Perfect Sawhorses: Adjustable and Knock-down Design





Introduction: Perfect Sawhorses: Adjustable and Knock-down Design

* Adjustable
* Strong/Sturdy
* Don't require a lot of space to store (ie. knock-down)
* Economical (approximately $15 per sawhorse)
* You would enjoy, or at least have some ability in, assembling pieces of wood

If you have some or all of the above criteria for a set of sawhorses then these will be perfect for you.


* The design was inspired by this plan:

* The finished weight of the saw horse is about 20 pounds.

Step 1: Tools Required

* Drill
* Drill bits (1/2", 1/4", and smaller)
* Wrenches or Socket set
* Skill saw and/or Miter saw
* Pencil
* Level
* Various clamps

* Sandpaper (80 or 120 grit)
* Protractor
* Vise

Step 2: Materials Required

This list is for two saw horses (measurements in inches):

Qty  Description
4      2x4 8 foot (96") stud
3      1x4 8 foot (96") furring strip/stud
1      2x2 8 foot (96") furring strip/stud

Qty  Description
8      4 1/2 x 1/4       carriage bolts
8      3 1/2 x 1/4       carriage bolts
16   1/4 x 1 1/4        fender washers
16   1/4                     nuts
4      3/64 x 1 9/16   safety pins
1      1/2                    wooden dowel
-      1 1/4                 wood screws
-      2                        wood screws
-      2 1/2                 wood screws

Wood glue is optional for some of the joints

Step 3: Cut List

Again, measurements are in inches


Qty    Measurement    Description
2        30                         Top
4        14 1/2                  Top Supports
4        20                         Leg Sides
8        21                         Legs


Qty    Measurement    Description
4        9                           Leg Supports
4        30                         Top cross pieces
2        27                         Bottom cross piece


Qty    Measurement    Description
2        23                         Bottom piece of the Top Assembly

[Angled Cuts]

The Legs and Leg Supports will require angled cuts.  I decided with 30 and 60 degree cuts, but you could modify to use only 45 degree cuts to keep it as simple as possible.

The Legs have a 30 degree angle where it will rest on the floor and a 60 degree angle where it will rest against the 'Leg Side' (see picture).  The 60 degree cut can be done by hand (would take awhile though), with a fancy miter saw that goes to 60 degrees, with a skill or circular saw, or by clamping a jig to a miter saw set to 30 degrees and the board perpendicular to the miter saw fence.

The Leg Supports (1x4) are easier with two 30 degree cuts.

Step 4: Assembly (1 of 3): Legs

See pictures for instruction ...

Step 5: Assembly (2 of 3): Horizontal Supports

Once you get two leg assemblies together you can join them with the Top Cross Pieces.  I used clamps to keep everything in place as I drilled holes.

These two Top Cross Pieces aren't enough to keep the entire sawhorse square if someone/thing were to lean on it from the side, so I added a Bottom Cross Piece which I attached with 1 1/4 inch wood screws.

Step 6: Assembly (3 of 3): Adjustable Top

The Top Assembly:

First, attach the bottom with the supports with 2 1/2 inch wood screws (recommended to pre-drill the holes).  I put 2 screws in each side.  See the picture for how I used clamps to keep it all in place.

Next, slide those pieces into place and clamp the Top of the 'Top Assembly' to the rest of the saw horse while also clamping the Top Supports so they don't move while drilling holes through the Top.

(See the pictures for more detail)

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Hi, great ible, but can't seem to be able to download it. I get an unknown error message. Webmaster please have a look at the download script. Thx

Nice! Downloaded and on the way to getting materials. It will become clear, but what is the minimum and maximum height of the horse?

The height of mine ranges from 32.5 inches to 45 inches. If you add a sacrificial top piece the height will increase accordingly.

Thanks loftyduck, another question: the pins for the moveable assembly appear to rest on 1 x 4 crosspieces though everything else except the leg gussets is of 2 x 4 material. So does that mean all the weight of the load rests on the lighest pieces? Is there something i'm missing? Is this a misplaced concern?

You understand the construction correctly but since the 1x4 is vertical the long (4") side carries the weight. So overall the 1x4 doesn't seem to be the weak link. If you need to support more weight I'd actually recommend improving the leg gusset connection first.

perfect sawhorses indeed! My only thought on improving though (but they are still perfect!) is to replace the pins for height adjustment with bolts or some sort of metal rod? And for this, maybe aluminum L-profiles covering and reinforcing the edges where the pins will sit on during use? (for heavy objects)
I was searching for some sort of desk-construction alternatives, and I think these sawhorses would make a really nice and flexible, though sturdy desk combined with a table plate!

Definitely a good idea. The pine dowel i originally used bent so it's since been replaced with oak dowel. Adding metal bits would be good as well or using a harder wood (oak, hickory, etc.) for areas that take extra stress would make it more durable, no question.

one problem with this instructable:
it can't be downloaded. i've tried several times.
the pdf page says to open with a different viewer.
downloading it with right-click save-link-as works, but the properties give it as 0bytes.
trying to open it with a on-puter pdf viewer says the file is plain text.
opening it in a word processor program gives a totally blank page.

what happened to the download-able file?


copy and paste to word

Good design, but it looks like this would be extremely heavy. Great for fixed use in a woodshop, but I would hate to have to continually carry these around to job sites. I wonder if some of the 2X lumber could be replaced with 1X. I agree about using bolts and nuts in place of the wood dowels and pins. You could also use something like a hitch pin from a trailer that would be secure but easily removable.