In praise of the lowly 2x6

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Forum topic by bunkie posted 01-04-2012 05:45 PM 1279 views 0 times favorited 4 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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412 posts in 2565 days

01-04-2012 05:45 PM

I’ve had the occasion to look for material to complete some small home-improvement projects lately and have turned to a couple of 2×6s that I bought a few months back when a friend loaned me his pickup truck.

The first project was to make a replacement drawer for my NYC apartment. Our kitchen is an original installation from the 1920s and the silverware drawer had finally come apart, so I decided to make a new one. I had a piece of 2×6 that was the perfect length, so I resawed it on the bandsaw and face-jointed it then I planed it to 1/2”. I was very pleasantly surprised with the results.

For our house in the country, we have a screen porch (just screen, no glass). The past few winters, I’ve been applying some of the interior shrink-wrap plastic to the windows. This year, I’m making frames with the shrink-wrap applied within a sandwich of two pieces of pine that are 1.5” wide and about 3/8” thick. I had bought some nice #2 pine at the Borg for this, but didn’t have quite enough to finishe the job. Hmmmm…. What’s 1.5” thick? A few minutes at the bandaw and yielded lots of pieces to complete the job. The cost difference between the 2×6 and the #2 pine is substantial.

Here’s where that investment in the bandsaw ($600), the jointer ($225, a Rikon 6” on closout from Woodcraft!) and my planer ($400) begin to pay off! By 2053, I should be about even!

But seriously, contruction lumber can yield some nice material if chosen correctly and milled properly. Now I’m going to search for a few nice 2×8s…

-- Altruism is, ultimately, self-serving

4 replies so far

View Nomad62's profile


726 posts in 2376 days

#1 posted 01-04-2012 06:21 PM

Good call Bunkie, I do the same thing; there is nothing at all wrong with fir and pine, so long as it hasn’t been spending its life out in the rain. The light colored wood goes well with almost any surrounding, and smells nice when worked with. Glad to see I’m not the only one using it! ;-)

-- Power tools put us ahead of the monkeys

View William's profile


9906 posts in 2260 days

#2 posted 01-04-2012 06:37 PM

I use construction grade wood quite often with great results. My only problem is that the only local place to pick from is Home Depot. They hate me in there. I use 2×12”s often for rockers on some of my rocking toys. To get a suitable one though, I have to dig (and dig and dig sometimes) for one without cracks or just plain ugly spots. After getting them back to my shop though, and running them through the planer to take off just a TINY bit on each side, it really is some beautiful wood.
Also, I never buy finished grade lumber at Home depot. Why would I when I have a planer? The cost difference between finished 1x material and 2x is amazing. I can take one eight foot 2x whatever, and make two 1x pieces of that size for a fraction of what the one piece of finishe grade cost, and it usually looks better.


View Ripthorn's profile


1402 posts in 2403 days

#3 posted 01-04-2012 06:42 PM

I recently built myself a little machinist’s toolbox out of alder with the drawers being made from resawn 2×4. Worked perfectly, and I still had almost half the 2×4 left over, already resawn and planed and ready for another fun little project, whatever it may be.

-- Brian T. - Exact science is not an exact science

View Jim Finn's profile

Jim Finn

2390 posts in 2340 days

#4 posted 01-04-2012 10:57 PM

I use a lot of “culls” from Home Depot. I look for 2×6’s that are 4 feet long. Cost me 51 cents each here. I resaw them and lots of them are very nice looking wood. I used this wood to make the shallow cabinets I have on the walls of my workshop. I have used some for making toys also.

-- "You may have your PHD but I have my GED and my DD 214"

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