WT 393- A 2×4 isn’t 2×4?!

On today’s show we’re talking about fixing a blued gouge, material for shop cabinets, and glueing up a big butcher block countertop.

And today’s show is sponsored by Brusso Hardware! Be sure to check out Brusso’s Photo Extra newsletter. It’s is a weekly update from Brusso, dedicated to customer-submitted photos. Brusso’s customers work on detailed projects including ring boxes, humidors, keep sakes, gun boxes, and furniture. It’s an excellent source of inspiration for your next project. The newsletter is short, quick, has great photos, and is delivered right to your inbox. To sign up visit Brusso.com/photoextra

What’s On the Bench

  • Shannon took some Hand Tool School students on a custom tour of the Winterthur museum
  • Marc is working on his 5 chair build and will be for a LONG time
  • Matt had an open house to get rid of some of his lumber

What’s New

  • Andy Klein’s custom barn door hardware.
  • Leigh shared a steam powered sawmill video
  • James shared a lumber mill board game, Lignum
  • Geek Chic has closed


  • Bob isn’t worried about food safe finishes because he grew up on lead based paint
  • Joe shared a few upholstery projects from the New Yankee Workshop: the Cigar Chair and the Tufted Ottoman
  • William wants to understand our thought process for getting rid of Shannon and bringing on Bob

Lumber News

Home Depot and Menards are both being sued for posting nominal instead of actual sizes on their lumber


  • Barry needs some advice on making small tray joints for many different trays
  • Patty wants to know if old, highly seasoned lumber is still subject to movement concerns
  • Chris is looking for some mid range wooden plane options
  • Colin is a heavy sweater and wants to know if his sweat will affect his finish
  • Dan wonders if thicker stock than 1/4″ can be used for drawer bottoms
  • Joseph called in about the 2×4 lawsuit mentioned in the Lumber New segment


  • Alex wonders about using higher quality sheet goods in shop cabinets
  • Phil is making a massive butcher block top for his kitchen and wonders about staggering the joints to get the length he needs
  • Matt blued his bowl gouge at the grinder and wants to know how to fix it.

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5 replies on “WT 393- A 2×4 isn’t 2×4?!”

Regarding Alex’s question about sheet goods, I suspect the $30 pine “cabinet grade” Chinese plywood he’s talking about is the same 3/4″ (actual dimension .707 ” – wait . . . another lawsuit?) that I’ve been buying at the big orange box store. If so, I would be wary of the following.

First, like much bigbox plywood it potato-chips badly upon leaving the store so use it ASAP. Once its glued into boxes its fairly stable.

Second the outer veneer thickness is best measured with an electron microscope. Don’t even think of sanding it unless you like red, the color of the adhesive used.

Last, buy plenty of it because many rip and crosscuts expose massive inclusions of chips, sawdust and other crap that render the pieces usable only for firewood.

Once you’re familiar with its shortcomings and how to deal with it, you can build acceptable shop cabinets with it. I’ve built an entire garage shop setup with it, including a shortened version of Jay Bates’ mitersaw station, but I plan to paint it when I’m done. It stains poorly, and I wouldn’t dream of passing this crap off as first-class cabinet material.

Proving again, you get what you pay for.

Hi Guys. Just found your podcast and have been catching up a little. Sorry, but there is no way I am starting at #1, but I will listen to it at some point.

Anyway, as I was sketching up my latest little project I was listening to safety things you guys don’t do (ep.311?) and was reminded of the one and only time in 35 years of using table saws that I was hit by a piece of kick-back caused by not pushing the wood through the cut on the fence side of the blade. I very clearly remember KNOWING I was doing a dangerous thing, WATCHING the moment where that little piece of 3/4″ x 4″ x 5″ pine was binding up, and realizing that I was VERY lucky to have been hit in the sternum and not in the forehead. It took a year and half for that to quit hurting at least a little bit.

For the record, I still occasionally use the fence to set up crosscut measurement, but usually back the fence off before I cut through, and Always push the cutoff past the blade. I am not afraid to push the limits of what my tools can do, but It was a good reminder that things can go bad in a real hurry and exercising a little caution and common sense can be the difference between “wow, that really worked” and “how do you spell 911?”

Thanks for the show and keep up the wood work!

I know a little bit about sweating in the shop – I do all of my work in an unconditioned garage in south Texas… it’s hot. Here are several tricks to combat the sweat:

1) Headband (as already mentioned) – I like the Halo products (usually for cycling).
2) Remove non-essential clothing – short shorts have their place in this world.
3) Air speed contributes to comfort level – aim a huge fan at yourself.

The fan is the one item that really makes it possible for me to get anything done. It’s still very hot in my shop, but at least the sweat will try to evaporate.

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