4x4" posts - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 26 Old 07-08-2013, 05:13 PM Thread Starter
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4x4" posts

I'm new to the site and new to the wood working world. This hobby has become way more than I thought it would be. Lots to learn. Anyway, I'm looking to build a custom computer workstation and was looking into the wood types I might need. I was thinking I would be able to find 4x4 inch oak posts. Turns out...not an easy task. I was reading a post from somebody on another site and they suggester joining 4 oak boards with 45 degree angles to make a post (or box for that matter). Any suggestions?

If this is the best way about building these posts, will they be able to support the hustle and bustle of a stand-up computer desk?

-Longhorn
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post #2 of 26 Old 07-08-2013, 06:01 PM
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this place has what you are looking for but i think it would be much cheaper to glue up the legs.

http://www.osbornewood.com/square-turning-blanks.cfm
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post #3 of 26 Old 07-08-2013, 06:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Longhorn
I'm new to the site and new to the wood working world. This hobby has become way more than I thought it would be. Lots to learn. Anyway, I'm looking to build a custom computer workstation and was looking into the wood types I might need. I was thinking I would be able to find 4x4 inch oak posts. Turns out...not an easy task. I was reading a post from somebody on another site and they suggester joining 4 oak boards with 45 degree angles to make a post (or box for that matter). Any suggestions?

If this is the best way about building these posts, will they be able to support the hustle and bustle of a stand-up computer desk?

-Longhorn
Do you a a picture of your design? Four by four oak post for a computer work stations seem very large. If you post your design I'm sure some folks can help refine it and may save you some cost on materials. Just a thought.
Tom
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post #4 of 26 Old 07-09-2013, 12:41 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TomC View Post
Do you a a picture of your design? Four by four oak post for a computer work stations seem very large. If you post your design I'm sure some folks can help refine it and may save you some cost on materials. Just a thought.
Tom
Thanks for your response Tom. I don't have a picture for the computer desk I'm looking to do. It's a mental design at the moment. I want to build it with 4x4 legs because it's going to be a stand-up computer desk. Just want to give it a sturdy/stout look. I'm also looking to build out a coffee table (image attached) and it has what seems to be 3x3 legs. I'm also not having any luck finding 3x3 oak legs. Any ideas?
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post #5 of 26 Old 07-09-2013, 02:32 PM
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post #6 of 26 Old 07-11-2013, 09:57 PM
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Check out your local home store. Where I am, Menards has 4x4 oak, 2x4 oak, etc. You could also buy oak newel posts at your local building material supplier. They can usually be found in 3x3 up to 54" long or so. They aren't cheap, but if you don't want to glue up your own, they are fast and easy.
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post #7 of 26 Old 07-30-2013, 10:36 AM
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If you're not overly concerned about seams, quarter sawn faces etc, I'd glue up my own 4x4s and mill them down to size.

I believe real pros would cut four matching 1/4 inch thick quarter sawn faces, bevel the long outer edge and wrap and glue them around a center blank that could be made out of inexpensive wood. Basically they're show fronts, paneling really, on all four sides that hide the edges on the corners of the posts.

If you don't know what I mean about quarter sawn your picture shows an example. See how the left leg is more towards the quarter sawn look, has a nicer grain pattern, than the leg on the right, which is a grain pattern from the less expensive flat sawn type board. Unlike you and me, real furniture makers would never show flat sawn surfaces on a fine piece of furniture. :)
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post #8 of 26 Old 07-30-2013, 10:42 AM
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Ii would not use 4x4 wood regardless for what you want to do.

If you just have to have something that looks that massive then glue up out of 1x4 material. Cheaper and lighter to move around. The legs would be hollow, not laminated.

George
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post #9 of 26 Old 07-31-2013, 10:23 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by msbeal View Post
If you're not overly concerned about seams, quarter sawn faces etc, I'd glue up my own 4x4s and mill them down to size.

I believe real pros would cut four matching 1/4 inch thick quarter sawn faces, bevel the long outer edge and wrap and glue them around a center blank that could be made out of inexpensive wood. Basically they're show fronts, paneling really, on all four sides that hide the edges on the corners of the posts.

If you don't know what I mean about quarter sawn your picture shows an example. See how the left leg is more towards the quarter sawn look, has a nicer grain pattern, than the leg on the right, which is a grain pattern from the less expensive flat sawn type board. Unlike you and me, real furniture makers would never show flat sawn surfaces on a fine piece of furniture. :)
Thank you for your response! You know, I never noticed the legs on that piece of furniture--after reading your post and after watching a video on youtube about quarter sawn vs. flat sawn wood, it's amazing to think that a so-called reputable and not-so-cheap place like Pottery Barn would sell something like that. Crazy! I love this site, you learn something new every day!! Thanks again!
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post #10 of 26 Old 07-31-2013, 10:24 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by GeorgeC View Post
Ii would not use 4x4 wood regardless for what you want to do.

If you just have to have something that looks that massive then glue up out of 1x4 material. Cheaper and lighter to move around. The legs would be hollow, not laminated.

George
How would you glue up something like this? What kind of glue would you use?
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post #11 of 26 Old 08-02-2013, 12:51 AM
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I am in the middle of a bed build for my daughter and am making 4" x 4" posts by using a lock miter bit and 4/4 maple. The posts are hollow but they are massive and still quite heavy. Here's a photo of part if the footboard:


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The joint is very strong. The miter bit is made by Freud and provides a lot of glueing surface. I settled on this method after getting a lot of great advice from this forum.
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post #12 of 26 Old 08-02-2013, 07:07 AM
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Longhorn, Masterjr has a good example. You do not have to use the lock miter bit, a plain 45 degree miter will also work. The lock miter is just a better joint.

You can also use 3/4" thick material to save weight.

Use regular TiteBond II blue.

George
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post #13 of 26 Old 08-02-2013, 08:31 AM
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4x4 post

I'm impressed Masterjr. I tried that router bit long before I owned a planer and could not for the life of me get it to align properly. I surmised you have to have some pretty straight and square wood. Although I found some youtube examples it just wasn't happening for me. Some day maybe I'll revisit it.

You say those are only 4x4s? They look massive in the picture.
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post #14 of 26 Old 08-02-2013, 10:27 AM Thread Starter
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Nice work Masterjer! I'm going to look into doing just that.

Thanks for the recommendations GeorgeC! So glue and clamps should do the trick right? How about nails or screws along with the glue?

-Longhorn
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post #15 of 26 Old 08-02-2013, 02:40 PM
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Yes, the posts are only 4x4, and they don't quite align perfectly. I found some really good setup tips for the bit after I made these posts. I plan on rounding over the mitered edge so I wasn't after a perfect miter joint, just one that was good enough for my round over bit fix the edges.

I used 3/4 stock and wanted the extra glue surface. I'm going to glue a cap onto the hollow end and then extend an octagonally tapered post above that, so I wanted the square post to be very sturdy and not separate when forces from the long post above are transferred down.

The lock miter bit was great for holding everything in place for the glue up. I can only imagine how much shifting the pieces would do while applying clamps with only a straight miter cut.
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post #16 of 26 Old 08-02-2013, 09:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Masterjer View Post

The lock miter bit was great for holding everything in place for the glue up. I can only imagine how much shifting the pieces would do while applying clamps with only a straight miter cut.
The lock miter bit.... woe to me.. I spent the better part of the morning one day futsing with one. I still have it and when I have a more precise router table setup, I may play with it again, but until then an alternative would be packing tape. Lay all the pieces with their mitered edges touching, glue and then roll it up using the packing tape as a clamp.
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post #17 of 26 Old 08-03-2013, 03:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chopnhack

The lock miter bit.... woe to me.. I spent the better part of the morning one day futsing with one. I still have it and when I have a more precise router table setup, I may play with it again, but until then an alternative would be packing tape. Lay all the pieces with their mitered edges touching, glue and then roll it up using the packing tape as a clamp.
I recently read a very good setup technique. To set bit height first, get it close then make a test cut. From your test board, cut off a section of it, flip it over and see if the two pieces line up. If not, Adjust the bit height until they line up. Repeat the procedure with fence position until you get the fence just right. Now you're good to go, and make a setup block.

The setup block will only work for the same thickness of stock though.
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post #18 of 26 Old 08-03-2013, 07:54 AM
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Originally Posted by Longhorn View Post
Nice work Masterjer! I'm going to look into doing just that.

Thanks for the recommendations GeorgeC! So glue and clamps should do the trick right? How about nails or screws along with the glue?

-Longhorn
NO nails and NO screws. NOT necessary.

G
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post #19 of 26 Old 08-07-2013, 01:39 PM
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If you're still wanting to use 4x4 oak, and you want to get it cheap / free you might be in luck. I was able to get several solid oak pallets from a company that makes AC ducts. The rolls of aluminum come on these pallets and I was able to get several of them for free. As a result, I was able to get 10' 4x4 oak posts and several usable 1" oak boards.

As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord!
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post #20 of 26 Old 08-07-2013, 05:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Masterjer View Post
I recently read a very good setup technique. To set bit height first, get it close then make a test cut. From your test board, cut off a section of it, flip it over and see if the two pieces line up. If not, Adjust the bit height until they line up. Repeat the procedure with fence position until you get the fence just right. Now you're good to go, and make a setup block.

The setup block will only work for the same thickness of stock though.
Here is a tutorial for setting up a lock miter bit
http://valfortools.com/how-to-set-up-a-lock-miter-bit/

It came from here
http://www.google.co.nz/search?sourc...lock+miter+bit


Disclamer ;
I have never used a lock miter bit meself .
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