Steve's 2x4 Challenge #1: Prototype

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Blog entry by SPalm posted 01-02-2008 03:58 PM 5452 reads 1 time favorited 11 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Steve's 2x4 Challenge series Part 2: It takes shape »

Well, I started cutting up my 2×4 and did some prototyping.

Jointed and resawed a bit. Then I sent them through my little Ryobi thickness planer. Even after letting it acclimate to the house for a week, once it was prepared, it still warped more than I would have thought. I had never resawed anything before as all I have is a craftsman bandsaw. But with a new large blade, it worked much nicer than I would have thought. You can see the bandsaw in the background.

I had never really used sliding dovetails for joints. They really lock into position. I like ‘em. I cut them with a little sliding jig on the router table. I thought that I better not use the CNC, as that might be a no-no for this contest.

I won’t be able to get any more done for a while as I ‘have to’ go spend next week in the Caribbean and escape winter.





-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

11 comments so far

View rikkor's profile


11295 posts in 3898 days

#1 posted 01-02-2008 04:36 PM

Looks like you will have an interesting project, Steve.

View CharlieM1958's profile


16275 posts in 4242 days

#2 posted 01-02-2008 05:00 PM

Gosh, I’m so sorry you have to leave your shop for the tropics. <g>

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

View MsDebbieP's profile


18615 posts in 4184 days

#3 posted 01-02-2008 05:04 PM

you’ve got a lot done!!!
those dovetails sure do look “purdy”

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (

View Dick, & Barb Cain's profile

Dick, & Barb Cain

8693 posts in 4323 days

#4 posted 01-02-2008 05:42 PM

Looking good!

I’ve had the problem of twisted wood after re-sawing a 2×4, you’d think that being kiln dried would

prevent this, but maybe they’re not dried enough.

-- -** You are never to old to set another goal or to dream a new dream ****************** Dick, & Barb Cain, Hibbing, MN.

View David's profile


1969 posts in 4162 days

#5 posted 01-03-2008 07:01 AM

Steve -

Excellent start! I like the joinery details.


View toyguy's profile


1654 posts in 3861 days

#6 posted 01-03-2008 11:00 PM

I know what you mean about warping.
When I cut and planed the pieces for my top wing of my 2×4 Fokker, the next morning they looked more like a prop than a wing. Lucky for me, I had left a bit of room for error, but if you look close the wings are twisted a bit.
Looks like your off to a great start. Time out to head to the Caribbean. I know that one too. I’m off to the Dominican Republic tomorrow morning for a weeks break.

-- Brian, Ontario Canada,

View GaryK's profile


10262 posts in 4012 days

#7 posted 01-03-2008 11:17 PM

The Caribbean, huh? You poor man!

Great start to your project.

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

View SPalm's profile


5320 posts in 3905 days

#8 posted 01-03-2008 11:40 PM

Thanks people. Yeah, the warping was way more than I thought. I jointed, waited two weeks, jointed again and resawed. Two days later, they warped again. Oh well, this is the first woodworking I have done since joining LJs and it was great fun.

Yup, off to St. Martin for a week with the wife unit for the umpteenth aniversary.
Caribbean atmoshpere, French cooking, French dress code at the beach ….

-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

View Bob Babcock's profile

Bob Babcock

1809 posts in 4110 days

#9 posted 01-04-2008 08:32 AM

Looking good…. and St Martin is nice. I’m hoping I can make the time to do my 2×4 project. I already have two paddles that I’m building to take to Maui with me in February. Not sure if I can fit another in. I can’t wait, my brother invited me out to help him with this.
Two weeks of paddle surfing….no wetsuit required….:)

-- Bob

View MsDebbieP's profile


18615 posts in 4184 days

#10 posted 01-04-2008 04:10 PM

all you people on vacations!! Must be nice. Enjoy your days away.

warpage.. yikes

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (

View Bob Kollman's profile

Bob Kollman

1798 posts in 3214 days

#11 posted 12-13-2010 08:24 AM

Hi Steve,

It’s been a boring night…So I’m checking reading all the blogs, a lot of your work is interesting to me,

so I find, later I need to check out your work with the vacuum press, I’d like to get one but there pretty

expensive for me. In any case I’m checking out this project and I have a solution to your twisting boards

1075 days to late!!! I turn cnc lathe using a vacuum fixture as opposed to chucking the material. We work

with exotic plastics that are annealed, turned, then milled. Most bowing and twisting that we encounter is

due to stress in the material. Your 2×4’s are stressed in the same way, the out side dries faster than the

inside, so over the course of a couple days the material wanders back. If you joint the wood say 8 or 15 light

passes that part is good. Next with the planer double stick tape the jointed wood to a larger // and square

board. Take light passes Thur the planner no more than .01 per pass until you are at the desired thickness.

The first few passes you just want to take the high spots-so light you have to push the material Thur as opposed

to feeding Thur the planer. The idea is to have as little pressure applied to the board as necessary by the

planers feed rollers. The rollers are actually applying enough pressure to compress the wood enough so

that it will spring back to it’s former twisted state. Also note Joint the convex side, plane the concave

side. To much to go Thur for a 2×4, but you might run into a situation where you are using some good

wood with to high a moisture content.

-- Bob Kenosha Wi.

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