Adventures in 2×4 Furniture

Anything worth doing, is worth overdoing. I have a roofing/trim project coming up and need some sawhorses. They would make nice sofa tables for a faux industrial interior, even better when they have a few dings and paint spatters.

Sawhorse Flat


My own dear son asked why I’d spend so much time on sawhorses?


The through tenon and lap joints are a challenge. The wedge shape is cut with handsaws, a crosscut backsaw and my dovetail saw which is set to rip with the grain.

Legs splayed at 10° in two directions. You could park are car on these!

Sawhorse in Progress

The dog holes are 3/4″, drilled on the drill press and routed with a chamfer bit. I’m not a total Luddite, hand tool purist.

Mortise Detail with Doghole

End Grain Quartersawn

Examples of quarter sawn 2×4 lumber. Note the difference in annual rings. The bottom board grew 3 or 4 times faster, but there doesn’t seem to be a big difference in strength. I shop often and keep the boards around for a few weeks to acclimate.

Maybe someone knows, what are the odds of getting cypress at the home center? The center board (with dog holes) and the legs are made from two fairly pristine 2×6’s. If it’s not cypress, it sure is similar. Slightly oily and tight grained.




OKAY! I’m back… In search of the perfect 2×4.

2x4 quartersawn

For the past year or two, I’ve been building work tables using construction grade lumber. It’s become another obsession, searching the thousands of crap boards at Home Depot and Lowes. So, at the risk of creating competition for these rare gems – this is what I look for. You can look through every stack in the entire store and you’re lucky to find one quarter sawn 2×4 (2×6, 2×8, etc.).

Does anyone else do this?

I’ll post more on perfect 2x4s and the things I’ve built – SOON.