Folding Sawhorses

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Project by Rex B posted 08-21-2013 01:15 PM 336402 views 71 times favorited 16 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I recently had a need for some sawhorses. I wanted to build something worth keeping in the shop, because I knew they would be handy to have around. I strongly considered Matthias Wandel’s stackable sawhorses because I knew they would be sturdy and easy to build, but I just don’t have a good place in the garage to store those. Searching around for folding sawhorses, I came across Canexican’s popular Shopdog design.

I didn’t end up buying his plans, because the design is pretty simple. All credit goes to him though. One of the beautiful parts of the design is that you can make a variety of attachments to use with the base. Pretty much any “2x” material can be clamped in the top, and when the top rails get torn up from use they are simple to replace.

I made mine from a few 2×4’s with some 3/4” boards (from the cull bin at Home Depot) for the braces, to save some weight. All the joints are just glued and screwed. I figured out that I could recess the brace on one side to save a little room when they are folded up. Of course, this can’t be done on both sides or they wouldn’t be able to fold completely.

I also came up with the idea to use a taut line hitch on the bracing strap (Boy Scout knots ftw!). That way, the base can be pulled tight which clamps the removable 2×4 in place.

Finally, I incorporated a french cleat into one of the braces to make them easy to store on the wall. This works great. They don’t take up much space at all in the back corner of the garage.

So thanks again to Canexican for this awesome design. They are very sturdy and easy to build. As you can see in the pictures, they have already been used for their inital purpose – painting some doors with a spray gun.

-- Rex

16 comments so far

View SuperCubber's profile


1170 posts in 3294 days

#1 posted 08-21-2013 05:19 PM

Nice job! Canexican’s design has each leg on an angle, which adds some stability. Something to think about if you make another set.

-- Joe | Spartanburg, SC | "To give anything less than your best is to sacrafice the gift." - Steve Prefontaine

View Rex B's profile

Rex B

320 posts in 3260 days

#2 posted 08-21-2013 05:27 PM

Hi supercubber, thanks for the compliment.

I thought about that, but I don’t think there’s any advantage to having splayed legs as long as the braces are joined securely enough to prevent racking. I could see a benefit to making the base wider than the top, but in this design the top can be any width you want. Mostly I just saw it as difficult compound miter cuts that I didn’t really need (I don’t have a miter saw).

-- Rex

View rlamb007's profile


76 posts in 3547 days

#3 posted 08-21-2013 05:29 PM

Now I now what my next project will be. This look perfect for the shop. Thanks for sharing.

View SuperCubber's profile


1170 posts in 3294 days

#4 posted 08-21-2013 06:42 PM

I’m glad to hear you think they are just as sturdy. The compound angles complicated the whole process! I’ll have to try another set like yours.

-- Joe | Spartanburg, SC | "To give anything less than your best is to sacrafice the gift." - Steve Prefontaine

View JanKrompan1's profile


63 posts in 2836 days

#5 posted 08-21-2013 07:50 PM

I’m going to paint my house in the near future and will defnitely need two of this horses. Thanks for sharing.

-- Jan, Free State Province, South Africa

View Sergio's profile


470 posts in 3702 days

#6 posted 08-22-2013 12:25 AM

Great…. favorited and will be copied. Tks for sharing

-- - Greetings from Brazil - --

View Fishinbo's profile


11362 posts in 3185 days

#7 posted 08-26-2013 02:34 PM

Great job! They look really good and sturdy, very useful and handy around the shop or garage.

View Eddie_T's profile


234 posts in 3081 days

#8 posted 10-05-2013 05:34 PM

I was thinking just to cut the legs as a simple angle then relieving them for the 10 degree cant as a separate cut. The bottom of the notch for the cross piece could be done with a hand saw or saber saw.

View Don W's profile

Don W

19889 posts in 3577 days

#9 posted 10-05-2013 08:03 PM

Nice. I’ve got a couple pair of the folding sheet metal type I’d like to replace with some of these for easier storage in the shop.

-- - Collecting is an investment in the past, and the future.

View Eddie_T's profile


234 posts in 3081 days

#10 posted 10-06-2013 04:02 AM

I was pondering how to use a cord with a toggle, a nautical style cleat or a loop over a hook, then I found your idea of the “taut line hitch”. Thanks for sharing, I will have many other uses for this hitch as well!

View ACKET's profile


1 post in 1757 days

#11 posted 05-09-2016 02:50 PM

Thank you! This is exactly what I need! The idea is perfect! It would be nice to know the comfortable length of the legs for make my own. Can you specify? If very short legs, it will be uncomfortable to cut and back will get tired, the same happens if the legs is too long…
Many thanks and my greetings from Siberia! ;)

-- "10 years ago we had Steve Jobs, Bob Hope and Johnny Cash. Now we have no Jobs, no Hope and no Cash."

View RNSN's profile


1 post in 1437 days

#12 posted 03-25-2017 02:29 PM

When you refer to 2×4 in which unit, inches or millimeters?

View neopanax's profile


1 post in 1086 days

#13 posted 03-11-2018 05:40 PM

The tautline hitch is definitely an improvement over the tensioning strap in Canexican’s design. One question: How did you fix the other end of the cord to the opposite cross member? It’s hard to see in the pictures.

View PatDAnna's profile


1 post in 1044 days

#14 posted 04-22-2018 05:12 PM

Ahhhh, come on guys. Let’s not rip off the dudes idea! Pay the man 5 bucks! I did. The instructions are very detailed with cut-out templates for exact angles. He put a lot of work in it. Our support encourages more innovation. Plain and simple!!

View shopcat2's profile


1 post in 901 days

#15 posted 09-12-2018 08:15 PM

thank for the blog on the canexican’s sawdog. I have been looking for a out feed table and folding saw horse. This design is going to work for me. thank you!!!!!

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