Response to the sawhorse contest (announced in Woodsmith No. 73) was surprising. We thought we were familiar with most types of sawhorses, but couldn't believe the wide variety we received.

Hundreds of readers sent in their sawhorse plans. They ranged from simple boxes to complex designs that were more like workbench modules.

three groups. Then came the challenge — how to make order of all this, and actually pick some sawhorses to feature here. (We originally had this scheduled to fill one page of Woodsmith, but you can see what happened.)

We quickly noticed most plans fit into one of three groups: knock-down sawhorses. folding sawhorses, and conventional sawhorses.

The differences between the three groups are mainly related to stability, load-bearing strength, and portability.

knock-down. Our favorite knock-down sawhorse is the simplest to build — you just draw the pattern onto plywood and cut it out, refer to Fig. 1.

And since it knocks down, it's perfect for someone with limited storage space. In comparison to the other groups, the knockdown design is probably the most limited in stability and strength. (Though after building a pair, we were surprised how strong they actually are.)

folding. The folding saw-horse we chose is significantly stronger than the knock-down version, refer to Fig. 2. And since it folds up neatly, it doesn't take up much more space than a knock-down sawhorse.

What I like most about this folding model is that it goes together quickly. And when it's assembled, it's almost like a having a conventional sawhorse.

conventional. If you don't mind giving up storage space, you can build a conventional saw-horse. refer to Fig. 3.

These sawhorses are typically made from construction lumber: 2x6's, 2x4's and lx6's. This one is no exception. And if you make more than one, they can be slacked on top of each other.

Since it's made from larger dimension stock, it's the strongest and most stable of all three types.

Maybe that's why you see beat-up old sawhorses like this still in use on construction sites.


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