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How to Build Small Sawhorses

Updated: Sep. 04, 2017

Baby saw horses for the shop

FH11JAU_SAWPON_01-2Family Handyman
Mini-sawhorses (saw ponies) are surprisingly useful around the shop or job site, and are easier to make than full-size saw horses. Using this plan you can make them from scrap lumber for almost nothing.

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Constructing a mini-sawhorse

For years, Ken, my boss here at The Family Handyman, and I have been debating the merits of collapsible metal sawhorses vs. clunky, heavy, hard-to-store homemade wooden ones. (Guess which side I’m on?) He finally came up with a design that actually makes some sense to me. They’re short, compact, stackable mini horses that you can throw together from scraps in about 30 minutes. Short is the key. Ken uses his to work on projects that are too tall for the workbench but too short for the floor, such as cabinets that need finishing. They can also be used as mini scaffolding for working overhead. OK for now, Ken, but if mini collapsibles hit the market, all bets are off. Your horses will be belly up.

Figure A: Cloning Saw Ponies

To build your own ponies, you’ll need an 8-ft. length of 1×4, 3 ft. of 2×4, a 3-ft.-long chunk of either 1-in.-thick decking or 2×6, and a few scraps of just about any plywood. Shown is 1/4-in. plywood, but you can use 1/2-in. or any other thickness you have lying around. Then:

  1. Cut all the boards to length, including parallel 15-degree bevels on the ends of the legs.
  2. Rip the 2×4 edges on the spine to 15 degrees on the table saw. Screw the top to the spine with equal overhangs at all four sides, then screw the legs to the top.
  3. Scribe the ends of the plywood gussets and staple, nail or screw and glue them to the legs.
  4. Saddle up and ride into the sunset.

Video: How to Build Sawhorses

Required Tools for this Project

Have the necessary tools for this DIY project lined up before you start—you’ll save time and frustration.

  • Circular saw
  • Cordless drill
  • Miter saw
  • Safety glasses
  • Table saw

Required Materials for this Project

Avoid last-minute shopping trips by having all your materials ready ahead of time. Here’s a list.

  • 1-5/8-in. screws
  • 1x4 x 8'
  • 2-1/2-in. screws
  • 2x4 x 3'
  • 5/4 x 6 x 3' (or 2 x 6 x 3')
  • Plywood scraps