Introduction: Easy Hexagonal Wood Post From a 2 by 4

Picture of Easy Hexagonal Wood Post From a 2 by 4

Follow these instructions to make a hexagonal post from a 2 by 4.

You need a straight 2 by 4 and a table saw. A planer or jointer will be helpful if you have one.

Step 1: Prepare a Blank

Picture of Prepare a Blank

Cut a 2 by 4 in half or into fourths. Mill the pieces on a planer or jointer to get all four sides flat and square. A table saw will do if you don't have a planer. Rip and/or plane the pieces to a 2-3/4” by 1-3/16” cross section. Be accurate.

If you want a hole down the length of the hexagonal post cut a dado along the middle of two pieces - on the 2-3/4” wide face.
Glue two pieces together. Use Titebond III or another waterproof glue for outside applications. The resulting piece will have a cross section of 2-3/4” by 2-3/8”; with an optional rectangular/square hole down the middle.

Step 2: Cut the Hexagon Shape

Picture of Cut the Hexagon Shape

Set your table saw blade at 30 degrees. Set the angle as accurate as you can. A 30-60-90 degree drafting triangle might help.

Set your table saw fence to 2-1/16" inches.

Make four rip-cuts as shown to slice four triangles off the corners. Be sure to put the wider 2-3/4” face down when making the cuts. Use extreme caution when making these cuts as the wood is no longer fully supported on the bottom for cuts 3 and 4. Also, the triangular cut-offs may be thrown off if caught under the blade - stand out of the way!

Step 3: Finished

Picture of Finished

You are done.

The resulting hexagonal cross section will be 2-3/4" in diameter (D) with each side 1-3/8" long. The glue line will be nicely hidden along two of the edges.

Use for a lamp post, table or bench legs, book shelf supports, baluster, candle holder, turning blank, etc. Or slice off hexagons and assemble into .... whatever!

For other diameters D prepare a rectangular blank of D inches by (0.866 x D) inches, and set the fence to (3/4 x D) inches as shown in the last diagram.

Comments

Marvin2843 (author)2017-12-07

Also A helpful tip is to take the cut off section and tape it back to the post, then you'll have support as you rotate the piece through the cuts.

Marvin2843 (author)2017-12-07

Thanks for this. I was about to build a customized Settlers of Catan board and was trying to figure out how to make the hexagon board pieces uniform size and angles. I'll use this and then just cut the slices I need.

peterp (author)2017-02-13

Hi, if i have a 4 x 4 (3.5 x 3.5) where i want to do this, what is D?

also would i have to rip this down to 3 x3.5?

rschoenm (author)peterp2017-02-13

Hello, for a 4 by 4 I would rather cut it into an octagon like this:
https://www.instructables.com/id/Easiest-way-to-make-octagons-for-wood-turning-NO-/
This leaves you with a little more wood than a hexagonal cross section.

peterp (author)rschoenm2017-02-14

Unfortunately it needs to be a hexagon. I need wider sides so a hex leaves me with roughly 2 inch sides rather than the oct that would leave me with roughly 1.5 inch sides. I think if I cut it down 3 x 3.5 it will work but I'm still a little confused what D is. Any idea or does that make any sense?

rschoenm (author)peterp2017-02-14

The largest regular hexagon (six equal sides) you can get out of a 4 by 4 has sides that are 1.75 inches long; see attached image, right side.

If you don’t mind stretching the hexagon you can get four sides that are about 2 inches long, and two sides that are just short of 1.5 inches; see image, left side. Other six-sided polygons are possible if you don’t need 120 degree angles all around.

To make a regular hexagon from the 4 by 4, the diameter D = 3.5 inches. Start with the blank milled to 3.5 inches by 3.03 inches, then follow the Instructable.

peterp (author)rschoenm2017-02-14

thanks! what software are the pics from?

rschoenm (author)peterp2017-02-14

SketchUp Make

File > Export > 2D Graphic

sullygarden (author)2016-01-21

Made two of these. They look great on my deck.

I used pressure treated 2x4's Going to make lots more.

Deck is 12'x20'.

rschoenm (author)sullygarden2016-01-21

I'm glad its working for you. Let me know how your deck turns out.

BVSGRAO46 (author)2016-01-13

It is very impressive. I have some table tops from IKEA costing $52 purchased for $ 5. This gives me idea for making legs for it. Thanks for sharing.

eberver (author)2016-01-11

That looks like it would make a really nice base for a lamp. I should try making one of these. I have a stained glass lampshade that I think would look really nice with this style base.

Thanks for sharing!

rschoenm (author)eberver2016-01-11

Thanks for your kind words. Let me know how it turns out!

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