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Post updated 6-19-09… Added photos + 15 new plans! See just the updates here >>
The humble sawhorse. It’s often the woodworker’s first project. You often inherit them from woodworkers who’ve passed. No matter where they come from they are the unsung heroes of many woodworking projects. I found a great thread over at woodnet (show me your saw horses) that got me hunting down all the sawhorses I could find. I’ve corralled a good mess of them here for you – 25 (now 37) different plans.
If you’ve built any of these I’d appreciate your thoughts. If you prefer the metal/plastic collapsible kind let me know what brand and why. You can leave comments on this post or email me at email@example.com.
The sections are as follows:
1) Celebrity Saw Horses
2) Wackiest Sawhorse
3) Best Sawhorse Idea I Couldn’t Find Plans For
4) Sometimes You Need a Mobile Carpenter Bench, Not a Sawhorse
5) Your Basic and Free Sawhorse Plans
6) Space Saving Sawhorses
7) Sawhorses for Sheet Goods
8) Sawhorses Etcetera
9) 31 More Free Plan Collections from ToolCrib.com
1) Celebrity Saw Horses:
If a woodworking celebrity designed it or uses it… it has to be good, right? Well, you’ll have to be the judge of that. I just thought it would be fun to break them out of the pack :)
Norm Abram’s Picnic Table and Saw Horses
Why did they put the sawhorse and picnic table together? Who’s gonna pay 6 bucks for sawhorse plans? That’s more than the cost of materials! Anyways, there are folks who have built this style of sawhorse and love it. This is the only non-free plan I link to.
Roy Underhill’s Sawhorse Design (PDF)
Underhill’s one of the original galoots. His sawhorse is solid and suitable for corded tool users too – it’s based on a sawhorse he found in his parents’ basement.
Chris Schwarz Sawbench
Chris Schwarz is the editor of Woodworking Magazine. He’s a big handtool aficionado too, a galoot if I understand correctly :) His Sawbench is well suited for hand tool users: Free Construction Drawings for the 2008 Sawbench.
Schwarz’s sawbench is similar to this Sawing Trestle plan from the 1900s.
2) Wackiest Sawhorse:
This is just a patent, so don’t take the idea and make millions from it. You’ll get sued. That said, it might be a good influence on your design if you’re crafty enough to figure out how to build one.
3) Best Sawhorse Idea I Couldn’t Find Plans For:
SawPony – shorter saw horses for when you want to put a foot or a leg up on the work you’re cutting to help hold it down. I guess you could just make shorter saw horse legs… Here’s where I read about them: show me your saw horses
4) Sometimes You Need a Mobile Carpenter Bench, Not a Sawhorse:
Are you using your sawhorses as mobile carpenter benches… setting up your chop saw on them, etc… It might be that you really need a mobile carpenter bench.
Mobile Carpenter’s Bench from Tim Carter
Or… maybe you just want to store more tools on your sawhorses. Check out these sweet sawhorses: Tool Tote Sawhorses.
5) Your Basic and Free Sawhorse Plans:
Sometimes vanilla is the best flavor. These sawhorses are straight ahead, no nonsense sawhorses that you will have for the next 25 years. So pick your plan carefully ;)
The Cheapest, Easiest, Ugliest, Most Functional Saw Horse Known to Mankind I’ll give it easiest, but I’m not so sure about ugliest…
a functional, strong and elegant sawhorse
Basic Woodworking Sawhorse Plans
Scrapwood Saw Horse Plans – Metric
Mr. Wizard’s Sawhorses (PDF)
Vintage, 1991 Sawhorse Plans from Popular Mechanics
Sawhorse Classic from Fine Woodworking
6) Space Saving Sawhorses:
Sometimes space is at a premium. These sawhorses will politely fold up or stack up and get out of the way when they’re not in use.
The “Richard”: The Ultimate Knock-Down Sawhorse
Foldaway Vise Table & Sawhorse (PDF)
Sawhorse – Knockdown Workstation Accessories
Simon Shea Stackable Sawhorse Plans
Light Folding, Medium Folding, Heavy Fixed Sawhorse Plans
7) Sawhorses for Sheet Goods:
Sometimes you need a little extra help with those sheet goods. These sawhorses will gladly and ably pull more than their own weight.
Knock-Down Sawhorse Cutting Grid
8) Sawhorses Etcetera:
I didn’t know which category to put these sawhorses in, but I knew I needed to include them. Here’s everything else that didn’t fit in the categories above.
chain saw sawing horse (pdf)
Replaceable Inserts Save Sawhorses
Add an adjustable outfeed roller to your sawhorse
Workshop Sawhorses = 29 plans with pics and everything
Any Sawhorse Plans?
Free Saw Horse Plans
Saw Horse Plans
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Best wood sawhorse.
I added this page this afternoon – to expand on my previous reply.
I stumbled across a light-duty “sawhorse” at IKEA a while back. It’s actually a Vika Artur adjustable-height table base. It looks and works like a medium-duty sawhorse, and the clever height adjustment uses a simple screw-clamp arrangement to grab a 3/4″ (approx.) thick tee-rail part that holds the table top when used as directed. This works dandy as-is, but the clamping arrangement means that one could replace the tee-rail part with any sort of homemade specialized work holder to clamp in the base. It’s a marvelous design that could easily be copied to a heavier-duty version. The best part is, they had them on sale at 5 bucks each. I bought six.
Here’s another sawhorse design…
I will add it at the next update :)
sawhorse design for the next update:
very cool original knockdown design!
I see the site has been updated since my last visit. My older replys above in the list [b]should be deleted[/b] because I changed ISPs a few months ago. Refined the plans of my horse – into a single .pdf page. Please feel free to copy and keep it. No telling how long my present Web page will be up.
Added from above comment which was deleted: “I’ve got a better sawhorse than any that I’ve seen here – or elsewhere on the Internet. Extremely strong, superior for scaffolding or to stand on, no nails to cut through while rip cutting. I’ve used the design for 30 yrs. but it probably originated in Oklahoma City 40-50 yrs ago.” -TCeditor
Very nice site! Thanks for all of the great plans. I have been using them and they sure do save me a lot of time…..
I was wondering if you happen to have any Intarsia Patterns. I would like to try my hand at a few of these….
sweet adjustable sawhorse – takes a long time to load
Click for bigger images.
These photos come from Richard. He says:
“I came across this interesting old sawhorse at an old nursery where I was doing some work. Basically it is a variant of the knock-down sawhorse you have on your site, except the cleats are set at an angle so that you get the additional stability of the two-way bracing effect.
“I plan to make a pair using 2 in. stock, and in addition put a long brace at the bottom of the supports with a ring that I can hook a cable between with a turnbuckle on to resist additional spreading forces from extra heavy loads, which I have.
“I have never yet seen a premade unit or a set of premade brackets that I like.”
Wonderful plans! Thanks!
scroll down to the 7th comment on that forum thread… your jaw will drop. I’ve never seen a sawhorse design like that before!
You can add this one if you like:
that’s a great looking sawhorse Richard! thanks for bumping the list up to 40 ;) I will add this the next time I do a full-scale update!
I really like the sawhorses in the three pictures that Richard said he found at an old nursery job.
I have a small shop, so knock-down ‘horses are a must.
I’m gonna build two sets, one with two 4′ beams for regular cutting and one with two 8’ beams for ripping sheet goods.
Thanks, Toolcrib and thanks, Richard, for the info.
Great site, BTW.
Fabulous, what a webpage it is! This website presents useful facts to us, keep it up.