On Thoroughbred Saw Horses

 

On Then With the Thoroughbred Saw Horses

Saw horses of this type depend on four-point contact with compound cuts to the foot and to the shoulders of the legs. It’s this that puts people off making the saw horse of  this type.  Placing the leg into the recess and elevating it onto a 9” stick of wood gives you the angle of rake. Align the ‘low’ corner of the top of the leg with the top face of the cross beam. This gives the exact shoulder line as a cut line to the underside of the beam. By placing a 3/8” chisel or spacer against the beam you can now mark the angle of the scribe line to each side of the leg. This gives you the lines you the vertical cuts that seat against the side of the beam when the joint is completed. Use a straight edge or chisel along the underside of the beam to get the exact position of the actual seat cut and join the lines using the sliding bevel you have already set. Amazingly, this sliding bevel does both angles to the seat cut. Forget the excess at the top for now, we cut that off after we have screwed the leg to the beam. This is how the joined up lines will now look, The angle you set the bevel to for the housing recesses on the beam will be the same as the two  (long and short) angles for the compound seat cut to each of the four legs. You must align the cut lines with a straightedge and use a sharp pencil to mark the positions exactly. The sliding bevel will help you to further define the shoulder line with the knife walls needed to guide the saw cut and chisel clean up subsequent to that. Simple!

The vertical cut lines you scribe on either side of the leg must be joined along the top of the leg to give you a direct saw line to cut the face to. I used a tenon saw to cut both the face and the shoulder but a small-toothed handsaw will work too.

With the seat cut to each leg completed this way I can now assemble the saw horses. I should point out that it is easier to lay out and cut all the leg seat cuts first because the frame become unwieldy if you fix one completed leg and then try laying out the next.

Here’s another view for clarity.

I drill, countersink and glue and screw each leg to the beam using two diagonally placed screws. 2” screws are usually long enough but this depends on the finished stock size of your legs. Longer screws work too. Set aside for the glue to dry.

More shortly.

15 comments on “On Thoroughbred Saw Horses

  1. This series is great! I’ve been searching for a sturdy sawhorse for some weeks and now this shows up as an answer to my prayers.

    Regards

  2. “This gives you the lines you the vertical cuts that seat against the side of the beam when the joint is completed. ”

    Would someone correct (clarify) this please?

  3. Paul a simple question with many modern day glues do you have a preferences for 1 general purpose or many different types dependant on the conditions, I’m a simple joiner and use gorilla type ova rapid adhesives indoor and out, I like to read you blog like a morning paper in bed that’s the beauty of being retired cheers

    • Hello Charlie, I am settled for most all my work on PVA glue. I have used it for 50 years now and it has always served me well. I do use epoxy on some hardwoods that are oily and don’t work compatibly with PVA. I have never really liked polyurethane glues or contact cement but `i will use them when needed.

  4. Hello Paul.
    I am currently at the point of using the 9inch stock to elevate the legs and to give them the correct angle and i dont want to make any mistake!!! hehe . My question is this: Does this 9ich stock refer to 26” legs? Is this correct? From the video, the legs are 26”.
    However, i have followed the cut list and it refers to 29” legs and i have cut them so initially.
    I guess this has to do with each individual’s height so it can be compatible to many individuals?
    So if someone would want something different than 26” do they have to adjust the 9inch to something bigger or smaller correspondingly? hence, maintaining the angle you end up with the 9″ stock and 26″ legs? or does it not matter so much??
    Thanks Paul for such a wonderful video.

    • You have two options: Use the 9″ stick 26 inches down which will give you the same angle but for a taller legged sawhorse, or move it to the end and have the same footprint but steeper splay. I believe both will work fine.

      • Thanks so much Paul. Im laughing my head of….. I Didnt think of stopping at 26” to put the 9” stick !! tsk tsk tsk. My goodness..
        Thanks again!

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