The multi-purposed 2x4 Winter 2008 #1: Roughing it out.

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Blog entry by YorkshireStewart posted 01-10-2008 12:50 AM 3020 reads 2 times favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of The multi-purposed 2x4 Winter 2008 series Part 2: A bit of gluing. A bit of shaping. »

I normally spend very little time in my workshop in the winter months. The build-up to Christmas is a busy time, what with all the gifts I choose to make, and it always seemed much more appealing indoors. The ten paces through wind and rain to my ‘shop seemed such a long walk.

(Here's the finished chair.)

Until the Lumberjocks challenge, that is! My wife can’t believe the enthusiasm I’ve shown the last few days to get out there after breakfast, only returning when she presses the buzzer from the kitchen to call me in for elevenses, lunch and mid afternoon sustenance.

I thought long and hard over what to make for the 2×4 challenge. I wanted something as far away from the shape of 8’ of 2” x 4” as possible. I eventually came up with the idea of a chair. It took quite a lot of doodling to identify that it would be possible, but only in a scaled-down form; probably something to fit a large child/small adult.


One of my favourite styles is the Welsh Stick Chair. It’s a primitive or folk form of Windsor chair, and therefore designed around a plank seat with legs tenoned into the bottom of the seat and a back bow supported on a number of sticks tenoned into the top of the seat. Although they’re simple, I think they have a lot of charm. And my favourite style of stick chair has the comb back. So that’s where I’m heading.

I’ve done the occasional chair before, but that doesn’t mean this isn’t a challenge. The material – building grade pine – is far from being the traditional wood for such a chair. And the configuration of the ‘board’ is less than ideal.

However, having roughed out my intentions, I did a few cuts:


I was hoping to simulate the style of the legs and sticks of many of the older handmade chairs. They were often split and then planed, or draw-shaved. I planed the legs from their original square section to a tapered octagon. I’ve tried to avoid using the lathe overmuch, but I did rough turn the legs before planing, and I turned the round tenons on the legs. The sticks were shaped solely using spokeshave, plane and scrapers.



I re-sawed a length of the 2×4 down to about 1 ¼” to enable the seat plank to be constructed. The corresponding thin board provided material for the sticks.


Can’t wait for tomorrow….

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

6 comments so far

View Russel's profile


2199 posts in 4142 days

#1 posted 01-10-2008 12:55 AM

Once again I’m amazed at the ingenuity of LumberJocks. I’m eager to see the completed project as a chair grows out of a simple 2×4. Nifty start.

-- Working at Woodworking

View GaryK's profile


10262 posts in 4192 days

#2 posted 01-10-2008 02:00 AM

Looks good so far, Yorkie! (You don’t mind me calling you that do you?)

I can’t wait to see it completed!

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

View Zuki's profile


1404 posts in 4280 days

#3 posted 01-10-2008 03:32 AM

View rikkor's profile


11295 posts in 4078 days

#4 posted 01-10-2008 11:17 AM

Great start, Stewart.

View YorkshireStewart's profile


1130 posts in 4105 days

#5 posted 01-10-2008 11:21 AM

‘Yorkie’ is good Gary! Thanks for your comments.

I just had breakfast & I’m hurrying off to the shop. So much to do!

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

View snowdog's profile


1166 posts in 4186 days

#6 posted 01-12-2008 01:51 PM

“call me in for elevenses, lunch and mid afternoon sustenance.”, I love that “elevenses”. The first time I heard it was in the movie “Lord OF the Rings” and I have been using it since. I know what you mean about going to the shop in the winter months. It is hard to get out in the cold and have as much fun as sitting near the fire with a cup of tea or hot chocolate.

I can’t wait to see the chair all put together.

-- "so much to learn and so little time"..

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