Saturday Morning Workshop: How To Build An Adjustable Sawhorse
Add these ingenious, handy, adjustable sawhorses to your jobsite arsenal.
A few hours
IntroductionEvery workshop needs a couple of sawhorses, and this design is especially useful. This adjustable version of a classic creates the ultimate sawhorse. The special adjustable support can be raised as much as 20 in. to give you either a more comfortable working height or a great out feed table. Follow the video tutorial and step-by-step plans below, and you can build a set of these adjustable sawhorses in just a few hours!
- Miter saw
- Speed square
- Table saw
- 1-1/4 in. construction screws
- 1/2-in. plywood
- 1x4 board
- 2-1/2 in. construction screws
- 2X2 board
- 2x4 board
- 3/8-in. x 5-in. carriage bolt
What It Takes
- Time: 3 hours
- Cost: $60 each
- Skill level: Intermediate
After you build your adjustable sawhorse, try another Saturday Morning Workshop project that will help you create the perfect work space!
We obviously want you to break out your tools and build this beauty. But if that isn’t in the cards, check out this adjustable sawhorse from Amazon.
Project step-by-step (10)
Crosscut boards to length
Crosscut the following boards to length on the miter saw:
- 2×4 board to one 42-in. piece for the adjustable support top (A)
- 2×4 board to two 27-in. pieces for the adjustable support uprights (B)
- 2×4 board to one 36-in. piece for the spacers
- 2×4 board to one 42-in. pieces for the side rails (E)
- 2×2 board to two 37-in. pieces for the lower guides (K)
- 1×4 board to two 37-in. pieces for the front/back braces (G)
Rip and bevel pieces for the top assembly
Rip the rounded edges off of the 2×4 board, the board should be about 3-in. wide. Bevel a 20-degree angle through the center of the board as shown above on the table saw to create the side rails (E). Rip the spacer 2×4 board to 1-5/8 in. on the table saw. Use the miter saw to crosscut the 1-5/8 in. board to two 6 in. lengths for the outer spacers (C) and one 18 in. length for the inner spacer (D).
Fasten together the top assembly
Fasten the side rails to the outer spacers (C) with 2-1/2 in. construction screws, leaving 2-1/2 in. reliefs on both ends. Place 2×4 offcuts into the adjustable support gaps and center the inner spacer (D), fasten with 2-1/2 in. constructions screws to create the top assembly.
Cut the half lap joint notches
Mark a 3-1/2 in. x 3/4-in. notch into the adjustable support uprights (B) and two 3-1/2 in. x 3/4-in. notches into the adjustable support top (A), 8-1/2 in. from the ends. Set your table saw blade to 3/4-in. and run the boards with a miter gauge to create numerous kerfs for the half lap joints. Hammer out the leftover wood. Chisel the notch flat and sand to smooth to create the final half lap joint.
Drill holes into the adjustable support uprights
Mark out 2 in. increments, centered into the faces of the adjustable support uprights (B). Use a speed square to make sure the holes line up across both uprights. Mark the hole locations with a punch and hammer. Drill the holes with a 1/2-in. spade bit into a sacrificial board to reduce blowout.
Fasten together the adjustable assembly
Fit the adjustable support upright (B) notches into the adjustable support top (A) notches and fasten with five 1-1/4 in. construction screws into each to create the adjustable assembly. Use a speed square to make sure the uprights are at a 90-degree angle.
Bevel and attach the legs to the top assembly
Miter an initial 20-degree angle into one of the 1×4 pine boards with the miter saw, measure 30-5/8 in. and then cut another, parallel miter for the four legs (F). Flip the top assembly over and temporarily fasten the legs to the top assembly with 2-in. 18-gauge brad nails. Fasten the legs permanently with 1-1/4 in. construction screws.
Make and fasten the gussets
Rip the 1/2-in. plywood to a 6 in. strip. Scribe both sides along the legs. Cut the angle on the miter saw to create the gussets (J). Repeat for the other end cap. Fasten the end caps directly to the legs with 1-1/4 in. construction screws.
Fasten the guides and leads to the sawhorse
With the adjustable assembly into the rest of the sawhorse, temporarily fasten the 2×2 lower guides (K) to the gussets (H) with an 18-gauge brad nail gun so the the bottom of the 2×2 is flush with the bottom edge of the gussets (H). Make sure the adjustable assembly has a 1/8-in. gap on either side to allow for some play. Permanently fasten the lower guides (K) with 1-1/4 in. construction screws. Rip the 1/2-in. plywood to 4-1/2 in. on the table saw and crosscut 1 in. pieces out of that strip for the guide stays (L). Fasten the guide stays (L) to the top of the support leaders with 1/8-in. gaps between the support assembly and the guide stays (L).
Fasten the leg braces
Fasten the 1×4 front/back braces (Part G) 15-1/2 in. from the top of the legs (F) directly to the face with 1-1/4 in. construction screws. Take the end braces to the sawhorse and scribe the angles into the end brace board. Cut the mitered angles on the miter saw to create the end braces (H). Fasten the end braces (H) to the edges of the legs (F) with 1-1/4 in. construction screws. Repeat on the other side to complete the sawhorse.