Saw horses are indispensable tools used for many facets of construction and woodworking activities. While the word "saw" does appear in the title they can have many uses. Saw horses are often among the first items built when a woodworker or carpenter gets a saw and other tools. A well-constructed set of saw horses makes cutting wood and assembling projects easier.
Saw Horse Plans
There is no single best saw horse plan. Many builders will design their saw horses to fit the available scrap lumber available. Other factors in a saw horse plan will be the height of the carpenter using the saw horses and the type of projects he might be working on. A tall carpenter who plans on cutting four-foot wide plywood sheets may build a taller and wider saw horse than a builder of a more normal height that will be cutting dimensional boards.
According to basiccarpentrytechniques.com, a standard height for saw horses is 24 inches. Their plans also indicate a width of 42 inches as standard.
Saw horses are usually built in sets of two. If the builder decides to make saw horses taller or shorter than the standard sizes they should be sure to build both to the same size.
Saw Horse Construction
Many saw horses are built with available materials and utilize whatever is available in the shop or job site. This is economical but may result in a set of saw horses lighter than necessary for some jobs. While the primary purpose of the saw horse is to hold boards and lumber while being cut, they are sometimes pressed into service for tasks requiring the ability to carry more weight.
Build the legs and saw horse top out of 2 x 4 or 2 x 6 lumber. If the top piece of the saw horse is placed flat, the ends are usually notched for the legs. If 2 x 4 inch legs are used, cut three and a half inches by one and a half inch notches from each corner of the 2 x 6 inch top piece. If the top piece is placed upright, the legs are attached directly to the unmodified top.
Plywood or particle board pieces can be cut for braces at the top of each end of the saw horse. These will hold the saw horse legs at the proper spacing and angle for the saw horse. A 1 x 4 board can be used to make a brace from leg to leg of the saw horse to provide additional stability.
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