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How to build a saw horse

MitchellMc
Bunnings Team Member
Bunnings Team Member

Difficulty: Beginner

Saw horses can offer reliable and stable support for work surfaces and D.I.Y. tasks like cutting and assembling materials, making them handy tools for woodworking and other projects. 

 

Follow this simple guide to build a saw horse. You can customise its size to suit your needs. Repeat all the steps below to build a second saw horse and complete your set before use. 

Steps

Step 1

Cut Pine pieces to size.

 

My saw horse measures 1000mm long, 750mm in height from ground to work surface and 550mm width from outside of its legs.

 

Use a tape measure and pencil to mark three points spaced 1000m apart on each of the five Pine pieces. You should have 15 lengths in total.

 

Now use a handsaw to cut these lengths. Don't forget to wear personal protective equipment (PPE) while cutting, including gloves and safety glasses. 

 

1.1. Use a tape measure to measure timber.png

Step 2

Mark the lengths for the rail pieces.

 

Take two 1000m cut lengths from the previous step. Use a tape measure and pencil to draw lines at the 100mm, 360mm, 660mm and 900mm mark from the end of the first length.

 

Now draw lines at the 110mm, 370mm, 670mm and 910mm mark from the end of the second length. 

 

The marks on the second length differ from the first. This prevents the fixing screws from contacting each other in the following steps. 

 

2.1 Marking out top and bottom rail.png  2.2 Marking fixing locations in rails.png  2.3 Offsetting fixing location mark.png

 

Step 3

Join the rail pieces.

 

Drill through the centre of the marked lines created in Step 2 on your lengths with a 4mm drill bit. Countersink each of these holes.

 

Now take a new 1000m length and clamp it between the two marked and pre-drilled sections. With your 4mm drill bit, drill through the previously drilled holes into the new middle rail.

 

Use your drill driver and Hex5 impact driver bit to drive in the bugle timber screws and screw all three rails together. 

 

3.1 Marking location for pre-drilling.png  3.2 Pre-drilling top and bottom rail.png  3.3 Countersinking top and bottom rail.png  3.4 Clamping top bottom and middle rail together.png  3.5 Pre-drilling middle rail through topand bottom rail.png  3.6 Fixing top bottom and middle rail together.png  3.7 Fixings render 1.png

 

 

Step 4

Pre-drill lengths for the leg sections.

 

Take four new 1000mm timber lengths. Place a line across all of the four ends at 25mm and 100mm.

 

Now intersect those lines 25mm in from each edge at 25mm and 65mm. These are your pre-drilling locations.

 

Pre-drill each leg at the four marked locations with your 4mm drill bit and then countersink those holes.

 

4.1 Marking locations for pre-drilling legs.png  4.2 Marking locations for pre-drilling legs.png  4.3 Pre-drilling legs.png  4.4 Countersinking legs.png

 

Step 5

Attach the legs to the rail pieces.

 

Clamp the legs to the end of the top rails. Next, pre-drill through the existing holes in the legs into the rails.

 

Install your bugle timber screws to connect the legs to the rails.

 

5.1 Clamping legs to middle rail.png  5.2 Pre-drilling middle and bottom rail through legs.png  5.3 Fixing legs to middle and bottom rail.png  5.4 Fixings render.png

 

 

Step 6

Trim the legs to your desired length.

 

The legs of the saw horse are currently 1000mm in height. You can reduce them to a more conventional height, like 750mm. 

 

To reduce the height of your saw horse, place it upright on a flat surface. Now place a standing object, such as a 200mm high cardboard box next to each leg. Transfer the object's height across to the leg, marking it on all sides.

 

Cut the legs to length following the marked lines using a handsaw. 

 

Repeat all the steps above to create another saw horse. Place your desired work surface or material in between the two.  

 

You’ve now successfully built a functional and multi-purpose set of saw horses.

 

6.1 Marking legs for height adjustment.png  6.2 Cutting legs to correct height.png  6.3 Finished.jpg

 

 

Materials

Tools

  • Handsaw
  • Drill driver
  • Countersink bit
  • 4mm drill bit
  • Hex5 impact driver bit
  • Clamps
  • Tape measure
  • Pencil. 

     

Images

 

1.1. Use a tape measure to measure timber.png  2.1 Marking out top and bottom rail.png  2.1 Marking fixing locations in rails.png  2.2 Offsetting fixing location mark.png  3.1 Marking location for pre-drilling.png  3.2 Pre-drilling top and bottom rail.png  3.3 Countersinking top and bottom rail.png  3.4 Clamping top bottom and middle rail together.png  3.5 Pre-drilling middle rail through topand bottom rail.png  3.6 Fixing top bottom and middle rail together.png  3.7 Fixings render 1.png  4.1 Marking locations for pre-drilling legs.png  4.2 Marking locations for pre-drilling legs.png  4.3 Pre-drilling legs.png  4.4 Countersinking legs.png  5.1 Clamping legs to middle rail.png  5.2 Pre-drilling middle and bottom rail through legs.png  5.3 Fixing legs to middle and bottom rail.png  5.4 Fixings render.png  6.1 Marking legs for height adjustment.png  6.2 Cutting legs to correct height.png  6.3 Finished.jpg

7 Replies
Akanksha
Projects Editor
Projects Editor

Thanks Mitch. A saw horse is a versatile tool indeed and can come in handy for many D.I.Y. tasks.

 

Please let us know if you are planning on building your own saw horse. We would be happy to help.

 

Akanksha

 

Noyade
Kind of a Big Deal

Hey @MitchellMc 

 

I purchased some 'horses' twenty years ago - never really happy with them. The only thing I like about them are the folding legs which also extend the height, but the main problem is that space indicated, as it's only 30mm wide. So I tacked a larger piece on top with brackets but this was still somewhat unstable.

Any thoughts/ideas on improving this?

I was thinking of cutting the welded brackets to fit more substantial wood - but that would be my last option.

 

(No desire to derail your thread - should I start a fresh thread?)

 

Cheers!

 

20231218_122224.jpg

 

Dave-1
Home Improvement Guru

Afternoon @MitchellMc , @Akanksha  and @Noyade 

I am actually planning on building a couple more sawhorses as the ones I have now are never enough (always want one more lol) I was using two of them as stands to sand my privacy screen on the weekend.

 

The Saw horses Upcycled Telstra installation stands are the style I am going to do (yeah one of bookmarks :smile: ). Thanks to MitchellMC tho as he drew up the plans and got them right! I am so tempted to get a piece of timber cut up into sections to take home in the car and then put them together :smile:

 

Noyade, You could make your existing horse sturdier by screwing two lengths of timber either side of the top strip (making sure you leave room for the swivel of the fold up legs) and then reattaching that top plate you were talking about?

 

Dave

Noyade
Kind of a Big Deal

Not a bad idea @Dave-1 

Thanks mate! 👍

EricL
Bunnings Team Member
Bunnings Team Member

Hi @Noyade 

 

It's perfectly alright to post these kinds of questions, especially in a "how to" article. Would adding more angle brackets make a difference? 

 

Eric

 

Noyade
Kind of a Big Deal

I'm over brackets thanks @EricL 

I was thinking of ripping a large solid post to fit?

 

20231220_124254.jpg

EricL
Bunnings Team Member
Bunnings Team Member

Hi @Noyade 

 

That would really make it a nice solid piece to work on. Any small wobbles would definitely be eliminated as it is now a single unit. Please make sure to post an update when you begin building this.

 

Eric

 

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