the pictures.







I’m off to go pick up some hinges so I can get the lid attached, clean it up, put one last coat of wax on it, and get it entered in the contest.

-- I've cut that board three times and it's still too short!

17 comments so far

View mot's profile


4928 posts in 5486 days

#1 posted 01-19-2008 06:13 PM

I don’t think any lumberjock will ever look at a 2×4 the same. It’s no longer a chunk of contstruction framing. Pretty nice outcome from basic materials. I’m impressed!


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

View GaryK's profile


10262 posts in 5438 days

#2 posted 01-19-2008 06:16 PM

Very nice. I like the contrasting finishes!

-- Gary - Never pass up the opportunity to make a mistake look like you planned it that way - Tyler, TX

View MsDebbieP's profile


18619 posts in 5610 days

#3 posted 01-19-2008 06:19 PM

how wonderful !!!!

this is wonderful.. wonderful

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

View Russel's profile


2199 posts in 5389 days

#4 posted 01-19-2008 06:29 PM

Not too shabby, one project that can be entered in both challenges. A very attractive box and some creative building there. And, like Tom said, a 2×4, or any piece of wood looks a whole lot different these days.

-- Working at Woodworking

View rikkor's profile


11294 posts in 5324 days

#5 posted 01-19-2008 06:40 PM

That is way cool! I ditto the kudos on the contrasting finishes.

View furnitologist's profile


198 posts in 5463 days

#6 posted 01-19-2008 06:44 PM

That’s pretty cool – framed raised panel – the whole nine—- SUPER!!!! I liked your statement: I nearly spent as much time deciding what to build and then figuring the cut list, as I did actually building the project ...........good line!!!!

View John Gray's profile

John Gray

2370 posts in 5335 days

#7 posted 01-19-2008 09:40 PM


-- Only the Shadow knows....................

View Gofor's profile


470 posts in 5237 days

#8 posted 01-20-2008 12:46 AM

Great job. Its amazing what can be made from <$5 worth of material!!

The down side is now I’ll NEVER get rid of all the scrap in the shop! Too many potential uses:)


-- Go

View shaun's profile


360 posts in 5355 days

#9 posted 01-20-2008 06:20 AM

Thanks for the compliments, they’re much appreciated.

Russel -I tought about entering it in both contests but wasn’t sure if that was breaking any rules so I stuck with the 2×4 category.

LOL Gofor, the 2×4 cost me $2, the hinges cost me $15.

Furnitoligist -I must have revised the dimensons on the cut list a dozen times trying to make the whole thing fit in a 2×4. One thing this taught me is that it’s much easier to decide how big it’s going to be first then calculate your bf than it is to try and do it the other way around.

-- I've cut that board three times and it's still too short!

View Bob A in NJ's profile

Bob A in NJ

1380 posts in 5449 days

#10 posted 01-20-2008 06:44 AM

Clever idea, excellent construction and blog. Thanks

-- Bob A in NJ

View Karson's profile


35300 posts in 5850 days

#11 posted 01-20-2008 07:54 AM

Nice box. Great use of the 2X4.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Appomattox Virginia [email protected]

View YorkshireStewart's profile


1130 posts in 5351 days

#12 posted 01-20-2008 11:05 AM

Shaun, I quote from the entry rules – Rule number one: You may enter one project per category and you may enter the same project into multiple categories. Go for it!

Thanks for taking the time to photograph and blog all the stages. It’s easy to get carried away with the construction and forget the camera.

Blimey! a 2×4 for $2. Mine cost the equivalent of $10 from a cheap and cheerful outlet.

-- Res severa verum gaudium - True pleasure is a serious business.

View shaun's profile


360 posts in 5355 days

#13 posted 01-20-2008 03:33 PM

Thanks Stewart, I missed that one in the rules. I’ll add it to the box contest today.

$10 for a 2×4!!!!!!!! I’m glad I’m not building a house over there!

-- I've cut that board three times and it's still too short!

View gizmodyne's profile


1785 posts in 5540 days

#14 posted 01-20-2008 06:35 PM

Well done. Amazing actually. Love all of the photos too.

-- -John "Do I have to keep typing a smiley? Just assume it's a joke."

View Zuki's profile


1404 posts in 5527 days

#15 posted 01-21-2008 12:27 AM

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