How to make a sawhorse for cutting wood

Written by cheryl torrie
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How to make a sawhorse for cutting wood
(Jupiterimages/BananaStock/Getty Images)

Sawhorses are perfect for supporting large sheets of plywood and long lengths of lumber while you cut them, but not everyone has a sawhorse handy. Making a wooden sawhorse for cutting wood makes so much sense it should be every woodworker's first woodworking project. Building a sawhorse or set of sawhorses doesn't take long, and a homemade sawhorse is more economical than purchasing a ready-made one. You may already have scrap lumber available to use to make the sawhorse.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • 2-inch-by-6-inch lumber
  • 2-inch-by-4-inch lumber
  • 3/4-inch plywood
  • Jigsaw
  • Mitre saw
  • Galvanised flathead nails, 2 1/2-inch length
  • Hammer
  • 1-inch-by-3-inch lumber
  • Nails, 3-inch length

Show MoreHide


    Six-Inch Flat-Top Sawhorse

  1. 1

    Use your jigsaw to cut one 2-by-6-inch piece of lumber 44 inches long for the top. Cut four pieces of 2-inch-by-4-inch lumber, 27 inches long, for the legs. Cut two pieces of 3/4-inch plywood, each 6 inches by 24 inches, for the side braces.

  2. 2

    Use your mitre saw to cut a 20-degree angle, 2 3/4 inches deep one inch in from the outside edge of one of the 4-inch faces of the four leg boards so that their feet will rest flat on the ground. Cut a 14-degree inward angle on the opposite 4-inch face and a 20 degree angle on that 2-inch face, for the leg tops and top support.

  3. 3

    Use your jigsaw to cut a notch 3/4 inches deep and 3 3/4 inches wide into both ends of the top piece, 5 inches from each edge, for the leg recesses.

  4. 4

    Align each set of legs with their inner top points flush within the top piece and nail three of your 2 1/2-inch galvanised flathead nails into the two point sets with a hammer.

  5. 5

    Use your mitre saw to cut 20-degree corresponding left and right angles on each of the plywood brace pieces.

  6. 6

    Place the brace pieces flush to the outside and under the top of the sawhorse legs and attach them with three nails along each side. Repeat the cutting and building steps to make another sawhorse if you want two of them.

    Two-Inch-Top Sawhorse

  1. 1

    Use your jigsaw to cut six pieces of 2-inch-by-4-inch wood, 36 inches long, for the four legs and two top pieces,.

  2. 2

    Use your jigsaw to cut two pieces of 1-inch-by-3-inch lumber, each 12 inches long, for the side braces.

  3. 3

    Set your mitre saw to cut a 15-degree mitre and bevel and use it to cut the bottom and top of the four legs. Cut a 15-degree mitre on the tops of the side brace pieces.

  4. 4

    Center one of the top pieces upright vertically on the four-inch face of the other top piece and nail them together with two 3-inch nails through each of the joints.

  5. 5

    Align the four legs 3 inches from the outside edges of the top-piece assembly and nail them to the top and bottom of the top pieces with two 3-inch nails at each joint. You will have four nails in each leg. The upside-down T-shaped top pieces keep the 15-degree angle true on the legs. Attach the side brace pieces horizontally, approximately halfway down the right and left set of legs with two 3-inch nails. Repeat the cutting and assembly steps to build a second sawhorse if desired.

Tips and warnings

  • Use pressure-treated lumber if you will be storing the sawhorses outside.
  • Wear safety glasses while cutting the wood for your sawhorse.

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