2x4 table

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Project by ThreeJs posted 2403 days ago 6490 views 6 times favorited 19 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Just squeaking in under the wire to get this done. I had planned to be done this weekend, but the box went a little long, which really squeezed this project.

I started designing this when the contest was first announced. I was really sweating just using one 2×4, so I designed the table in sketch-up before I even went out to get the board. Once I had the drawing, I was able to lay it out in a 2×4 shape, and then generate a cut list using a plug-in.

The table has an overall height of 26 1/2”. The top is 19” square, and consists of 4 rails and a floating panel. The panel is only held by a single peg in the middle, but is supported on the edges by a rabbit. The panel is only 3/16” thick, with the rails being 3/8”. This is somewhat of an experiment for me, and I am curious to see if it cups or bows over time – assuming it survives in a house with 4 boys!

The legs are 1” square at the top, taper down to 3/4” at the bottom, and are sloped in at 5 degrees. I was having issues with the legs staying straight (this stuff really moves on you), so I mortised them at the top, and toward the bottom. The bottom rails were not in the original plan, but a plan you can’t change is no plan at all.

The top and bottom are attached with slotted screws, which should allow for movement. (Again, assuming it survives.) Not a bad little table.

Overall this has been a fun learning experience. For instance, last night I found out that I just don’t know how to quit. :) I also learned a lot about cutting mortises with a chisel, hammer, and saw. Last but not least, I learned that southern yellow pine, is tough, splintery, and very active when not quite dry.

Here is a picture of the table with my wife.

Here is what my wife started using it for, right after I took the pictures for the contest.

-- David, Charlotte NC (

19 comments so far

View SPalm's profile


4791 posts in 2516 days

#1 posted 2403 days ago

Very nice indeed. I love those bottom stretchers, they are so slender.
Pretty nice looking grain too.

-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

View Chris 's profile


1867 posts in 2625 days

#2 posted 2403 days ago

Very nice job… Sounds like you had a lot of fun with this one.

-- "Everything that is great and inspiring is created by the individual who labors in freedom" -- Albert Einstein

View Les Hastings's profile

Les Hastings

1274 posts in 2407 days

#3 posted 2403 days ago

Great looking table David, Nice Design!

-- Les, Wichita, Ks. (I'd rather be covered in saw dust!)

View CharlieM1958's profile


15691 posts in 2852 days

#4 posted 2403 days ago

Nice work!

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

View cajunpen's profile


14379 posts in 2700 days

#5 posted 2403 days ago

Just amazing what can be brought out of a plain old 2×4.

-- Bill - "Suit yourself and let the rest be pleased."

View scottb's profile


3648 posts in 2961 days

#6 posted 2403 days ago

we just keep on amazing ourselves. That’s one crazy cut list!

-- I am always doing what I cannot do yet, in order to learn how to do it. - Van Gogh -- --

View rikkor's profile


11295 posts in 2508 days

#7 posted 2403 days ago

Great concept, design, and execution.

View Russel's profile


2199 posts in 2573 days

#8 posted 2403 days ago

Nice table, delicate is a good word to describe it. I like it.

-- Working at Woodworking

View MsDebbieP's profile


18615 posts in 2794 days

#9 posted 2402 days ago

another awesome creation.

great job. Congrats

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (

View YorkshireStewart's profile


1106 posts in 2535 days

#10 posted 2402 days ago

That Southern Yellow pine is extremely attractive and your design make great use of it. As you grossly understate: “Not a bad little table” indeed!

Mrs YS asks whether your wife is a knitter!

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

View mrtrim's profile


1696 posts in 2514 days

#11 posted 2402 days ago

wow ! very nice , good luck in the contest

View relic's profile


343 posts in 2570 days

#12 posted 2402 days ago

The table is great, I like the pine.

-- Andy Stark

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27251 posts in 2456 days

#13 posted 2402 days ago

Very nice table. It has never ceased to amaze me at what can be created from a simple 2×4. With 4 boys when did you find time to work on it?

Thanks for sharing.

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

View ThreeJs's profile


82 posts in 2573 days

#14 posted 2402 days ago

Couple quick replies.
Mrs YS,
Yes, my wife is a knitter. She also crochets, which is what got me into woodworking just over a year ago. I started by turning crochet hooks, and knitting needles for her. Then moved on to drop spindles, and other accessories.

It was tough, between the box, and the table. Generally, I would only work on these on the weekend, when I could, and at night after dinner. I am looking forward to spending more time with the boys, now that I have gotten through the contest.

Here is the cutlist, as it came out of sketch-up.

1-1 Support Slat ~ 16 1/8” 1 1/8” 7/16”
2-1 Tapered Leg ~ 26 1/16” 1” 1”
2-2 Tapered Leg ~ 26 1/16” 1” 1”
2-3 Tapered Leg ~ 26 1/16” 1” 1”
2-4 Tapered Leg ~ 26 1/16” 1” 1”
4-1 Top Front Rail 17 1/4” ~ 1 1/8” 5/8”
4-2 Top Front Rail 17 1/4” ~ 1 1/8” 5/8”
5-1 Top Side Rail ~ 17 3/16” 1 1/8” 5/8”
5-2 Top Side Rail ~ 17 3/16” 1 1/8” 5/8”
6-1 Top Slat 15 3/4” 1 1/2” 3/16”
6-2 Top Slat 15 3/4” 1 1/2” 3/16”
6-3 Top Slat 15 3/4” 1 1/2” 3/16”
6-4 Top Slat 15 3/4” 1 1/2” 3/16”
6-5 Top Slat 15 3/4” 1 1/2” 3/16”
6-6 Top Slat 15 3/4” 1 1/2” 3/16”
6-7 Top Slat 15 3/4” 1 1/2” 3/16”
6-8 Top Slat 15 3/4” 1 1/2” 3/16”
6-9 Top Slat 15 3/4” 1 1/2” 3/16”
6-10 Top Slat 15 3/4” 1 1/2” 3/16”
7-1 cross brace ~ 19 1/4” 1 1/2” 3/8”
7-2 cross brace ~ 19 1/4” 1 1/2” 3/8”

-- David, Charlotte NC (

View Lakey's profile


97 posts in 2406 days

#15 posted 2402 days ago

Not only is this a stunning design, it is absolutely amazing that you made this from a single 2×4. Hope you keep us posted on wood movement. Wow!

-- "No Board Left Behind"

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