Sawhorses are indispensable tools for woodworking projects at home or on a job site. In most cases, they're quickly built and used until they fall apart. In the following example, the plan uses about a quarter-pound of 16 penny nails and six eight-foot long, two-inch by four-inch boards. You'll need a tape measure, pencil, small square, hammer and a circular or hand saw. The construction of the sawhorses will only take about 20 minutes and, when completed, will be able to handle full sheets of plywood.
Cut the Parts
Measure two of the 2-by-4s into equal halves of four-foot lengths. Mark with a pencil, square a line and cut with the saw. These four pieces will be the top of the sawhorses. Measure three 2-by-4s into eight pieces that are each 30 inches long. You should be able to cut three of these 30-inch boards from one of the eight-foot long boards (with six inches leftover). Cut four eight-inch pieces from the last 2-by-4 (from which you cut only two 30-inch sections). The final cut list of material will be four boards that are 48 inches long for the top of the sawhorse, eight boards that are 30 inches long for the legs and four pieces that are eight inches long for the cross supports.
Hammer and Nails
Attach the top of the sawhorses together in the following manner:
Lay one of the 48-inch 2-by-4s on edge on a flat surface. Lay another 48-inch board on top of it flat or perpendicular to the on-edge board. From the end, it should look like the letter T. Center the top of the T on the lower board. Begin at one end and nail the top board into the lower board. Apply a nail every 10 inches. Perform the same task to the other set of 48-inch boards. When finished you should have two T's, each 48 inches long.
Nail on the Legs
Lay one of the T's on its side. Place one of the 30-inch legs to one end. The end of the 2-by-4 leg should be equal to the top of the lower end of the T. In other words, you're going to nail the leg in two places. Two nails will hold the leg to the vertical top of the horse and two more nails will hold the same leg into the horizontal portion of the top boards of the horse. The lower horizontal board will create a natural spread to the legs. Attach another leg to the far end of the top T. Flip the partial assembly over and attach the remaining two legs to the first sawhorse.
Stand the sawhorse on its legs. Like any new pony it may be a little wobbly. Attach one of the 8-inch braces to the end of the sawhorse's new legs. Slide the brace down where the lower edge of the square cut matches the angled spread of the two legs. Attach the brace with two nails on each side of the eight-inch brace. When finished you should have something that looks like the letter A. Install the second brace to the other set of legs. Build the second sawhorse in the same order and manner. Reset any nails into the sawhorses as needed. You now have a pair of sawhorses that should be approximately 29 inches high and 48 inches long. If needed, you can use the last eight-foot long 2-by-4 and cut another set of longer braces to fit below the eight-inch-long set. This will allow you to stack heavier items on the pair of sawhorses.
- Saw Horses
- Build It Better Yourself; William H. Hylton Editor; Rodale Press; 1977