Saw Horses - or - alternative?

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Forum topic by Eastern posted 06-10-2014 03:15 PM 4417 views 0 times favorited 35 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Eastern's profile


17 posts in 1418 days

06-10-2014 03:15 PM

Hi all,

I need the ablilty set-up my woodworking in the back yard -router table, portable table saw,miter saw etc.

What mobile work platform tool do you guys recommend? The lighter the better…..and space saving is nice to have too.

I’ve seen the various plastic collapsable saw horses and products like the jawhorse etc. I don’t know what’s junk and might be dangerous and what is okay.

Thanks for all the help on everything so far….

35 replies so far

View ChrisK's profile


1946 posts in 3049 days

#1 posted 06-10-2014 03:37 PM

I used the plastic saw horse when I was doing handyman work. They were light, but cheaply made. They did not last more than a month or two. A saw horse with a way to clamp 2x across with plywood work surface is hard to beat. You can make it almost any size you want. Look for a knock down saw horse plan and go from there.

-- Chris K

View JayT's profile


5589 posts in 2179 days

#2 posted 06-10-2014 03:44 PM

Have you seen Ron Paulk's workbenches? I think one of them would likely fit the bill very well. There are several Lumberjocks who have built Paulk workbenches, as well, if you do a site search.

-- In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock. Thomas Jefferson

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

28961 posts in 2306 days

#3 posted 06-10-2014 03:46 PM

I have had the plastic ones. I recommend to skip that. There are several designs her for mobile or collapsible work stations. Do a search here and find something that works for you.

-- Mother Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View MT_Stringer's profile


3160 posts in 3199 days

#4 posted 06-10-2014 03:48 PM

Ha ha. JayT is a faster typer than I am. :-(
Something like the tables Ron Paulk builds would do just about anything you could ask for. I used his ideas when I built my miter saw station.

Make one that fits your needs and storage.
Hope this helps.

-- Handcrafted by Mike Henderson - Channelview, Texas

View MrRon's profile


4719 posts in 3211 days

#5 posted 06-10-2014 05:26 PM

B&D Workmate.

View Picklehead's profile


1041 posts in 1897 days

#6 posted 06-10-2014 06:22 PM

While I haven’t built them yet, I plan to make a pair of these

Lots of attachment ideas on his homepage here

-- You've got to be smarter than the tree.

View bondogaposis's profile


4687 posts in 2319 days

#7 posted 06-10-2014 06:22 PM

Bob Lang’s shop box system might fit your needs.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View higtron's profile


235 posts in 2645 days

#8 posted 06-10-2014 06:23 PM

I use this set up for breaking down sheet goods and a portable router station it’s nothing more than some notched 2×4s that when slide together form a grid so you can easily rip or cross cut it also allows you the ability to clamp work down.

-- A friend will help you move, a good friend will help you move a body

View paxorion's profile


1107 posts in 2013 days

#9 posted 06-10-2014 06:24 PM

I’m in the same boat as you, doing all my at-home work outdoors. My problem with portable sawhorses and stands, is that they are not stable and takes too much setup time. Eventually, I build an outdoor bench which stays under my deck using PT lumber and deck piers.

That bench was built in a day and has served me well. I treat the top as a sacrificial top, allowing me to clamp a straight edge across for cross-cuts. I’ll post a project in the next day or two…

-- paxorion

View Kaleb the Swede's profile

Kaleb the Swede

1825 posts in 1937 days

#10 posted 06-10-2014 06:25 PM

I used this for a while until I built my bench. It still gets used now to break down sheet goods. It lays flat against the wall and takes up minimal space

-- Just trying to build something beautiful

View Rob's profile


704 posts in 3038 days

#11 posted 06-10-2014 07:10 PM

For now I have a partial sheet of 1/2” OSB that I throw on top of a lightweight square steel tube frame that was part of the packaging for my neighbor’s table saw. It’s really quick and easy to set up, though it would be nice if the top were a little more lightweight.

Just the other day I bought a used Black & Decker WorkMate which I think will come in handy for working with smaller pieces.

I also have some cheap plastic sawhorses and they’ve held up better than I expected. But I hate the time and effort associated with setting up a typical sawhorse work table. You have to set up the sawhorses, put your sacrificial 2×4s across, then assemble your grid or put a sheet of plywood on top. The more parts there are, the more trips you have to make back and forth.

You’ll be happiest if you have something that you can assemble and disassemble in a matter of seconds without a lot of heavy lifting or trips back and forth to your garage.

I had wanted a work support that expands like a bag chair for quite a while, then a few months ago I ran across the Centipede Sawhorse. I’m thinking about getting one when they come off backorder, but I could also see someone making their own from conduit, or just trying to accomplish the same thing with some cheap bag chairs.

-- Ask an expert or be the expert -

View MT_Stringer's profile


3160 posts in 3199 days

#12 posted 06-10-2014 07:33 PM

I have been racking my brain. There has to be a better way to set up a temporary cutting station to break down sheet goods. You guys are right about set up/tear down time. I am give out before I even start.

My problem is I don’t have wall space to store anything of any size.

Recently, I worked out of the back of my truck, but it is higher than my saw horses! :-( Just a regular 1/2 ton 2009 Chevy.

-- Handcrafted by Mike Henderson - Channelview, Texas

View Rob's profile


704 posts in 3038 days

#13 posted 06-10-2014 09:20 PM

If you’re just breaking down sheet goods, a common solution is to throw a sheet of XPS foam down on a flat surface (e.g., a concrete driveway) and drop your sheet of plywood on top of that. The downsides are that clamping a straightedge guide in place is more difficult and you have to crawl around to make your cuts.

Self-contained things on wheels are always nice for quick setup and teardown. I can’t find it right now but a while back I saw a mini workbench that someone designed to pack up onto a dolly (more specifically, I think it was a Festool systainer dolly, but any dolly or rolling tool stand could work). The mobile workbench itself might have been a variation on Ron Paulk’s workbench design that everyone loves.

-- Ask an expert or be the expert -

View MT_Stringer's profile


3160 posts in 3199 days

#14 posted 06-10-2014 09:31 PM

In my case, Rob, working on the ground is out of the question. Bad knees will do that to ya. I do have foam that I use and cut the sheets with a track saw. I like higtron’s cutting station. I might have to break down and cobble one up like that. UGH. My saw horses aren’t that wide. Might have to modify it somewhat.

-- Handcrafted by Mike Henderson - Channelview, Texas

View Eastern's profile


17 posts in 1418 days

#15 posted 06-10-2014 09:44 PM

Lots of great input from guys with tons of experience – thanks.

I read all the posts and will look into each idea and see what fits.

Thanks again… ——————————————————————————————————————————————————————
OFF TOPIC – MT Stringer – Is that a 300mm 2.8 in the photo?

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