Jim Morgans Wood Profits

Jim Morgan's Wood Profits

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A Simpler Sawhorse


Bevel beam edges and make angled cut in legs using the same 74' setup on the tablesaw.

Home Workshop Wooden Tools Sawhorse

Sawhorses have interested me for many years, so I was glad to see Paul Anthony's article in issue #52. The Japanese-style horses are intriguing, and they give the woodworker an opportunity to show off his or her skill. But this approach isn't consistent with my priorities when building sawhorses. My design is closer to Anthony's "advanced A-frame," but his design is more complex and time-consuming to build than it needs to be. Here's what I consider important when building sawhorses:

•Ease of construction. Anthony's A-frame calls for mortises, which are timc-consuming to cut. In my design, the two long edges of the 2x4 beam are simply bevel-cut on the tablesaw to match the leg angle. (See drawing.) •Sturdiness. In my expcricnce, you get the strongest stance with legs that splay in both directions. But the legs shouldn't extend beyond the ends of the beam, or you'll be tripping over them.

•Stackability. Sawhorses that stack on top of each other save valuable workshop space.

•Low cost. My horses are made with 2x4s, 1x4s and scraps of 5/8 -in. or 3/4-in. plywood.

•Consistent dimensions. This contributes to ease of construction. To make all the bevel and angle cuts in beams and legs, I set the angle of my saw blade and my tablcsaw's miter gauge to around 74°. This setup gives you perfect fits and plenty of strength with no chisel work. If there's a simpler, stronger sawhorse design out there, I'd certainly like to see it.

Alvin H. Niemann

Ocean Shores, WA

Bevel beam edges and make angled cut in legs using the same 74' setup on the tablesaw.

Feedback on the Buyer's Guide

I recently bought AW's 1997 Tool Buyer's Guide and was disappointed to find no rankings or ratings for tools in each category. I seem to remember that the Buyer's Guide issue in previous years had Editors' Choice and Best Buy selections noted in different tool categories. What gives?

Steve Spodaryk

The Buyer's Guide is a special issue that poses a dilemma for us editors. We don't have the resources to test and rate every tool in the Buyer's Guide—it's simply too big a task for our staff and our budget. ¡Mstyear (in the 1996 Buyer's Guide) we included most of the Editors' Choice and Best Buy winners that we have picked over the last several years. The problem with this approach, and the reason we didn't do that this year, is that some of those Editors' Choice and Best Buy winners are two or more years old. In other words, it's two or more years since we tested that specific tool category. In the meantime, lots of new models have been introduced in some categories (like cordless drills, for example) that might be better than our old Editors' Choice winners. We just haven V tested them yet, that s all.

So, for us to steer readers to an old Editors' Choice winner is really a disservice if there are new models available that weren't considered when we tested the tool category. Instead, in each category, we've indicated when that tool was last tested and where to find the article for more information.

It's not a perfect solution but we've given it a LOT of thought and debate. I hope this explains our thinking. If you have a better suggestion, we're listening.

David Sloan Editor & publisher

I just read your 1997 Tool Buyer's Guide issue and noticed an unsafe procedure illustrated in the Table of Contents and on page 102. In these photos you show the woodworker holding a pneumatic nailer in his right hand and positioning the work with his left hand. The position of his left hand is very unsafe, as the fastener could deflect through the side of the work and into his finger.

When I first bought my pneumatic nailer I was cautioned by a contractor

STAY IN TOUCH! If you have comments, corrections or news to share, we want to hear from you. > To write us, address letters to: Editor, American Woodworker, 33 E. Minor St., Emmaus, PA 18098.

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For e-mail correspondence, send letters to: [email protected] ^ife = Electronic Mail b american woodworker A february 1997

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