I kept thinking about the way to make a portable work table or workbench out of just one folding sawhorse I built, and kept running into the dead end, because it always seemed very complicated when I came up with the idea to attach the table to the sawhorse, since the top of the sawhorse is just too narrow, I have to brace the joints here and there, therefore, they all looked very “after-thought”. I know it would be much easier to just use both sawhorses, and it seems logical to have a conventional table after-all.
The other thought was, I didn't have any picture taken during the process of making the folding sawhorses, this will be another chance to show some details of assembly sequence for this type of simple joint.
Step 1: Modification Design
This first picture was my old design when I build the folding sawhorses. Click the Instructables link below if you would like to check it out.
My table saw is 38" high, and that's also a comfortable working height, so naturally the portable workbench in the future should be the table saw out feed support height at 37 3/4". The table top surface will be 3/4" plywood pieces, so the sawhorse supports should be 37". Thus, I need increase the sawhorses height by 8" from 29".
The ultimate goal is to have at least two if not three working heights available out of one set of sawhorses. The modification is to add two vertical pieces to make up the height, which I will call it sawhorse extensions. I thought about making another set with 37" height, but then I will loose the flexibility of having two workable heights with one set of sawhorses.
An 1” wide brace piece should be glued and screwed to support the extensions, and make the whole joint as a wide dovetail so it's worry free of pulling out in case I move the sawhorses just by grabbing the extension.
The horizontal movement of the extension should be restricted by the shelving that goes between the sawhorses, at this point, the concept is still under refinement, so a couple of clamps are the solution before the portable workbench get finalized.
Step 2: Material and Machining
I have some discounted 1x6 from HD that are cracked at the ends or have some twist to them. They are cheap (75% off) and I’ll use a long straight but cracked end lumber for the top support with cracked portion cut off and some left over for the verticals.
First, rip 1” wide stripes, cut it with 15° miter at each end to fit at the bottom of the sawhorse beam, glue and screw in place. That will establish the baseline of the measurement.
Cut one end of vertical 15° miter, clamp it in place, mark it at 37”, and cut again with 15° miter and 15° bevel along the mark. Repeat 4 times.
Top support pieces are 46 ½ “, as I will have 48” wide top and ¾” edges at each end, they are just square cut to the length.
Step 3: Assembly Process
Dry fit by clamp all parts together. After centered the top piece and everything at right place, mark a couple of lines cross the joint as reference for gluing and assemble purposes. Put glue on both pieces at the joint, align the pencil lines back together, clamp and screw them. Again, I shot three 1 ¼” brad nails at the joint before screw them just making sure they didn't move.
Step 4: Finished - Sawhorse on Sawhorse!
It's only a two hours update work after dinner at one night. Looks like a sawhorse on top of another sawhorse! The next thing to do is adding a couple of supports to the back of the extension, since it's angled, but I am not planning on put heavy load to the workbench, so I might do it later on if the purpose of application changes.
Now I have an out-feed table for my table saw whenever I needed with a piece of plywood, so that I don't have to stack a bunch of boards to make up the height as I showed in the first picture (it's a lot of work too).
I am still in the process of making the workbench top and shelving underneath, then it will be possible to attach the two extensions to the sawhorses without clamps hopefully, but at this point, 4 of the Harbor Freights $1.99 special clamps will get me going. I am one step closer to complete the workbench project. That's coming soon.