Timber Frame Saw Horse Build

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Forum topic by JP4LSU posted 01-17-2020 01:32 PM 270 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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101 posts in 784 days

01-17-2020 01:32 PM

I’m DFW, Texas and am wanting to build a pair of timber frame saw horses. It will give me some hand cut joinery experience and I am limited on space for a nice wood working table. So these will be used for hand woodworking, planing, joinery,etc as I plan on putting a nice thick piece of plywood on top of horses.

My problem is wood source. I was wanting to use maybe popular, fir, or maybe even something harder like beech or oak.
I can’t find anything but cedar here at the local lumber places. Would Cedar be OK for saw horses?

I haven’t checked the big box stores, just the good lumber yards. I’ll start calling some sawmills around here but those are a pretty good drive away.

Anybody in Texas have some advice or where to get some timbers?

7 replies so far

View SMP's profile


1779 posts in 542 days

#1 posted 01-17-2020 03:29 PM

Thats strange. You don’t have any local big box home improvement stores nearby? They should have some construction 2x material, usually fir. The Chris Schwarz $5.87 sawbenches or his traditional saw bench would be great builds, a lot of joinery. Or even a roman workbench or knockdown Nicholson bench if space is lacking.

View jmartel's profile


8735 posts in 2787 days

#2 posted 01-17-2020 03:34 PM

Cedar would be fine. Use whatever you can get cheap for sawhorses.

-- The quality of one's woodworking is directly related to the amount of flannel worn.

View JP4LSU's profile


101 posts in 784 days

#3 posted 01-17-2020 04:17 PM

SMP, I have lots of Big Box stores around. I’m hunting for 4×4 and 4×6. I’ll take a gander at HD today because I need to get a GFCI outlet.

jmartel, you are correct, they are just sawhorses. I just wasn’t sure of the strength and weight of cedar and if it would be heavy enough for planing larger boards.

View CaptainKlutz's profile


2438 posts in 2131 days

#4 posted 01-17-2020 04:45 PM

Might want to look past BORG for wood sources?,+texas/@32.7786291,-97.1488715,11z/,+texas/@32.7790505,-97.1488719,11z

All kinds of lumber sources around DFW metroplex.

+1 Can use any wood for saw horse

-- I'm an engineer not a woodworker, but I can randomly find useful tools and furniture inside a pile of lumber!

View Phil32's profile


932 posts in 540 days

#5 posted 01-17-2020 04:56 PM

If properly constructed your sawhorses can be mostly made of 1x materials. Our local Big Box stores have lots of poplar.

-- Phil Allin - There are mountain climbers and people who talk about climbing mountains. The climbers have "selfies" at the summit!

View bandit571's profile


24644 posts in 3320 days

#6 posted 01-17-2020 05:26 PM

Used to build 2 sawhorses, each time I arrived at a job site….

Made a I beam for the top…top can be a 2×6, rest was from a 2×4 . Plywood gussets on the ends, screwed into the 2×4 legs. Legs were screwed into the I beam. Took less than an hour….

length of the beam? usually was 3’, sometimes 4’.....

I was on Concrete Foundation crews 95% of the time….lot of form work. Including cleaning the forms on the sawhorses.

Ends of the legs were left square….seem to sit better in the dirt “floors” around the site. We could angle the ends, if we found the time. Top of the legs just butted into the top of the beam.
Legs were usually 3’ long…..

-- A Planer? I'M the planer, this is what I use

View therealSteveN's profile (online now)


4895 posts in 1211 days

#7 posted 01-17-2020 07:49 PM

2x material is certainly up to the task, but I am wondering, all that Mesquite down there. I would be looking local if I wanted hardwood.

-- Think safe, be safe

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