Picture of Three-Legged Knock-Down Sawhorse
The more projects I make, the more I realize that my rickety old sawhorses are inadequate. I think that I am limited by the strength and sturdiness of these sawhorses and I feel like I am always compensating for them. Because these sawhorses are so unstable, I set out to make the most ideal and functional replacements I could.

Ideally, my new sawhorses would be extremely sturdy and collapsible. That way I could take it anywhere and easily put them out of the way in my small workshop. I have a reprint of a woodworking book from the 70's that showed a couple different designs for sawhorses. The one that interested me most was a 3 legged design that touted its sturdiness on uneven ground. My backyard is very uneven and I often have trouble setting up tables or my sawhorses. I reposition them again and again until they stop wobbling.

Unfortunately, the book only had a rough drawing of a 3-legged sawhorse. I looked around the internet but I didn't find any plans for a 3 legged sawhorse, so I had to design my own. I decided I wanted to make my design include knock-down legs, so they could be taken off for storage or transport. I used the following links as guides for the standard parts and adapted a traditional knock-down design to suit my needs.

Knock down Sawhorses
The Richard
Standard Knock-Down Sawhorse

Other designs
39 Free Sawhorse Plans

3 Legged Sawbench Design

sourdoughjim2 months ago

Thanks ProfMuggs! I got them done.

Copperace4 months ago

Sure glad I found this. I am looking for a set of legs for a very heavy Texas table my friend Cliff and I cut out of some 6' round table tops I found at auction real cheap. I think adding a foot or two of length should bring them up to "bar" height and still remain stable. And double as saw horses since I am tall.

The stability and knock-down ability are my two main considerations. I think you have saved my bacon!!! When I get my "roun-tuit" lined up I hope to post a photo or two. Thank you for taking the time for photos and write-up!!!

ProfMuggs (author)  Copperace4 months ago

Thanks, I'm glad you like it. If you are looking for a particular height, I recommend using the triangle calculator I linked to on step 3. It makes everything a lot easier.

I bookmarked the calculator and will be using it shortly! Again, thanks.

softbid10 months ago

The plan is great and so is the instructable. I will be making a pair of these this weekend. I do plan to screw a 2x4 across the top to add a clamping surface and a sacrificial strip for circular saw action :) Thanks !

ProfMuggs (author)  softbid10 months ago

Good idea! I have a few ideas for add-on pieces that could make these more useful, but unfortunately I haven't gotten to them. Please post pictures of your finished project?

Great plans! I made a pretty rough slot in the 2x8 leg so I used a scrap piece to make a platform for the top piece, which doubled a carrying handle.
ProfMuggs (author)  syntheseiser10 months ago

Very nice! Sorry I missed this comment until now. Since I posted this I built a set for my friend and he was able to take them apart and fit them in the trunk of his car. I also moved and had to put them in storage for a while and the ability to take them apart really came in handy.


Can someone enlighten me how to make the 15 degree cut on the mono leg with the coping saw. I am new to wood cutting, this is my first real project, so pardon my ignorance.

Thank you

ProfMuggs (author)  csnbharathi1 year ago

I didn't go into enough detail there. I actually used a circular saw to cut down the grain but stopped short of the end so I didn't overrun the bottom of the cuts. I started the cut on the acute angled side to prevent overrunning the bottom on the other side as well. I used the coping saw to follow the cuts I already started and end cleanly on the marks on both sides of the board. I then turned the the corner with the coping saw and followed the bottom edge on a15 degree bevel. I used a tool like a sliding T bevel to compare the angle I was cutting to a reference as I went.

I hope that helps.

Thank You! Yes it did help.

This project seems to be the most challenging among all, I learnt a lot when trying, still a long way to go. The pics you posted are really awesome and thanks for the detailed reply.

Do you have any other interesting plans for me to follow, do you have a blog that i could use?

Thanks again

svalkov11 year ago
Great design. One thing comes to my mind- why not make few more holes on the single leg- that way will be lighter to carry and wont lose lots of strength!
Damnatory2 years ago
Excellent instructable. Decided I needed a set of saw horses, so this was a perfect first project for my budding wood hobby. Super sturdy, and though mine aren't as nice as yours, they are actually sort of nice looking for saw horses.
ProfMuggs (author)  Damnatory2 years ago
Thanks a lot. Do you have any pics you can post?
Hawkeye_bkj2 years ago
I really like this style of saw horse. Thank you for posting it. I did have one idea, have a 2x4 laying flat screwed onto the top of the horizontal piece to use as a sacrificial board so you don't have to remake the cross piece.
paganwonder2 years ago
Good design. I tended to use plywood gussets on the legs to avoid splitting of 2X bracing. I also found nails have more lateral resiliency than self-threading screws (screws would break occasionally). That being said- I regularly loaded 'horses' of this design with 1500# of lumber...I don't necessarily recommend this practice! (it was production expediency and we took risks a sane person would not)
chipper352 years ago
Intelligent, simple (and, actually kinda nice looking!).......great project here!!
Very nice, thumbs up
buteomont4 years ago
Excellent idea. I'm going to make a couple.
cyprian9164 years ago
pretty good i bet you wish you had had a saw horse for this project though. ;)
Favourited, Voted, Five Stars, etc. An excellent project.
Hey Jim,
You got my vote...
Thanks for the kind comments!
Phil B4 years ago
Thank you. The three-legged design makes the sawhorse stable, even if the ground surface below rolls. This would be especially helpful when used on a lawn.
It would do, unlike a four legged one, or a table. You KNOW they're always going to have one leg adrift and start rocking.

For stacking them could you not switch them end for end so that the single leg falls between the double legs?
I'm sure it's a fine tool for sawing, but I can see possibilities beyond such mundane "work-a-day" uses. It seems like an eminently stable and useful structure for all kinds of furniture. Thank you for posting it.