Saturday 10 September 2022

How To Make The Best Traditional Sawhorse

Yesterday I did a online talk for a group of homesteaders and smallholders about woodworking and how is best to start. I had a great time and really enjoyed it!

To accompany this talk I decided to put together a video for what I think is one of the most essential things you can have to make woodworking easier - a way to hold and work wood - a sawhorse. 

A sawhorse is a great way to work wood. It's the ideal height to use your knee and body weight to clamp the wood your working on. A pair of them supports wood easy and can make a useful work bench or hop up. 

This design is the one I built as an apprentice, it's what Andy (the carpenter that trained me) said was the best design. You can carry it on your shoulder up a ladder, set it tight up against a wall and balance all your weight on the very edge without it tipping. 

The best bit is to make it uses no fancy geometry to make it. There's a simple set of rules to set it out, using imperial measurements. It's 2'6" long, set it 6" in and 1/2" all round. I explain all in the video below!

It's a simple project, uses very few tools and once you have built it all other woodworking projects (where you're using hand tools) become easier. I love them, take at least one on pretty much every job I go on. the old ones I use have been on so many jobs, up roofs, laid floors, helped make kitchens, helped me saw thousands of pieces of wood over the last 20 years.

Watch the video and let me know what you think. 

Do you have and use a sawhorse? What style of one do you have?


  1. Absolutely do have a couple of those, greyed with age, notched all over with saw cuts, legs a bit frayed at the bottom with having been dragged around. Wouldn't start any of even my Heath Robinson projects without them. They are also useful for storing the surfboards and kayaks.

    1. Yeah, they get used for all sorts of things! One of the reasons I love them so much I think! Mine have even appeared on the front cover of woodworking magazines. Also a great place to sit and have a break!

  2. That was an interesting video, I'm sort of tempted to have a go myself.

    1. Do it! Having them makes nearly every DIY job easier!


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