Wooden Link Chain From a Solid 2x4

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About: Hi I'm Kriss! I’m a 20-something that likes to build tools, jigs, and other random contraptions with wood.

Decided to try making a wooden chain from a solid piece of wood (specifically, 2x4). It turned out pretty neat!

Expect elaborate router table jigs ahead. You've been warned.

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Step 1: Surface Preparation

Starting with a 2 foot section of 2x4.

Construction grade lumber is quite rough, but that's nothing the orbital sander can't fix!

Step 2: Cut a Square Section Out of the 2x4

Just two cuts with the track saw.

Actual dimensions of the resulting part are 1.5" x 1.5" (and 2 feet long)

Step 3: Make a "Plus" Shape

Requires a total of 8 cuts at partial depth (2 on each of the 4 sides). This would be easier on a table saw, but I don't have one.

Since the track saw cuts aren't end-to-end, I cut the ends off at the mitre saw to release the shape.

Step 4: Clean Up the Inside Edges

A router plane cleans up the "plus" shape, accompanied by a little sanding.

Step 5: Routing: Part 1

Cut vertical slots at even spacing, and alternating sides.

This required quite the router table setup to safely make the cuts.

Step 6: Routing: Part 2

Make symmetric cutouts around each vertical slot from the previous step.

Step 7: Drill to Separate the Chain Links

Drill holes through the remaining connections so the links can be separated.

Step 8: IT'S ALIVE!

The chain is beginning to take shape...

Step 9: Cut Off the Extraneous Bits

A fret saw is used to trim away what's left of the connecting material, the parts drilling couldn't remove.

Step 10: Sand to Your Heart's Content

Round the corners, chamfer the edges.

Now I could spend hours playing with this thing... Thanks for reading :)

Step 11: Video

Here's my video the build :)

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    2 Discussions

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    riddus

    3 years ago

    Your next challenge should be to use nothin but a pocket knife

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    dbess

    3 years ago

    I had one from a neighbor when I was a child he had made from a piece of mahogany that looked like real chain links it was beautiful.. wonder if my sister still has it ..