Build Sawhorses: Even Better Than In 1985


Tags: DIY, safety,

sawhorse complete

I decided to build some cheap shelves for the basement and was cutting some 2-by-4s on the floor when the saw kicked back. I wasn’t injured, but it was a stupid thing to do. Using sawhorses to keep the wood in position is much safer, so I decided to build a pair.

I used the $6 sawhorses (Build the World's Best $6 Sawhorse?) as a model, but changed a few things to fit my needs. (The sawhorse plans are in the Image Gallery for that article.) You can build these with hand or power tools. I used a combination. Here’s how I built the sawhorses step by step:

Make the Top

Cut the following pieces of 2-by-4 to length.
4 pieces, 10 3/8 inches long (this is slightly more than the original plan)
2 pieces, 14 inches long
2 pieces, 19 inches long
2 pieces, 36 1/5 inches long (this is slightly more than the original plan)

Lay out the longest pieces with a 10 3/8-inch piece on top of the ends to make a rectangle. Square up the corners and attach with four 2 1/2-inch screws at each joint. I had to pre-drill the holes to avoid splitting the pine, even though I was using self-tapping deck screws.

Put the other two 10 3/8-inch pieces in the middle of the rectangle. You’ll know where these fit if you put the 14- and 19-inch pieces on top of them for reference. The 14- and 19-inch pieces should reach the ends, leaving a 3 1/2-inch gap in the middle. This gap is wide enough to fit a 2-by-4, but should be narrow enough that the foot of your circular saw will bridge the gap. (In the original plans, this gap was only 3 inches, but I thought I might want to put a 2-by-4 between the two sawhorses sometime, so I made it a little wider.) Attach the middle 10 3/8-inch pieces with four 2 1/2-inch screws at each joint.

11/21/2011 12:16:30 PM

These look excellent, though the drawback could be one of space if you have a small workshop. I like the top which provides space for cutting and holding timbers, such an arrangement could also be built into a workbench. Maybe if the top could be detachable from folding legs so as to 'flat-pack' for storage.

Dan Baumgardner
6/9/2009 1:35:14 PM

I have built, used and given away many of "the best $6.00 sawhorses". It is by far the most stable platform for woodworking as well as scaffolding. However they don't cost just 6 bucks anymore but they are still worth the $ and time to build. If fact I still have the original Mother Earth mag. featuring the horse and the next issue that had the measurements that were accidently left out of the first set of plans.

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