Simple Sawhorse

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Project by Jason posted 01-21-2013 11:09 AM 3852 views 5 times favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch

These are pictures of some sawhorses that I built last summer. They are a derivation of a Roy Underhill sawhorse that I built many years ago. Those old horses were made of 1X3 pine, a hand saw and chisel, and a few screws and glue. They are a great sawhorse, but I wanted a little more. Besides, I left them behind on one of my moves.

Specifically, these met the following requirements.

1) These are all 2×4 (Douglas Fir). There is about 20 feet worth in each.

2) The basic frame will support my weight from last summer (270#) with no fasteners or glue in them just holding the joints together with my hands. The screws just keep things lined up.

3) These have an easily replaceable sacrificial top. Just cut another 2X4, countersink the holes, and screw it on.

4) These are stackable.

The basics go like this. All dimensions are approximate and can be adjusted to suit.

The spreader is about 26 inches long. It has been notched 4 times at “about” 25 degrees to the ends and 10 degrees to the side. I used a wedge on my table saw along with my crosscut sled to cut this “dado”. I left about 1/4” of space between the notches at the narrow end. I don’t have a miter saw, but I do have a RAS and would use that now if I were to make more.

The legs are cut to height. Mine sit at about 28”. The legs need to be mitered on both ends to the same angles. Again, with no miter saw, I cheated. I temporarily screwed the legs in place and cut the top level with my recip saw, then flipped them to the opposite corner and did it again on the uncut end. Glue and screw the legs in place.

Cut the sacrificial top 2”-4” longer than the spreader. Center it, countersink the holes, and screw it down. The flat top that overhangs on all sides gives me a solid clamping surface all the way around. Although I haven’t yet, I would throw some Danish Oil or something similar on them.

I like the way these look with construction lumber. I would love to make these with a little better wood and finish them, maybe use pegs and mortise the sacrificial top in.

Update July 2017. Added the last two pictures. These are still going strong and extremely usable.

-- --Jason

4 comments so far

View redbaronstoys's profile


45 posts in 3527 days

#1 posted 01-21-2013 02:50 PM

Nice job. Might have to make some of my own.

View John's profile


341 posts in 4803 days

#2 posted 01-21-2013 02:54 PM

nice miter work

-- John - Central PA -

View a1Jim's profile


118161 posts in 4582 days

#3 posted 01-21-2013 04:01 PM

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

30597 posts in 3343 days

#4 posted 01-21-2013 06:08 PM

Good job,

Welcome to LJ’s

-- Nature created it, I just assemble it.

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