How to build a wooden sawhorse

Written by gissimee doe
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How to build a wooden sawhorse
Building a sawhorse is a good starter project for woodworkers. (Brand X Pictures/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images)

Sawhorses are simple wooden workbenches that are traditionally used to provide a surface for sawing wood, performing tasks, or storing equipment on construction sites. A typical sawhorse consists of a flat beam and four legs. The legs are arranged in pairs such that they form a triangular or “V” shape between the floor and the top beam. The completely assembled structure roughly resembles a horse, hence the name “sawhorse.” Sawhorses are relatively easy to construct, requiring a few pieces of wood and some simple equipment. You can build a simple wooden sawhorse even if you have very little woodworking experience, making it an ideal project for beginners.

Skill level:
Moderately Challenging

Things you need

  • Lumber
  • Saw
  • Hammer
  • Nails
  • Screws
  • Chisel
  • Drill

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  1. 1

    Draw up a plan for your sawhorse. Take measurements and determine the required widths so that you can cut your boards correctly and get the necessary materials and equipment. You can download free plans from the Internet if you need assistance drawing plans or determining measurements.

  2. 2

    Organize your materials in your work area. This will make for a smoother, quicker construction and assembly process and minimize the risk of injury.

  3. 3

    Cut your lumber to size according to the plans you drew up for your sawhorse. You can use an electric saw or a hand saw. You will need to cut a length of lumber for the top beam of the sawhorse and four equal lengths of lumber for the legs.

  4. 4

    Cut notches into the top beam of your sawhorse to accommodate the legs. The notches should match the width of the pieces of lumber you will be using for the legs.

  5. 5

    Use the chisel to remove the notched pieces from the top beam and create the slots for the legs.

  6. 6

    Bevel the pieces of lumber that you will be using for the legs. You will need to bevel them so that they fit into the notches of the top beam of the sawhorse, creating legs that lie at about a twenty degree angle. This will create the characteristic inverted “V” shape of the legs of the sawhorse. If you do not bevel the legs, you could end up with a thin table, rather than a sawhorse.

  7. 7

    Attach the legs to the sawhorse and affix them securely using either a drill and screws or a hammer and nails.

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