Low sawhorses

Here is a set of low (18") sawhorses that are made of some 2" S2S red oak I had onhand from an earlier project. I had just enough for the pair but there are some spots where there was not enough material to remove some forklift scars. I expect there to be other scars soon enough. 

In true neanderthal fashion I used hand tools for all cuts and planing and an electric drill for hogging out the through mortises. Red oak is on the hard side but sharp tools get through it just fine.  

The design is much like my earlier sawhorses but this time the posts fit into the legs with a tapered saddle joint that will tighten as the sawhorses are used. The angle is 1:20 on each side of the post. I tried to leave a bit of clearance above the saddle so the post could move down into the taper to tighten before it bottomed out. You could always increase that clearance when and if needed.

The lower crossbeam is notched to match the 1:4 pitch of the through mortise (this is like a shitage-kama joint with a single wedge). When the wedge is driven in this joint tightens up sufficiently. Ideally I would have used thicker material for the lower stringer so I had 3 shoulders instead of one, but I was out of thicker oak and had to go with some 3/4" I had around. 

The top crossbeam is identical to that of my earlier sawhorses. It rests on both the top of the post and the bottom of the post mortise - so it will distribute the impact of hammering over the widest possible area. I chamfered the top beam with a 30 degree chamfer plane. All other edges are chamfered at 45 degrees to reduce spintering and damaging workpieces that may be softer wood.

The sawhorses are plenty rigid for sawing or use as a low bench for mortising, etc. They might even support a small car. They teardown so you can pack them away or travel. I will finish them with a couple coats of satin polyurethane just to slow down moisture exchange.  


Adam Weil said…
Nice. Sweet & simple. And very secure construction. I'd like to do similar ones eventually.

Is the 18" clearance going to be enough for your saw blade when it's completely through a work piece?

Love your blog. Keep it up!
Peter Mac said…
Good question. 18" is fine for Japanese saws but for a lot of ripping I would use the frame saw I made (see Toolbox page). That needs more clearance but 18" is OK. For a frame saw it is also important that the frame clears the feet of the horse, so they have to be wide enough apart to allow the frame to fit. I also plan to use the horses for mortising - sitting on the (large) workpiece while mortising.
Scott and Karen said…
Awesome looking sawhorses. Thanks for posting. You don't have plans available, do you?
Scott Markloff
Peter Mac said…
Uh, although this is the Joinery Notebook, I do not have any notes on this set of horses. Sorry. The earlier post on taller horses may help. http://joinerynotebook.blogspot.com/2011/11/basic-sawhorses.html