THE ANNUAL 2X4 CONTEST
All from a single construction grade 2x4!
Last year’s 2x4 contest winner, Rob Sandow, undertook the task of organizing this year’s annual 2x4 contest. The rules were simple; make a project using a single construction grade 2x4. He collected the entries from the contestants and posted them so everyone could vote for their favorite in each category, turned and non-turned.
The contestants in the turned category were Ron Sardo (turned bowl), Wally Dickerman (hollow vessel), and Mark Kauder (red vase).
The contestants in the non-turned category were Wolf Kiessling (bear), Pete Lamberty (shaker boxes), Sonja Lemon (pine box), and Darrell LaRue (table).
The winners in each category would receive a stylish WoodCentral T-shirt, courtesy of Ellis, with the overall grand prizewinner receiving a Knight Toolworks smoothing plane, courtesy of Steve Knight.
On Saturday, October 25, the initial voting began and ran for one week. On Sunday, November 2, Rob tallied the votes and announced Mark Kauder’s red vase as the winner from the turned category and Darrell LaRue’s table as the winner from the non-turned category. There was one more week of voting to determine the overall grand prizewinner.
On Sunday, November 9, Rob announced the results of the final vote. The voting was incredibly close, with only two votes separating the two finalists. This year’s grand prizewinner was Darrell LaRue and his ingenious drop leaf table.
Here are this year’s 2x4 contest entries. Congratulations to all of the contestants. Your work proves what a little imagination and even more skill can do when challenged and provides all of us with the inspiration to keep challenging our own abilities!
Ron Sardo turned this bowl. The top of the bowl measures 8-1/2" and the bottom is 5-1/2". The bulge adds about an inch (9-1/2"). The finish is shellac and wax.
Wally Dickerman turned this segmented hollow vessel using 15 inches of a Douglas fir 2x4. It contains 26 segments and measures 4 inches in diameter by 4 ˝ inches high. The walls are 1/16-inch thick.
I then used a black PrismaColor marker to color my pattern. Next, I painted the entire vase with a couple of layers of clear lacquer. I have never used lacquer with my bowls before. I then masked off the design ring and shot the top and bottom with lacquer tinted with Red TransTint dye. I then shot the whole thing with clear lacquer.
Mark Kauder turned this vase, which measures 10" in diameter and about 9" tall, with a 3/8" wall thickness. I sanded the wood to 800 grit. Then, I tried a couple of things that I have never done before. I cut five grooves to define the design band, and then used a wire to friction burn those grooves. I then used a carving v-tool to carve between each segment. The burning and the carving made the design band stand out.
Wolf Kiessling carved this bear from a 4.5" x 3.5" block of wood that was created by gluing up three 12" lengths of the 2x4. The plant stand itself was fashioned from the remaining five-foot piece. The bear was finished using acrylics while the stand itself was scorched with a propane torch, wire brushed and finished with several coats of Polycrylic.
Pete Lamberty made this set of five Shaker boxes. They range in size from a number one to a number five. I started out by looking for a 2x4 that appeared to be the quarter-sawn portion of the log. I sliced the 2x4 to about 1/10 of an inch thick for the sides of the boxes and 1/4 inch thick for the tops and bottoms. I made the boxes the way that John Wilson teaches. I used milk paint for the finish and sanded the finish to achieve an old look.
Sonja Lemon made this box, which is12" x 8.5" x 5". The wood is 1/2" thick Douglas fir except for the bottom, which is 1/4" thick.
All parts were prefinished before assembly. The finish is rubbed-out blond shellac. The tools used include a table saw and mini rail and stile bits mounted in the router table (special fixtures were used while routing the small parts). The joinery consists of mitered corners, and the bottom fits into a rabbet. (The insert is just shoved in and unfinished. I plan to line the box later.)
Darrell LaRue got the idea for his table from The Woodwright's Shop: Episode 2310, “The Turning Triangle Table”. The three leaves rise to make a full circle when you turn the top of this colonial revival triangular table.
That sounded like a challenge! I can guess what the table looks like, and how it functions, but how do I get enough stock out of a 2x4 to make the table? If the top is not large enough, this won't look like anything. I could build it as a scale model, but that kind of defeats the purpose, doesn't it. So, I need three legs, three stretchers, a pivot support, and the top. I wanted a reasonably large top about 18 inches in diameter too.
I decided to reduce this to kindergarten level. I started by laying out the required stock on a sheet of graph paper, and then cut out a strip of graph paper scaled to the size of a 2x4 and began to snip it into little pieces. Actually, I cut a whole sheet of graph paper into strips. As I snipped up the paper 2x4's I laid the pieces on the diagram. The plan was to find a way to cover the entire diagram, which would mean that I had solved the puzzle.
After a bunch of iterations I found what I thought was the solution. It was really stretching that 2x4 to its limits but it would work. In the end, the leaves dropped when rotating the top, and I guess that was the whole point!
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