Build your own handy folding sawhorses
Click here to download the Sawhorse plans (3 sheets)
If you print sheet 3 at 100%, you can cut out the leg profile and
use it as a template to mark out the legs
The saw horses have a removable top, folding legs and a shelf that hinges down to lock the legs apart by means of a small block screwed to the underside. The shelf is useful to put tools on, rather than putting them on the ground.
The top is locked in place by angled lugs on the legs which lock into angled notches in the top.
The design enables to top to be lifted off and the legs folded up for easy storage
The biggest mistake I made was using rough sawn timber. It was quite wet and warped badly, so I recommend you use dry, dressed timber. The drawings have been dimensioned so that variations in the timber sizes shouldn’t affect the working of the horses.
I made the horses 700mm high to suit my needs, but you can adjust the leg length to suit. (All the details are for 1 horse only)
Start by cutting all the timber to size. The 4 legs are identical. The lugs that locate the top need to be quite accurate to work properly. I cut them on the bandsaw. Check out the legs for the cross braces. Make sure the braces are a tight fit in the notches. Secure the braces with screws and glue. I added some strips of 12mm ply to the top braces to form ledges to take rules, squares etc.
The pivot holes need to be a snug fit on the bolts and counter-bored to take the bolt head and nuts. Bolt the leg assemblies together with M10x80 hex bolts, washers and Nyloc nuts.
The bottom brace on one of the leg assemblies can be checked out to take the tray hinges. (I used 65mm hinges)
Next cut out the notches in the top. Drill a series of holes to remove the majority of the timber before finishing with a chisel. It would pay to cut the notches slightly smaller to begin with, then widen them bit by bit to accurately locate the top on the legs. I cut a scrap of timber with a 10° angle to use as a guide for the chisel while finishing the notches.
To assemble the horses, spread the legs enough so that the shelf can drop down, then locate the top on the leg lugs. Spread the legs apart as far as they will go, then locate the block under the shelf with screws so that the block pushes against the brace. The block holds the legs apart to make a rigid unit. It may need repositioning after a while as the timber settles
To dismantle the horses, simply hinge the shelf up a bit, then lift the top off. When folding the legs together fully, the shelf can be hinged up and located between the top braces to keep it tidy.
I added a few holes and slots in the shelf to accommodate tools and also made a little box to screw on the side to take pencils, tapes etc. You can customise things to suit your own needs.