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How To: Cut a 2x4 in Half

By Designs by Studio C on Jun 17, 2012

I like to use 2×2 lumber in a lot of the furniture I build. Where I live, I have a hard time finding 2x2s that are not twisted or bowed, and are in usable shape not cracked to pieces!

I find it is much more economical to buy 2x4s and rip them in half. I just bought several 2x4s today for $2.67 each with the purpose of ripping them in two. I touched on this method in a previous post “Things You Can Do With 2x Lumber” .

There are two ways to do this and today, I share my methods for just simply ripping a 2×4 in half (it will still have two rounded edges) and for ripping the 2×4 so that all four edges are square.


  • 2x4s
  • Measuring Tape
  • Table Saw

Let’s get started!

Please use all standard safety precautions. The instructions I offer here are just that – my methods for creating usable material to build useful things. I am not responsible if the project fails or if someone gets hurt especially if safety was not involved!

With that being said, set up the table saw to rip the 2x4s. Set the rip fence and raise the blade to rip 1-1/2″ material.



I lay the 2×4 with the 1-1/2″ edge on the table and move the rip fence over until it is touching the side of the board. This way, the 2×4 should be the same measurement on all sides. I turn the saw on and run the 2×4 through.


Notice that one piece is larger than the other. Take the larger piece and run it through the saw without adjusting the fence.


Now there are two 2×2 pieces and one 1/4″ x 1-1/2″ strip. I like to save the 1/4″ pieces for shims or cut them down to use as sticks to stir paint and stain.

To rip a 2×4 so that all  edges are square, set the rip fence for 3-3/8″ from the blade.

Run the 2×4 through the saw.

Now, lay the 1-1/2″ edge on the table and move the fence to touch the other side of the board.


Run the board through the saw with the rounded edge touching the fence.

Take the larger piece and run it through the saw with the rounded edge at the saw blade. This edge will be trimmed away and you will be left with two square 2x2s!

This same method can be used with 2×6 material which, of course, results in three 2x2s per board! I also use it for ripping 1×6 material into 1×3. It save a bit anyway – for more lumber! Awesome!

Until next time,

Happy Creating!

** As a side note, I have to use extra caution using Big Daddy… He has six new roommates!



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