How to build wood traffic barricades

Written by mark morris
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How to build wood traffic barricades
You can build your own traffic barricades from plywood and 2-by-4s. (traffic sign image by Horticulture from

When you need to discourage traffic temporarily, or direct it in the right direction, wooden traffic barriers work well. These sawhorse style barricades are typically painted in bright, high visibility colours to prevent confusion. Building your barricades so that they are collapsible will make them easier to use and transport, especially if they are stored most of the time, or moved frequently. Build your barriers in a size that is easily movable by one person for access.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • 3/4-inch thick plywood
  • Drywall square
  • Circular saw
  • Jigsaw
  • 2-by-4 lumber
  • Latex paint
  • Roller

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  1. 1

    Draw a capitol T on a sheet of 3/4-inch plywood with a drywall square. Draw the T top bar 24-inches wide and 6-inches tall. Make the leg of the T 30-inches high and 6-inches wide. Draw diagonal lines between the bottom corners of the T's tops and bottom corners of the leg to form a roughly triangular shape with 6-inch wide square corners. Draw a rectangle 1 1/2-by-3 5/8-inches with its wide side parallel to each end of the T's top ends, 1-inch in from the end, centred in the 6-inches. Draw the same rectangle with its narrow end parallel to the end of the leg, 1-inch from the bottom.

  2. 2

    Cut the shape out around the diagonal lines and the three square ends with a circular saw. Cut the rectangles out using a jigsaw. Make two for each barrier. Cut three pieces of 2-by-4 lumber 48-inches long for each barrier. Cut a 3/4-by2-inch notch at each end of the 2-by-4, one inch from the end, with the 3/4-inch side open to one long edge. Make the notches in the same edge of each board.

  3. 3

    Turn the plywood ends so that the 24-inch top of the T is on the ground. Fit the ends of the 2-by-4s through the rectangles in the plywood end pieces with the notches down, so that the notches drop down over the plywood, locking them in place.

  4. 4

    Disassemble the barrier. Paint the barrier pieces with two coats of semigloss latex paint, in orange or yellow for easy visibility. Use a medium nap roller to apply the paint, working with the grain in long straight strokes. Apply the paint as evenly as possible to prevent runs and drips in the finish. Allow the label recommended drying time between coats for best results.

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