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.


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:
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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