Easy Projects Using Off the Shelf Lumber

Things You Can Do With 2x Lumber

I really think 2x lumber is awesome… To me, it seems more economical to buy 2x lumber and rip it down to suit my needs especially ripping 2x4s into 2x2s (I can’t seem to find any that are straight at the home improvement stores where I live) but I also successfully ripped scraps of  2×8 into 1×2 pieces for a project I’m working on.

Today, I’ll share a list of some incredibly cool things you can do with 2x lumber…

Rip them Down to 2x2s

I can’t seem to find 2×2 lumber that isn’t twisted or torn up. When I need a 2×2, I buy 2x4s (for about $2 each) and can make two 2x2s for the same price as buying one plus I know they are not horribly twisted! Its not as easy as just ripping a 2×4 in half, though. Here’s how I do it – I put the 2×4, 1-1/2″ side down up against the blade on Big Daddy (my table saw), then move the rip fence up against the other side of it. This way, the 2x2s will be symmetrical. I make one pass through the saw, then take the larger piece and run it through again. I save the left over piece which measures roughly 1/4″ thick for shims or decorative trim on another project.

Build Barstools

I built some really cool barstools using 2x4s, except for the seat, of course. You can view that post here.

Build Table Legs

My friend, Chris, and his wife, Elizabeth, make posts with 2x4s. They glue two 2x4s together (with the 3-1/2″ faces together) then with the 3-1/2″ face against the table on the table saw, they rip 1/4″ off of each side to make a 3″ x 3″ piece of lumber! I think that is genius! Sure beats the cost of buying the ready-made posts! (Stay tuned because I am currently creating a post on how I used this method to make table legs!)

Build a Coffee Table

My coffee table is mostly comprised of 2x4s. It is a knock-off of a Pottery Barn design that costs $400! I made mine for  about $25! The plans for that table can be found here. I used two 2x4s for the legs and adjusted the measurements.

Rip Them Down Even Further (1x2s)

I used Big Daddy (my table saw) to rip scraps of 2x8s into 1x2s. It was easy and a great way for me to clean up the scrap pile. Please use caution when doing this as the push stick comes very close to the blade.

Build a Platform Bed

I used 2x6s to construct my platform bed, including the feet. I was most impressed with how nicely the finish came out. The lumber was actually “reclaimed” – given to me by my dad who used it as bracing when he constructed a metal building so technically, it didn’t cost hardly anything to build the bed!

Make Curved Table Legs

I bought a 2×6 to cut out curved chair legs for an upcoming project. It cost a whopping $4 and the legs are great!! Woo-hoo!


2x lumber is extremely economical, and can be used for so many more projects! what are your favorite things you can do with 2x lumber? Leave a comment below!

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Originally posted 2012-05-05 08:00:31.