2x4 Wusak Woodworker's Ultimate Swiss Army Knife





Introduction: 2x4 Wusak Woodworker's Ultimate Swiss Army Knife

I was born in Switzerland and as boy I was told : "Real boys always have a knife and string in their pocket!" I like pocket knives and collect them. The "SwissChamp"can be considered Victorinox's current masterpiece. Consisting of 8 tool layers containing almost every tool. But still not the ones some Tool-junkies like to use, or just have in their shop. I came up with an idea, but if they like to make it full size you need a pick-up truck, so here is one made out of one regular construction 2x4 , Spruce. 8 ' long. No fasteners.

Step 1: Make a Drawing

Buy a real Swiss Army knife and enlarge it on paper, Make sure, when you draw it up, that all parts will come from the same 2 x 4.

Step 2: Cutting the Boards

Make sure you use a bandsaw, with a tablesaw you waste too much wood,the blade has to be sharp, make yourself a rip-fence and cut the thin pieces to the required thickness, you only sand the surfaces,don't use a thickness planer. again you would waste too much wood. Keep the sawdust, I will tell you later what for.Many pieces are the same thickness, so cut enough right from the start.

Step 3: Glue-up Boards

The thin side boards,the main body of the knife, are still 3 1/2" wide, know you have to joint the edges to get a proper glue joint. sand top and bottom. Cut also the "sticks" to form the round end of the knife body.

Step 4: You Can

A paint-can was just the right size to get an easy glue up job. I used a disc-sander to sand the right angle on the edge of the sticks. You can dry fit the pieces around the paint can and attach them with masking tape, take it away from the can, lay it on a flat surface, the joints are open now, squeeze the glue into the joint and put it around the can again. Keep it in place till cured, also with masking-tape. It's time to start to make the blades,screwdriver, tweezers,awl.

Step 5: Small Machine Parts

When you fabricate small parts, I like to lay out the shape on a piece of wood, maple works very well, birch plywood or any other is OK also. It is done with a lay-out knife, that way you can get also the dimension from the lay-out, (wood patternmaker for foundries have to lay out all their parts on wood with the info. taken from a Engineering's drawing) Turn the small round parts on a lathe, many have to fit into pre-drilled holes and some have a press-fit, others a touch loose, like the one on the bandsaw table blade-insert. ( check the finished bandsaw). Lathe turned parts can be finished on the lathe with friction polish.

Step 6: Fretsaw

Many parts will be cut with a fretsaw, watch for the direction of the grain to get the strongest piece.

Step 7: Lathe

The parts are glued together of the lathe, I used CRAZY glue on some joints, otherwise I would still be putting things together. Sometimes I was very attached to this "job", but some remover set me free. Those small parts are not easy to be glued up with carpenters glue, one can hardly keep them in place.

Step 8: Bandsaw

The CA glue comes in handy, because you have to work with small thin pieces. I made the drawing 1:1 and so you can fit the pieces unto the lay-out.The shaft (pins) for the wheels are turned and are slightly smaller than the the hole in the wheel, one wants to see the wheel turning, at least you do not have to make ball bearings.The flat small parts can be sanded on a home made thickness sander.

Step 9: Bandsaw With Exposed Wheel

Here we see the bandsaw,BUT do not operate it with the door removed and the blade-guard was only removed for instructional purposes . We are only using a string for a blade, one could get a "stringburn" , use safety glasses, the whole bandsaw could flip into your eye, that would be more than a " beam in your own eye."

Step 10: The Body

The body or it could be called Jewellery box is taking form, just like a puzzle build it up one little piece at the time.Don't give up the spraying will be lot of fun. I did not use nails or any fastener, but it is up to you, if you like to be purist one two by four only., glue and some finishing product.

Step 11: Spraying Time

If you have a spray gun, use it, water based lacquer works well, makes it so easy to clean up, but still use a mask, not just a dust mask and gloves. Small parts are best hung on wires or put on sticks and supported on a board. This way you can pick them up one by one and spray them.

Step 12: Sprayed

The inside is sprayed before you completely assemble the knife body. Start getting the blades and other parts into the knife, mounted on pins and the sides will be glued together. Then you can paint it on the outside. I still like to tell you what happens with the sawdust, build a wooden form in the shape of a SWISS cheese. Mix some old yellow glue, looks best, with all your sawdust and push it against the mould, which you have oiled a bit, this way you can remove it again when it is backed or should we say, dry. Put it in a oven, just warm, you don't want raclette , cheese fondue or some strange looking, you know what. Be nice to your spouse and clean the oven after you are finished baking.

Step 13: Materials

We start out with a dry ,straight , hopefully knot free , hard to find 2 x 4. ( BTW The lathe and the bandsaw fit inside the knife body) If you just have a Swiss pocket knife, that's a good start. Now you have to convince your spouse that you need some tools. She or he might end up with a Jewellery box or maybe just a breadbox, but anyway here is the list.

1. Swiss knife 2. Pencil , eraser 3. Sandpaper

4. Bandsaw 5. Discsander 6. Drillpress

7. Drill bits 8. Lathe 9. Scrollsaw 10. Lathe chisels

11. lot of time, maybe 180 hrs.

Most of all have fun, fun and an understanding Spouse.



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Wow, you clearly put a lot of dedicated work into this project. Well done. It looks amazing, too.

1 reply

Thanks for you kind remarks

Impressive is an understatement. Obviously, you possess great focus and an ability to tolerate and tend to details.

Great job.

1 reply

Thank you Kelly, I like to work in details, some call me crazy, in a good and funny way.



1 reply

Thank you Jack, I guess you will be coming up to Whistler ,yes, give us a call.

Speaking as someone who has seen these projects up close I can honestly say that the photos do not do justice to the skill and craftsmanship that goes into everything Marco makes. He has several other 2x4 Challenge projects not shown here and all of them just as awesome. Marco is also a very talented and accomplished woodturner and I would love to see him publish Instructables on some of his many unique woodturning projects.

1 reply

Thanks Steve, only a fellow woodworker whose very talented himself can give kind remarks like this.

This is amazing! Ein Video wäre toll! Schöne Grüsse aus Österreich.

3 replies

Danke Stephan, ja ein video waehre schoen. Ich machte ein video von einem anderen 2x4 challenge Stueck, ein Marble- Maze, aber nur wie es langsam zusammen kommt,Stueck bei Stueck eine Art, "ohne Haende", wie auf Swiss " do isch es!"

Thanks Stephan, a video would be nice.I made one from another 2 x 4 challenge creation, a marble-maze, but only a stop-frame one, where every piece clicks together, one by one as in "there it is"

These are incredible. If these are for the 2x4 contest I hope you win. Anazing

1 reply

Thanks Zjnolan, for your kind words. It is for the 2x4 contest

This one of the most impressive things I've seen in a long time. I love the bandsaw and lathe especially . . . those alone are incredible!!

Beautiful work, thank you for sharing your talents here. I hope we see more from you very soon :)

1 reply

Thanks Seamster, I don't know what to say, thanks for the compliments.My wife encouraged me to put my work into the challenge.