The 2×4 House

This month, woodworkers from around the globe are participating in the now-annual 2×4 Challenge, as organised by Brian Gidney at Summers Woodworking. You’ve probably heard of this or something similar; the brief is to make something using one single length of 4x2in softwood, 8ft long. Entries are beginning to filter through, with the deadline now only a fortnight away. While I’m unable to participate myself this year, I would like to instead share the following video:

Before going too far, the woman’s name is Linn and not Darbin, which is actually the name of her dog and also her business. Her channel is one I’ve only very recently begun to follow after YouTube recommended it to me under their What to Watch page. I’d like to help to raise awareness of her channel because even though some of her videos are less-wood related, it’s distinct that she holds a great skill within the world of working with wood.

If I filter through the seemingly-endless list of channels I’m subscribed to, there are very few of whom I would declare ‘professional’ woodworkers. Please don’t get me wrong. There are some incredibly talented people out there, sharing their content without an asking price. Beside the obvious ones, there just doesn’t seem to be as many professionals sharing their wares and I look forward to seeing Linn’s channel develop.

At some point, I’ll expect you’ll also be able to visit Brian’s website and see a complete list of all video entries to the 2×4 contest. Best of luck to everyone who is taking part and thanks for reading!

You can also find Darbin’s Linn’s blog by clicking here.

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Mobile Planer (Jointer) Base

It may be Sunday night but, there’s reason to be cheerful as I have a second blog post for you and a brand-new video to share with it! 😀 I feel like I’m on something of a high at the moment… Haven’t felt like this in a while so, excuse me if I sound more upbeat than I have done in previous weeks or months.

If you’re interested in building your own mobile machine base from wood, using plenty of glue, screws and coach bolts then, this may well be of interest to you. I didn’t fancy spending £40 on another metal job with only two rotating castors and adjustable feet that constantly need levelling on an uneven floor and, I must say, I’m quite pleased with what I’ve made this weekend.

I apologise for the lack of ‘voice’ towards the end – one day, I’ll buy a microphone and a better video camera to go with it!

It’s only a shame I don’t take any photos on the rare occasion now that I do produce a video. I’ve been thinking about buying a large SD card for too long… All those minutes stood infront of the camera and reshooting scenes leaves no room for finished snaps or progress shots. A spare battery wouldn’t go amiss either!

All comments and thoughts are appreciated, as always.

Thanks for reading and for watching. 🙂

Sawhorse Survivor

Until I recently started finally building a garden gate for my mother [more on that to follow!], which involves working with timbers 7ft or 2.1m long, the folding sawhorses I made last year had spent the past five-months living outside my current home. You see, when I moved in, there was still some work to be done (boxing in, etc.) and I needed something to work on. Even after I finished, I got so used to not tripping over them in my workshop that I decided to leave them outside until I’d made some space inside the workshop… As you can probably guess, that never quite happened!

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Nogging Along

In order to strengthen any floor; to prevent the joists from moving and also to reduce any risk of the floor sagging, it’s important to add at least one series of noggings (note the third, silent G!). In many cases, as with my floor, only one set of noggings down the centreline of the new floor is required. Where a floor covers a greater span though, it may be required that you have an additional two lines of noggings.

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To Treat or Not To Treat?

Last week, I purchased a car boot-full of PAR European redwood (joinery-grade softwood) for a garden gate I’ve been proposing to make for some time. It’s mostly 4x2in (finished at 94x44mm) for the ledge and brace framework with a load of tongue-and-groove (TGV or, sometimes, even TVG!) boards to clad over the front. I also bought two longer lengths of 4x2in to hang and close the gate between the two walls and two lengths of 2x2in to act as stops.

Overall, this gate will be about 2m high and just over 1m wide, between the wall plates. At a total cost of just over £70 inc. VAT and, considering the fact that this is all PAR wood, I think that’s pretty good value. The firm I used to work for would’ve been able to supply a gate like this for around £100, as part of a batch-production with all the jigs and tools to bang one out in half-an-hour… But then, that wouldn’t have included the wall plates or stops that I’ve added, nor any of the galvanised hinges or fittings, which probably cost <£25.

Obviously, as you can see from the above photo; all the timber I’ve bought here has not been treated. More often that not, pressure-treated (tanalised) timber is recommended for any softwood used in an external application – in a previous job batch-producing gates just like this, we also used timber that was pressure-treated before assembly.

Now, while I don’t doubt that the extra preservatives go some way towards prolonging the life of pine when exposed to the elements,  I’m also of the belief that, where the timber isn’t in contact with the ground, it can last just as long (if not longer) with regular care and maintenance. If we design something like a garden gate so that water cannot collect in any areas and simply runs off and away then, I believe that we’re achieving the same goal… That’s why I intend to “treat” this gate with nothing more than Sadolin’s Superdec although, I’ll probably give the end-grain of each component a good soaking in some end-seal (Ensele), particularly the wall plates and stops, which are both in contact with the ground and walls. It may have payed to have bought these components as treated lengths but, that would’ve meant an extra wait and cost, where I still intend to make a few cuts here and there; effectively ‘breaking‘ the seal of the treatment.

So, until the weather warms up just a little and I can bare spending more than thirty-seconds in my workshop again, I’m left with a pile of 2.1m lengths on my workbench in need of some knotting and paint before I can do anything else with them – or without! I now have the money to start sorting out the various problems within my workshop that I’ve been groaning about for months but, with these gate components in the way, I’ve got nowhere to store 3.6m lengths of 7x2in; let alone the 8x4ft sheets of 3in insulation I’ll need to insulate the roof…

Snow isn’t fun when it isn’t thick enough to lend you a couple of days off work! 😛

Thanks for reading.


I was only back in April [see Sawhorse Solution] that I last re-built a new style of saw horse for my workshop! Unfortunately, I never really got along with that idea. It has potential but, it was let down by the cheap Tee-hinges and needed to have timber bracing fixed directly underneath, or else the whole thing could lean to one of three-sides while you’re working – I learned this while trying to  rip down some 12mm MDF sheets, the other week, for my display plinths at the Furnish exhibition!

So, I’ve left my pile of books on the shelf and, this time, I’ve devised my own solution…

Continue reading “Quadra-sawhorse-phenia!”