Saw Horses

Saw Horses are great additions to your workspace.  Building your own can give you more flexibility in their height (a big plus for us shorter people) and design features.  

Supplies:

  • 2×4’s for 4 saw horses I needed 10-8′ boards
  • Hinges 5-6 per saw horse  – I used hinges from old bi-fold doors I had taken out.
  • Screws
  • Optional  – Plywood, used to join boards together instead of lapped joints
  • Miter Saw
  • Circular Saw
  • chisel

I wanted lower saw horse for laying things out to paint, putting a platform on to assemble projects etc. The ones I built are about 24″ tall and 30″ wide.  If you are going to use them primarily to saw boards on, then you want them to be about waist high.

Cut Everything at 15°

The biggest rule you need to remember is: Cut everything at 15° and each horse needs the following pieces, customized to fit your needs.

  • Top – cut 2 with straight edges 30-36″ long
  • Legs – Cut 4 in 2 opposite matching pairs.  Cut the tops angled at 15° and the bottoms with a compound miter cut with both the angle and bevel set to 15°.  This helps the saw horse stand flat.
  • Leg Brace – Cut 2 – Measure between your legs and cut both ends at 15°
  • Folding Middle Brace – Cut 1, then cut in half
  • If you’re using plywood for joinery, then you will need 8 squares/rectangles big  you can screw on over each joint.

Lucky for you, my friend sent me a seminar he put together out of playing cards and popsicle sticks on how this all goes together ;0)


Once you have your two sides hinged together, stand your sawhorse up, spread the legs until they sit flat on the floor and measure between your leg braces from inside to inside.  This will give you the length of your folding cross brace.  Cut this board, then measure and cut it in half.  Put all of your hinges, 3 sets, on the same side and attach to sawhorse hinges down.  This should allow your sawhorse to fold up nicely for storage!

Making Lapped Joints

You can see that my 2×4’s are nested into each other both at the top and at the leg brace.  This isn’t as hard to do as you might imagine at first.  All you need is a circular saw and a sharp chisel, once you get the hang of it, it goes fairly quick.

IMG_9125

Saw Horse with lapped joints, popsicle stick version with plywood joints

Mark where your legs are going.

Set the depth of your circular saw to 3/4″. Cut your outside lines first, then cut “kerfs” every 1/4″ or so between your lines.

Use a chisel to pry out waste wood, then clean up the bottom.

Screw together with 1-1/2″ screws.

Other tips:

  • Make sure your legs to not extend past the top of your sawhorse.  You don’t want to be stubbing your toes on them constantly ;0)
  • Saw horses work best in pairs
  • If you will be doing a lot of sawing, screw a sacrificial board to one side of the top only, this will allow you to easily change it while still allowing the saw horse to fold.

Have an amazing saw horse you’d like to share?  Leave a photo in the comments!

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