Introduction: 2x4 Airplane

Assemble a model of a commercial airplane using only two 2x4's


-Two 2x4

-wood putty

-Any stain

-Any polyacrylic

-Wood glue/hot glue

Step 1: Step 1: Fuselage

Cut two 41” pieces from one 2x4. These, when sanded, will become the fuselage. Sketch a semicircle at the end of each piece, such that each piece will form a long cylinder when joined. With the outline for the cylindrical shape of the fuselage sketched out, begin sanding the two 41” pieces as needed. To make this process easier, it may be necessary to cut a 45° section off from either side of the two pieces. Be sure not to cut off any amount that will detract from the size of the cylinder.

Step 2: Step 2: Sanding the Fuselage

Begin sanding the two pieces in order to (a) smooth all sharp edges and (b) form a semicircle.

Step 3: Step 3: Connecting Both Sides of Fuselage

Join the two pieces using wood glue. Be sure to apply clamps to the pieces, preferably at each end and the center. Allow the glue to cure for one day.

Once the two pieces are adhered together, sand off any overhanging wood to ensure a more smooth fuselage. Sand one end of the fuselage to create a spherical shape. This end will become the nose, and it is advised that the sphere extend to roughly 3” from the nose itself. At the other end, sand the fuselage to create a more triangular shape. This end will become the tail end of the airplane.

Step 4: Step 4: Wings

Step 5: Step 4: Pt.1 Wings

With the same 2x4 used for the construction of the empennage, cut two 16” pieces. These will be the wings.

Using a planer, shorten the width of the two pieces to 1”. At one end of either piece, make a 30° line stretching from the edge of one side to the opposite side.

Step 6: Step 4:Pt. 2 Wings

Mark a point 3” from the edge of the shortest side. Mark another point at the opposite end of the wing midway between each side (1.75”). Draw a line connecting the two points, and cut along this line in order to give the wing a more triangular shape. Save the two pieces cut from the wings for step 5.

Step 7: Step 4:Pt. 3 Wings

On the cut off section with the longest side, mark two points. On the side with a downward slope in the profile of a right triangle, mark a point 2.5” away from the edge. On the other side, mark a point 3” away. Draw a line connecting the two points, and cut along the line.

Line up the pieces and wood glue them together.

Step 8: Step 4:Pt. 4

On another section of a 2x4 planed to a width of 1”, draw a rectangle with side lengths of 2” and 3”. Then, draw a diagonal line that bisects the rectangle. Cut along each of these lines in order to create two triangular pieces. From this point, sand down the longer side of triangular pieces to create a hypotenuse of 3”, as shown. The triangular portion should still maintain its general shape, and should keep the profile of a right triangle. Attach each piece to the wing.

Step 9: Step 4:Pt. 5 Wings

Wood glue all the pieces together.

Step 10: Step 4:Pt. 6 Wings

Using a saw, cut a 45° angle on each of the wings in order to make attachment to the fuselage simpler. It is important to note that each wing must be cut individually in order to ensure that, when attached to the fuselage, they are in a proper appearance. It is recommended that the wing placement be visualized in order to make appropriate 45° cuts.

*Picture does not show 45° angle*

Step 11: Step 5:Pt. 1 Empennage

Cut two 7” sections from the second 2x4. Split each of these sections in half to create 4 rectangles. The first two rectangles will become the horizontal stabilizer, the next one will be the vertical stabilizer, and the final piece will be saved for a later part.

Horizontal Stabilizer: With two of the rectangles, mark one point midway between the width of one end, and mark another point 2” up from the edge of the opposite side. Draw a line connecting these points, and cut off this section of the rectangle. This will create a shape resembling the combination of a triangle and a rectangle.

Step 12: Step 5:Pt. 2 Empennage

Vertical Stabilizer: With another rectangle, mark a point midway between the width of one end, and mark another point 3” up from the edge of the opposite side. Draw a line connecting these points, and cut off this section of the rectangle. Use the wood recently cut off from this rectangle to create an extension of the angle formed by the cut. The simplest way of doing this is to cut off the top-most 3” of the excess wood and use adhesive to connect it to the larger piece. If the wood is unevenly placed, it will be necessary to sand the section in order to compensate.Upon completion of each of the three tail section pieces, sand the all of the edges in order to create an airfoil. In other words, each edge will be rounded off through sanding, but the side facing the front of the plane will be thicker than the opposite side.

Measure a point 4.5” away from the rear of the fuselage’s centermost section on either side. At each of these points, line up the rear portion of the two horizontal stabilizer sections in a manner that places them parallel to the ground. Attach the two pieces to the fuselage using wood glue, and let the adhesive cure for about one day. To support the two pieces, it may be necessary to place an object of an appropriate height below them. Measure a point 3.5” away from the rear of the fuselage’s top, and use this to line up the rear of the vertical stabilizer. The front portion of the vertical stabilizer should be placed in a way that puts it in line with the direction of the two horizontal stabilizers. Attach the vertical stabilizer using wood glue, and allow it to cure for about one day.

Step 13: Step 6: Engines

On a piece of excess 2x4, create two rectangular prisms with a length of 4”, and a width and height of 1.5”. Use a sander to curve the edges into a cylindrical shape.
Using the 0.5” wide piece saved from the empennage assembly, sketch out a rectangle that includes an adjacent right triangle on one side. The height of the rectangle will be 1cm, and the length of the leg necessary to create the adjacent triangle will be 2cm. The overall length of the object will be about 3”. Glue the two pieces together with wood glue or hot glue. Make sure to leave about 0.5” of clearance on either side of the top, and have the shortest part from the piece in part 2 facing upward. Once the two parts are adhered to each other, place one under each wing with the angled part facing forward. Each engine should be about 4” away from the fuselage.

Step 14: Step 7: Supports

Using the excess 2x4 sections, cut two 5” pieces.

On each piece, sketch a 3” diameter semicircle. Use this sketch to cut out the semicircle. Place each support stand under the fuselage of the plane. It is recommended that one is placed in front of the wings, and another is placed behind the wings.

Step 15: Step 8: Stain

Stain with whatever stain you desire as a base.

Step 16: Step 9: Poly Acrylic With Mahogany Stain

Spray on poly acrylic with mahogany stain mixed in it.