Introduction – Plans – Materials list
A good solid sawhorse. The sawhorse in this project is very similar to a couple that I’ve had around for so long, I can’t really remember when I first made them. One thing is for sure, they’ve had to put up with a lot of punishment and they’ve really stood the test of time.
Even though making of this sawhorse requires the odd compound angle cut (a bevel cut across the width as well as the thickness of a piece of wood), it can be built without the use of any power tools whatsoever
The measurements throughout this project are given in both Standard (inches) and Metric (mm). The standard measurements are best suited to North America and the Metric measurements are best suited to Australasia and other countries.
The inch sizes given in this project do not convert exactly to their corresponding metric (mm) equivalents, so use one or the other.
Directly below are the plan drawings.
Under the drawings is the materials list.
The instructions, with pictures included, are on successive pages.
You will need…
- For the top – I piece of 1 1/2″ x 5 1/2″ (140mm x 45mm) wood 44″ (1000mm) long.
- For the legs- 4 pieces of 1 1/2″ x 3 1/2″ (90mm x 45mm) wood 27″ (675mm) long.
- For the braces – 2 piece of 3/4″ (18mm) thick plywood at least 6″ (150mm) wide x 24″ (600mm) long.
- And – 24 galvanized flat-head nails 2 1/2″ (60mm) long.
The angles and the legs
Step 1. Cut all the pieces to rough length
Acquire or cut all the pieces to the lengths given in the materials list on page one.
The pieces will require further cutting and you will need to work with two angles: 14° and 20°.
Below explains how to find both a 14° and a 20° angle.
Step 2. Finding the angles
Make an angle template by marking the required angles on a work tabletop or square panel.
• To find a 20° angle, measure 1 unit across and 2 3/4 units down (as per diagram).
Note: A unit can be any measurement. For example: if you make each unit 4 inches, then measure four inches (1 unit) across and 11 inches (2 3/4 units) down to make a 20° angle.
• To find a 14° angle, measure 1 unit across and 4 units down (as per diagram).
Note: Once again a unit can be anything. If your unit is four inches, it would be 4 inches (1 unit) across and 16 inches (4 units) down to make a 14° angle.
You have now made a template for a 14° angle and a 20° angle.
Set the bevel gauge to the required angle when needed.
Step 3. Mark and cut the tops of the legs
Clamp one of the legs on its edge to a sawhorse and commence to mark the angle cut at the top of the leg.
Measure 1″ (25mm) across and 2 3/4″ (68mm) down. (See diagram.)
Square down off each end of the line to complete the cutting line. (See picture.)
Cut along the cutting line with a handsaw.
Do the same to the other three legs.
Step 4. Mark and cut the bottoms of the legs
Lay a pair of legs back to back on a sawhorse, i.e. in mirror fashion. (See picture.)
Measure 25 1/2″ (637mm) along the top of the legs from point a and make a mark which will be point b. See the drawing below.
From point b, use a bevel gauge to mark a 20° cut line inwards across the edge of both pieces and to mark a 14° cut line inwards across the face of both pieces.
Then clamp one of the pieces to a sawhorse and cut along the lines with a handsaw. See picture.
The cut is a ‘compound bevel cut’ which means that you are cutting a bevel cut across the width as well as the thickness of the wood.
Do all four legs the same.
The sawhorse top
Step 5. Mark the sawhorse top for rebating
You will need to make four rebates (check-outs, notches) in the sawhorse top to house the tops of the legs.
Refer the pictures on the right to help clarify the instructions.
Measure 5″(125mm) in from each end a to point b and then mark a 14° bevel line across the edge. See fig.1.
Do the same to both ends of both sides (four in all).
Next mark the width of the ‘cut-out’ area which will be the same width as a leg.
Use a leg as a template. Hold a leg against one of the bevel lines at point b and with a pencil, mark along the opposite edge of the leg. See fig.2.
Mark the ‘cut-out’ depth which will be 3/4″ (20mm). See fig.3.
Step 6. Rebate the top to house the legs
Make multiple saw cuts across the ‘cut-out’ area down to the marked cutting depth which is 3/4″ (20mm).
Three or four cuts across each cutting area should be enough for straight grain wood, but if the wood is a bit knotty then make more cuts.
The more cuts you do, the easier it will be to chisel out the rebate.
Next lay the sawhorse top on its flat end and commence chiseling along the depth line.
Do not go too deep initially.
Chisel in a little bit one side, then turn the sawhorse top over and chisel in a little bit on the other side. Turn the top over again and chisel a bit deeper and so on and so on, until the chips of wood fall out and the ‘cut-out’ area is clean.
Final assembly and braces
Step 7. Fix the legs to the sawhorse top
Place the top of a leg into the rebate in the sawhorse top.(See far left picture above.)
Align the top of the leg so that its innermost point is flush with the sawhorse top.
Then nail it in place with three galvanized flat-head nails 2 1/2″ (60mm) long.
Do the same for the other three legs.
Step 8. Brace the legs and trim the jut-outs.
Cut two braces from (18mm) thick plywood.
Make the tops of the two braces 7 3/8″ (190mm) long.
Mark the sides running out 20° off square, then cut. See top-right picture.
Fit each brace at the top of the legs hard up to the underside of the sawhorse top.
Fix the braces to the legs with three galvanized flat-head nails 2 1/2″ (60mm) long each side.
Finally, lay the sawhorse on its side and cut off the tops of the legs protruding past the sawhorse top.