Build a Folding Sawbuck for Easy Log Cutting and Storing

Build a folding sawbuck for easy log cutting and storing, this folding sawbuck will help to make cutting firewood an easier chore.

| October/November 1996


This simple variation of a sawhorse is usually constructed of 2 by 4s nailed together to form a pair of Xs.


When you build this folding sawbuck it makes for easy log cutting and storing. (See the log cutting diagrams and photos in the Image Gallery.)

Build a Folding Sawbuck for Easy Log Cutting and Storing

If you read the manual that came with your chain saw, it probably urged you to build a sawbuck so you can safely crosscut through long limbs. This simple variation of a sawhorse is usually constructed of 2 by 4s nailed together to form a pair of Xs. These are then joined by crosspieces to create a sort of cradle that will support logs at a good working height and prevent the saw chain from binding. I've taken the idea a couple of steps further by designing mine so that it folds flat for off-season storage, and has an additional V to support shorter pieces. The key to this design is a 40 inch length of 1-1/4 inch closet pole. I used this as an axis (A) for the legs (B) to pivot on.

Construction is very straightforward. Cut the legs to length as shown in the diagram, and cut a 30 degree miter on the bottom end to provide flat footing for your sawbuck. I used an Angleguide with my radial arm saw, but you could also use a protractor and sliding T-bevel to mark this and make the cut with a circular saw. After cutting this angle, I flipped the piece over and used the same setup to lop off the points so the ends would be less likely to break. Then I cut a long taper on the upper ends of the legs as shown in the plans. This taper allows the larger logs to fit down into the cradle at a good working height.

Next cut the long crosspieces (C), short crosspieces (D), and center supports (E) to length. Stack the legs and clamp them to the workbench to drill the axis hole. Measure from the top end to locate the hole center and use a 1-1/4 inch spade bit. Drill through as many as you can; then use the one on top of the stack to locate the hole in the others. Do the same to drill the center supports (E), lining up the ends and clamping them in a stack under the first leg. (See the diagram in the image gallery, and scroll through to see the various views.)

You'll need to enlarge the holes with a half-round bastard file so that they'll slip onto the axis. Don't make them too loose just enough to fit onto the closet pole. Fit the two center supports onto the axis first; then add pairs of legs at each end. Position them so that about an inch of closet pole sticks out at either end. There's no need to pin the axis; a friction fit will do. The crosspieces will hold the unit together.

Lay the assembly on the floor, and position a long crosspiece (C) 2 inches from the ends. Screw this to the two outermost legs and one of the center supports. Attach a short crosspiece (D) near the bottom of the two inside legs. Now turn the unit over and screw on the remaining crosspieces. This time use a short one on top, attaching it to the inside legs and the unattached center support. Screw the long one to the outside legs near the bottom.

11/10/2013 9:10:01 PM

I made a sawbuck 5 years ago, and I did not know people made these things. It was an idea I cam up with. I lost my job, could barely afford a chainsaw, and had lots of time. That sawbuck is still in use today, and a family came over for the holidays and was impressed. He said I could make these thing and sell them. I think I'll do that, and if anyone wants a photo I will post it here.

9/20/2013 4:07:21 PM

I constructed the saw buck and love the basic concept. However I find that it has some detail design weirdness or maybe I just don't understand it. I'm cutting up some 6" to 8" logs and I find that the top braces are way too high. The logs sit down in the cradle quite deep and the chainsaw bar has to be at about 45ยบ to cut them without tearing up the top crossbrace. Even still, I have nicked the top brace a couple of times already. The taper at the top of the X legs exacerbates the problem. Holding the chainsaw at this steep angle is not only tiring but unsafe. I'm going to try dropping the top crossbraces and filling in the taper cutout by screwing the cutoffs back in. I doubt that I will ever use the saw buck for the larger logs that this taper was designed to accommodate as they would be too heavy to lift into the saddle. Cutting the big guys on the ground and rolling over to finish will continue to be my method. Hope this helps.

12/19/2008 3:01:12 PM

hope to build

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