A few months ago, Craftsman flew me up to Chicago to visit their Craftsman Experience shop for a blogger summit. (If you’re ever in Chicago, I definitely recommend stopping by the Craftsman Experience and checking it out. It’s free and open to the public.) I spent the day playing with tools and learning how to build various projects under the tutelage of several DIY bloggers. One project that I really enjoyed and found pretty dang useful was from Timothy Dahl, owner of the DIY blog Charles and Hudson.
Timothy showed us how to make a simple, yet sturdy sawhorse that even a handyman noob like myself could build without screwing up too much.
Why Do I Want to Build a Sawhorse?
Good question. Sawhorses come in handy in a variety of situations. The first and most obvious situation where a sawhorse is useful is when you need to saw something. Duh. A sawhorse gives the board you’re sawing the support and elevation you need to make a clean cut.
A pair of sawhorses can also be used to make a makeshift work table or scaffold. Just use the two sawhorses as the legs, and place a sheet of plywood over it. When I worked as a painter one summer back in high school, my boss would use a pair of sawhorses and an old door he found on the side of the road to make his worktable. Makeshift tables from sawhorses particularly come in handy when you’re setting up for a garage sale.
Let’s see. Other reasons you should build a sawhorse… How about for a makeshift seesaw? Or what about using it as the fulcrum for a home defense catapult? Just spitballin’ here.
And while you can certainly buy ready-made sawhorses at your local big box hardware store, you miss out on the fun and satisfaction of building a piece of equipment that will serve you for years to come.
Here are the materials Tim recommends for his sawhorses. It’s enough to make a pair.
- Six 32½-inch 2x4s (for the I-beams)
- Eight 30-inch 2x4s (for the legs)
- Twelve 3-inch wood screws
- Thirty-two 16D galvanized nails
How to Build a Sawhorse
Building a sawhorse is super easy. It makes for a great starter project for the man who has never really worked with tools, but wants to become handier around the home.
Note: This is one way to build a sawhorse. I know there are plenty of other ways to do it. This plan is great for everyday use in a typical suburban garage. If you plan on using your sawhorses for heavy work, you might try another design.
1. Measure and Cut Your Timber
2. Build I-Beams
3. Nail the Legs to I-Beam