Supercharged Sawhorse

Comments (0)

This article is from Issue 71 of Woodcraft Magazine.

Sheet Goods solution. The top of each horse is grooved to hold an interlocking 4×8 platform—an effective workstation for breaking down heavy sheet goods.

Build a pair of portable workhorses for jobs in and out of your shop

Necessity can be the mother of invention, but in my case, it’s also been the mother of a few mistakes. Over the past 20+ years, I’ve lost count of the times when I’ve struggled without a sturdy set of sawhorses. When drywall buckets and tailgates failed, I’ve settled for what I found at the home center. But flimsy, factory-made plastic horses always come up short. So I was spurred to grab the reins and aim for thoroughbred performance. With help from fellow woodworker Tom Whalley, I finally found a horse that will stand up to any project.

While most sawhorses are designed just to provide general-purpose support, these steeds have features that enable you to accomplish specific woodworking tasks, as shown here.

I assembled the frames with Titebond III and finished the legs, rails, and top with General Finishes Outdoor Oil. For extra water protection, I shoed the feet with rubberized paint (see the Buyer’s Guide on p. 64). Should a saw blade slice through the top, resaddling is a cinch. Simply remove the screws, install a replacement, and you’re back in the race.

Portability & versatility

These folding sawhorses are sturdier and steadier than store-bought plastic versions. They’re also designed with common woodworking tasks in mind—like processing full sheets of plywood, gluing up solid wood panels, and providing built-in clamping capabilities.

Handy hold-down. While any horse can support a load, this one can also lend a hand. Outfitted with a row of dog holes and a Kreg Klamp Plate, the 5 × 32" top can hold onto workpieces when sawing, sanding, or routing.
Knock-down clamping station. By notching one edge of each crossrail to fit your favorite clamps, you can also put these horses into service when clamping up large frames or panels.

From shop to job site. Transport and storage are easy, thanks to a folding frame with built-in handles.

Hinged frames make a solid folding horse

Construction sequence

  • Select and mill stock for the rails and legs.
  • Cut legs to finished length, with leg ends cut to 15° bevel.
  • Rip top rails to final size, including 15° bevel along top edges.
  • Dado the legs for the rails.
  • Assemble the leg and rail frames.
  • Install the upper hinges, then attach the shelf.
  • Attach the saddle.
  • Make and notch the rails for the cutting platform.
Rout a perfect pair of legs. Making the 1⁄8"-deep rabbets and dadoes is a cinch with a jig’s help. Position the fences to suit your router. Cut the shoulders, then rout out the center section.
Squared, pinned, and clamped. To ensure a square leg frame, I set a leg against a stop, and then squared each leg/rail connection. Clamp the corners, then repeat the process with the remaining frames.
Hinge the top. Set the hinge against a block when drilling pilot holes so that the knuckle won’t interfere with the top.
Install the shelf. Open the legs until their beveled ends sit flat against the table, and then trim and hinge the shelf sections as shown. Attach the center hinge last.

Screw on the saddle. A scrapwood drilling guide helps a 1⁄8 × 6" twist drill bit hit the rail.


Write Comment

Write Comment

You must be logged in to write a comment. Log In

Top of Page