How to Build Saw Horses for Upholstery

Updated February 21, 2017

Furniture that is being reupholstered can be heavy and awkward to handle. Sawhorses make the removal of old materials from the frame much easier on your back. You have the added advantage of laying a piece of plywood on top of the sawhorses to make working on smaller pieces of furniture easier. To build the sawhorses you will need materials readily available at the local home center and a few hours. The tops of the sawhorses will be padded to avoid scratching any wood trim on the piece being reupholstered.

Cut four pieces of the 2X4 lumber at 40 inches long. These pieces will form the top of the sawhorses. Cut eight pieces of the 2X4s at 36 inches for the sawhorse legs.

Lay one of the 40-inch pieces on top of a second 40-inch piece. Position the bottom one flat and the second on edge. Drive screws through the flat piece into the edge of the piece set on its edge. To avoid splitting the lumber with the screws, drill pilot holes. See illustration for placement.

Mark the placement for the legs by measuring 1 1/4 inches from the top and 1 1/2 inches from the outer end on the top section. Line up the 36-inch leg pieces with the top edge on the 1 1/4-inch mark and the 1 1/2-inch mark.

Screw the legs to the top section using four screws for each leg. Use two screws into each of the top pieces. Repeat until all four legs are attached.

Measure down from the top of the sawhorse leg 12 inches and mark on each leg. Using one of the 1X4 pieces, align with the mark and mark a cutting line using the outside of the leg. The 1X4 piece will run horizontal across the legs. Screw it to the legs from the outside.

Lay a piece of the leftover lumber across the outside end of the sawhorse legs at the 12-inch mark made earlier, mark a line from the outside of the leg. This line will be on an angle. Cut each piece on the drawn line and attach with screws across the end section to brace the legs.

Wrap several layers of burlap around the top cross section of the sawhorse and attach with staples to pad the top for upholstery work.

Repeat the same steps to build the second sawhorse.

Things You'll Need

  • Six pieces of 2X4 lumber 8 feet long Four pieces of 1X4 lumber 40 inches long Measuring tape Pencil Saw Drill and bits Screw driver Burlap
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