How to Make a Folding Sawhorse

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Finding space in your workshop or garage when storing tools or materials can be a challenge. Whether you are a weekend do-it-yourself handyman or a woodworking pro, this sturdy folding sawhorse is a great space-saving item. Even when working with hand tools, it can be crafted and assembled in one day. The small thumbnails of the diagrams can be enlarged to see details by left-clicking on them.

Things You'll Need

  • 4 36-inch lengths of 2 by 4 studs
  • 1 44-inch length 2 by 4 stud
  • 2 33-inch lengths of 1 by 4 lumber
  • 1 36-inch length of 1by 4 lumber
  • Saw
  • Protractor
  • Tape measure or yardstick
  • Pencil
  • Drill
  • 1/4-inch wood boring bit
  • 10 1-1/2 inch deck screws
  • 2 4 by 1/4-inch bolts with matching wing-nuts and washers
  • 2 3/8-inch screw-eyes
  • 1 light-weight 25-inch chain
  • Needle-nosed pliers
Folding Sawhorse
Folding Sawhorse

Step 1

Begin by trimming the ends of the four 36-inch lengths of 2 by 4 studs. Make diagonal cuts at 70-degree angles, with the cuts running parallel to each other at both ends. These four lengths will be the legs of the sawhorse.

Measure and mark a notch on one end of each of the four 36-inch long pieces. Measure 3 inches across the diagonal edge, starting at the 70-degree point and mark the measurement with a pencil. Then measure 3 inches down from the mark at a 90-degree angle and draw a pencil line along the measure. Measure the next line from the end of the previous one at a 90-degree angle to the edge of the wood. The last line will be 1-1/2 inches long. Cut out the notch.

Trim cuts for sawhorse legs.
Trim cuts for sawhorse legs.

Step 2

Measure 6 inches down from the 70-degree angle point at the notched ends. Make a mark in the exact middle of the 2 by 4s at the 6-inch distance from the point. Drill a hole at the mark to fit the bolts through when assembling the sawhorse.

Position of drill hole for bolt.
Position of drill hole for bolt.

Step 3

Attach the two 33-inch lengths of wood to two of the legs of the sawhorse. Use two deck screws on each side to attach the 33-inch pieces 6 inches in from the ends of the legs, measuring from the top edge of the top piece and bottom edge of the bottom piece. This is the narrow side of the sawhorse.

Assembly of narrow side of sawhorse.
Assembly of narrow side of sawhorse.

Step 4

Attach the 36-inch length of wood to the remaining two legs using two deck screws at each end. Set the 36-inch piece 6 inches from the bottom ends of the legs, measuring from the bottom edge of the 36-inch piece. This is the wider side of the sawhorse.

Assembly of the wider side of the sawhorse.
Assembly of the wider side of the sawhorse.

Step 5

Assemble the two sides of the sawhorse by placing the narrow side inside the wider side and threading the bolts through the predrilled holes. Secure the bolts by placing the washers and wing-nuts over the bolts and hand-tightening them.

Assembly of the two sides of the sidehorse, end view.
Assembly of the two sides of the sidehorse, end view.

Step 6

Place a screw-eye in the exact center on the inside of the bottom cross-pieces of each side. Open the loop of the screw-eyes with the needle-nosed pliers, and slip the end links of the chain on to the loops. Close the loops of the screw eyes with the pliers to secure the chain in place. Set up the assembled sides on a flat, level surface and unfold them.

Attachment of the restraining chain.
Attachment of the restraining chain.

Step 7

Place the remaining 44-inch length 2 by 4 stud in the notches at the top of the sawhorse. This piece is removable and replacable. Adjust the length of the chain if necessary to ensure that the legs are restrained from slipping outward from the correct angle when the removable piece is in place. Your folding sawhorse is completed.

Finished sawhorse.
Finished sawhorse.
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