An essential part of any good workshop is the sawhorse. Some things are too big and cumbersome for the workbench and you’ll need a portable stand to accommodate these bulky items.
Fortunately, this is a relatively simple project. It’s also inexpensive, too. If you already have some scrap lumber lying around, you’ll only need to spend $10 – $15 for the entire project. If not, you’ll have to spend a bit extra for about 30 feet of two-by-fours.
What You’ll Need
- Saw Horse Brackets (from Ace Hardware)
- About 15′ length of 2″x4″
- Nails (Approx. 1 1/2″ or 4d)
The Saw Horse brackets can probably be found in any major hardware store. I purchased mine from Home Depot, although I can’t seem to find them on the website now. They look like big metal teeth. Should cost about $5 per pair – and each pair makes one saw horse.
A 15′ length of 2″x4″ is enough lumber to make one saw horse that’s approximately 30″ high and 36″ wide. If you want a taller or wider saw horse, you’ll need more lumber.
Hopefully you have a good supply of nails. You’ll need about 20 per saw horse, so go buy another box if you’re getting low.
You’ll also need a few tools for this.
- Saw – Preferably a circular saw or table saw, but you can do it by hand if you want
- Tape Measure
Cutting the Wood to Length
The saw horse brackets that I bought had a nifty conversion chart on it. It provided the correct length to use for the legs to achieve a certain height. I followed the chart and cut mine to approximately 27 3/4″. Using the circular saw, I cut four pieces to this length.
Next, you’ll need to cut the cross-piece. I intended to use a 36″ cross-piece. However, I looked through my scrap lumber and realized I already had two pieces cut to 30″. Rather than waste a whole new 2″x4″, I figured it would be ok to build the sawhorse slightly more narrow.
Attach the Legs to the Bracket
Slide one of the legs into one of the brackets. There should be a piece of metal punched out to stop you from pushing the leg in any further – about one to two inches from the top of the bracket. Secure the leg with two nails in the side.
Insert the next leg, and secure it with two nails. Then flip over the legs and secure them with nails on the other side. You should now be able to spread the two legs apart, allowing them to stand up in an “A” shape.
Repeat the process to create the second pair of legs.
Insert the Crosspiece and Secure the Brackets
Finally, place the cross piece in between the two brackets. It is probably easiest to do this with the sawhorse standing up-right instead of laying down on your workbench.
Slowly spread the legs apart until the teeth in the bracket begin to grip the crosspiece. I found it helped to place my feet inside the sawhorse legs and slowly push them outwards. It may also help to have an assistant spread the legs apart until you secure the bracket completely.
Once the legs are open, use a nail on each side of the bracket to secure it to the cross piece.
Wash, Rinse, Repeat, and Enjoy
That’s it! Told you it was simple.
You’ll probably want to repeat the process at least once to make a second sawhorse. They just aren’t as useful by themselves…