Build a Bucket Sawhorse

Take advantage of a cheap and easily made work area by building this sawhorse from 5-gallon buckets.


The buckets' plastic has the advantage of being easy to cut with the proper tools.

Photo courtesy Voyageur Press

Content Tools

Five-gallon buckets are ubiquitous and cheap. But did you know they can also be hacked, hod-rodded, reengineered, and upcycled to create dozens of useful DIY project for homeowners, gardeners, small-scale farmers and preppers? The 5-Gallon Bucket Book (Voyageur Press, 2015) contains over 60 ideas that help keep these buckets from ending up in landfills. With simple step-by-step instructions as well as parts lists and images of the completed projects, this book makes certain that you'll have fun and love the results.

You can purchase this book from the MOTHER EARTH NEWS store: The Five-Gallon Bucket Book.


Sawhorses are super-handy workshop helpers, adaptable to just about any time you need a work surface right now, right here. This design is better than most because the ”legs” are added storage, helping you lug whatever you need to the job site. Those legs also add a work surface at the end of each crossbeam, making this sawhorse even more useful. Make as many multiples of this design as you might need for a given worksite — they’re easy, quick, and inexpensive.

What You'll Need


• Sharpie
• Cordless drill and bits
• Jigsaw
• Measuring tape


• 2x4 (ideally 6 feet long, but size as desired)
• (4) 5-gal. buckets with lids

How You Make It

1. Turn one of the buckets upside down on a work surface. Lay the 2x4 on edge across the center of the bucket bottom, and use it as a template to mark cut lines with the Sharpie. Remove the 2x4 and extend the cut lines 3-1/2 inches down either side of the bucket. Connect the ends of the cuts on each side with a short horizontal cut line.

2. Drill an access hole with the cordless drill, then cut along the cut lines with a jigsaw to remove the section of the bucket bottom in which the end of the 2x4 crossbeam will rest. Repeat with a second bucket.

3. Assemble the sawhorse on a flat surface by stacking the buckets in legs upside down, with the cut buckets on top. The board gaps in the buckets must align. Lay the 2x4 crossbeam in the legs and move the legs as necessary to fully support the 2x4.

For more projects from The 5-Gallon Bucket Book, try:

Learn to Make a Manual Washing MachineBuild a Homemade Camping Toilet
DIY Pig Trough

Reprinted with permission from by Chris Peterson and published by Voyageur Press, 2015. Buy this book from our store: The Five-Gallon Bucket Book