Folding Sawhorses

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Project by Rex B posted 376 days ago 3361 views 38 times favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I recently had a need for some sawhorses. I wanted to build something worth keeping in the shop, because I knew they would be handy to have around. I strongly considered Matthias Wandel’s stackable sawhorses because I knew they would be sturdy and easy to build, but I just don’t have a good place in the garage to store those. Searching around for folding sawhorses, I came across Canexican’s popular Shopdog design.

I didn’t end up buying his plans, because the design is pretty simple. All credit goes to him though. One of the beautiful parts of the design is that you can make a variety of attachments to use with the base. Pretty much any “2x” material can be clamped in the top, and when the top rails get torn up from use they are simple to replace.

I made mine from a few 2×4’s with some 3/4” boards (from the cull bin at Home Depot) for the braces, to save some weight. All the joints are just glued and screwed. I figured out that I could recess the brace on one side to save a little room when they are folded up. Of course, this can’t be done on both sides or they wouldn’t be able to fold completely.

I also came up with the idea to use a taut line hitch on the bracing strap (Boy Scout knots ftw!). That way, the base can be pulled tight which clamps the removable 2×4 in place.

Finally, I incorporated a french cleat into one of the braces to make them easy to store on the wall. This works great. They don’t take up much space at all in the back corner of the garage.

So thanks again to Canexican for this awesome design. They are very sturdy and easy to build. As you can see in the pictures, they have already been used for their inital purpose – painting some doors with a spray gun.

-- Rex

10 comments so far

View SuperCubber's profile (online now)


253 posts in 921 days

#1 posted 376 days ago

Nice job! Canexican’s design has each leg on an angle, which adds some stability. Something to think about if you make another set.

View Rex B's profile

Rex B

310 posts in 887 days

#2 posted 376 days ago

Hi supercubber, thanks for the compliment.

I thought about that, but I don’t think there’s any advantage to having splayed legs as long as the braces are joined securely enough to prevent racking. I could see a benefit to making the base wider than the top, but in this design the top can be any width you want. Mostly I just saw it as difficult compound miter cuts that I didn’t really need (I don’t have a miter saw).

-- Rex

View rlamb007's profile


57 posts in 1174 days

#3 posted 376 days ago

Now I now what my next project will be. This look perfect for the shop. Thanks for sharing.

View SuperCubber's profile (online now)


253 posts in 921 days

#4 posted 376 days ago

I’m glad to hear you think they are just as sturdy. The compound angles complicated the whole process! I’ll have to try another set like yours.

View JanKrompan1's profile


35 posts in 463 days

#5 posted 376 days ago

I’m going to paint my house in the near future and will defnitely need two of this horses. Thanks for sharing.

-- Jan, Free State Province, South Africa

View Sergio's profile


403 posts in 1329 days

#6 posted 376 days ago

Great…. favorited and will be copied. Tks for sharing

-- - Greetings from Brazil - --

View Fishinbo's profile


11217 posts in 812 days

#7 posted 371 days ago

Great job! They look really good and sturdy, very useful and handy around the shop or garage.

View Eddie_T's profile


106 posts in 708 days

#8 posted 331 days ago

I was thinking just to cut the legs as a simple angle then relieving them for the 10 degree cant as a separate cut. The bottom of the notch for the cross piece could be done with a hand saw or saber saw.

View Don W's profile

Don W

14910 posts in 1204 days

#9 posted 331 days ago

Nice. I’ve got a couple pair of the folding sheet metal type I’d like to replace with some of these for easier storage in the shop.

-- Master hand plane hoarder. -

View Eddie_T's profile


106 posts in 708 days

#10 posted 331 days ago

I was pondering how to use a cord with a toggle, a nautical style cleat or a loop over a hook, then I found your idea of the “taut line hitch”. Thanks for sharing, I will have many other uses for this hitch as well!

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