Sawhorses and Fathers-in-Law

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Project by Christopher posted 07-13-2009 11:09 PM 2749 views 4 times favorited 11 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I think these are the second most useful tool in a woodshop, the first one being a pencil. My ex father-in-law, Dale, and I, built 3 sets of these about 12 years ago, he gave me a set as a Christmas gift. He was my mentor for many years and taught me a lot. I had always tried wood working but knew very little about tools and techniques. I used green treated 2×10’s to build my first bathroom shelf, all I had was a drill so I would drill a series of holes across where I wanted the cut and then try to break it off cleanly! I had seen, and coveted, tablesaws and such but had never seen one used. Dale showed me his tools and taught me many of the basics while I simply watched him work, we even discussed the correct terms for dadoes versus rabbits and shaker style versus craftsman (he was always particular about his wood working nomenclature). My ex-wife told him a bunch of scandalous lies about me in the divorce so he wants nothing to do with me now. Unfortunately, I haven’t spoken to him, if only to thank him, since the day she left and even now I miss his advice and guidance on all things wood. Now I have LJ’s and a friend in Mzmac though so there is hope! Any questions, comments or critiques are welcome. Oh, they are made of cedar and I intend to sand them down one day and coat the heck out of it with poly like I promised Dale I would.

11 comments so far

View Christopher's profile


576 posts in 4124 days

#1 posted 07-13-2009 11:19 PM

I feel bad for posting such a worn and used project after seeing TimF’s and Hinspeter’s work!

View Dan'um Style's profile

Dan'um Style

14179 posts in 4187 days

#2 posted 07-13-2009 11:21 PM

very nice design … cedar is relatively light, so that is even better

-- keeping myself entertained ... Humor and fun lubricate the brain

View a1Jim's profile


117340 posts in 3781 days

#3 posted 07-13-2009 11:27 PM

Hey Chris
Just make them from Tiger Maple next time bud.LOL LJS is to share ideas and projects If i compared any of my work to these two guys it would be a rough route to pull. Just share what you have good saw horses are a fine post. There’s some one out there that needs a good design for saw horses.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View degoose's profile


7245 posts in 3558 days

#4 posted 07-13-2009 11:46 PM

Mate,, I like them ,, I have not seen a design for horses like this one before. They look very stable.
HEY,you could make them from Bubinga like Kent or out of Purple Heart like I wood, [pun intended]

-- Don't drink and use power tools @

View PineInTheAsh's profile


404 posts in 3472 days

#5 posted 07-13-2009 11:48 PM

From here your horses look good and strong.

I would definitely schedule time for refurbishing them. Make them models forever; and then post the polished pictures here for the world to see and as testimony of the brief, perhaps good relationship with Dale.

A father-in-law relationship for a man can be awkward. I was fortunate in having a good man. I will never forget the time spent in his small basement shop.

View Karson's profile


35149 posts in 4604 days

#6 posted 07-14-2009 12:14 AM

Some great booking sawhorses. Give him a call and thank him for the help in your life. You’ll feel better and if he ignores it then it’s to his detriment and not yours.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Appomattox Virginia †

View Woodwrecker's profile


4201 posts in 3779 days

#7 posted 07-14-2009 02:17 AM

Give that guy a call and straighten things out.
And thank him for the knowledge.
Those horses have some history in them and plenty of miles left.

View Christopher's profile


576 posts in 4124 days

#8 posted 07-14-2009 12:25 PM

Thank you for all the comments guys! Should I call him? I really don’t need more drama in my life, perhaps I will write him a letter. Anyway, you guys rock, thank you.

View jockmike2's profile


10635 posts in 4450 days

#9 posted 07-14-2009 06:55 PM

Sound advice, give him a call. It’s on him after that, if he hangs up in your ear, you’ll know he wasn’t much of a man. At least you can end that chapter and move on with your life. Those horses are better than the 10 sets I’ve made and left in the weather to rot. You got what it takes buddy. You are a Lumberjock!!!

-- (You just have to please the man in the Mirror) Mike from Michigan -

View panther's profile


59 posts in 3447 days

#10 posted 07-20-2009 03:45 AM

cool design i’ve never seen a set built like that , dont worry about finish it just shows you use them ,and isn’t that what its all about

-- you must live for something or die for nothing (rambo)

View Randolph Torres's profile

Randolph Torres

295 posts in 3732 days

#11 posted 11-22-2011 05:31 PM

At first glance I thought who in the hell designed these then my brain kicked in and I could see how benificial this design is firstly you can stow many of them in a narrow space. Secondly it looks easier to navigate around w/o tripping up than the standard horse. But remember the old design was developed for the old timers when we didn’t have electricity all timber was cut with hand saws the, the horses had to be extremely strong, durable and able to carry very heavy loads. They also had to be all terrain, often used on uneven grades and in muddy job sites. In these situations the “A” frame cannot be beat. But for todays use your father in laws design is more than adiquate. Though the diagonal gusset plate or stiffenesr should be modified for more strength if you were going to place them in heavy use also add or sandwitch 8 or 10” stiffners to both verticals. ps I think if you reestablished contact with your father by law, enough time has gone by he might have softened a bit, you know at the breakup he had to be loyal to his blood even if he had mixed feelings.

-- another tip from cooperedpatterns

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