How to Build a Work Horse

Updated February 21, 2017

A work horse or sawhorse is a simple tool that assists in woodworking, dry walling and installing siding. Two legs each in the shape of a triangle and a top board provide the working surface. By combining two work horses with a sheet of sturdy plywood on top, a stable work platform can be set up anywhere. Building work horses is done with some basic carpentry skills and a few common tools. Brackets are available from any hardware store and create a portable work horse.

Measure and mark four sections of 2-inch by 4-inch lumber at 36 inches. These sections are the work horse's legs. If you prefer a different size work horse, make adjustments accordingly.

Measure and mark one section of 2-inch by 4-inch lumber at 48 inches. This section will be the top board of the work horse.

Cut the lumber along the markings with a mitre saw.

Insert two of the leg sections into the bottom slots of the work horse bracket. Install four screws through each side of the bracket into the wood with the drill. This secures the legs in their position. Repeat this process for the other bracket and legs.

Push the bottom of the legs together and insert the top board into the top of the bracket. Open the legs up until the brackets teeth dig into the top board. Repeat this process for the other sides legs.


This work horse design can be easily broken down into three flat sections that are simple to store.


When using a mitre saw always wear safety glasses to protect your eyes.

Things You'll Need

  • Measuring tape
  • Four pieces of 36-inch by 2-inch by 4-inch lumber
  • One piece of 48-inch by 2-inch by 4-inch lumber
  • Mitre saw
  • 1-inch wood screws
  • Mitre saw
  • Work horse bracket
  • Drill
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About the Author

Bob White began his writing career in 2006. Working in sales, he was a technical writer tasked with responding to requests for proposal. White has a Bachelor of Arts in computer science and a diploma in home inspection. He has also worked in construction, landscaping and the pool industry for more than 15 years.