How to build a saw horse

This step by step project is about how to build a saw horse. If you have a workshop and want a simple method to ease your woodworking projects, you should consider building a basic saw horse out of 2×4 lumber. As you will see throughout the project, anyone can get the job done in leas than an hour, as you just have to make a few angle cuts and join them together tightly.

There are many designs and plans you could choose from, so you should take a look on more projects before starting the actual project. Nevertheless, if you are looking for a simple but sturdy design, this project might be the solution to your needs. Moreover, you could build all the components from 2×4 lumber, as to save both time and money. Make sure you check all the dimensions before making the cuts, otherwise the components might not fit together easily.

The list of the benefits a saw horse will bring you is endless, as with just a very small investment, you will create a versatile tool. Usually, you need to build at least two saw horses, otherwise you won’t be able to use them as a base for a table or a simple support for lumber or a table saw. If you want to protect them from wood decay, you should apply several coats of paint over the wooden components.


Made from this plan



In order to build a wooden saw horse, you needs the following:



  • A – 1 pieces of 2×4 lumber – 48” long TOP
  • B – 4 piece of 2×4 lumber – 29” long, one end cut at 20º – the other cut at 70º LEGS
  • C – 2 pieces of 1×4 lumber – 20 3/4″ long, both ends cut at 20º FONT AND BACK BRACES
  • D – 2 pieces of 1×4 lumber – 42 1/2” long SIDE BRACES
  • E – 20 pieces of 2 1/2” galvanized wood screws SCREWS



  • Safety gloves, glasses
  • Miter saw, jigsaw
  • Chalk line, tape measure, spirit level, carpentry pencil
  • Drill machinery and drill bits



  • Pre-drill holes in the wooden components, before driving in the screws
  • Use a good miter saw to make the angle cuts



  • 1 hours





Building a saw horse with 2x4s

Building a saw horse

Building a saw horse


Building a saw horse will ease your work in the shop and it also doesn’t imply significant costs. If you use a smart design and proper plans, you can get the job done with 2x4s and 2 1/2” galvanized screws.

Smart Tip: Plan everything from the very beginning, if you want to get a professional result. Remember that these plans are made for 1×4 braces, so if you are going to use only 2×4 slats, cut the side braces at 44”.



How to build a saw horse

Attaching the legs

Attaching the legs


The first step of the project is to build the frame of the saw horse. Therefore, you should use 2×4 lumber to build the top and the legs, suing the plans in the image. As you can easily notice, you need to cut the ends of the legs at about 20º, using a miter or a circular saw.

Smart Tip: Fit the legs to the top, drill pilot holes (to prevent the wood from splitting) and insert the 2 1/2” into place.


Attaching the front and back braces

Attaching the front and back braces


Next, you need to enhance he rigidity of the frame, by fitting the braces. In order to build the front and the back ends braces, you could use 1×4 or 2×4 lumber. As you should notice in the plans, you have to cut both ends of the braces at 20º.

Fit the braces into place, pre-drill the lumber at both ends and drive in 2 1/2” galvanized screws into the legs. Use a spirit level to check if the legs are plumb, before inserting the screws.


Attaching the side braces

Attaching the side braces


Installing the 1×4 or 2×4 side braces will increase the rigidity of the saw horse, so make sure you follow the instructions. Cut the lumber right and align it at both ends. Check if the ends are flush with the front and back braces, before drilling the pilot holes and inserting the 2 1/2” wood screws.

Repeat the process on the opposite side of the wooden saw horse. In most of the cases, two screws at each end are more than enough.


How to build a saw horse

How to build a saw horse


Last but not least, you have to take care of the finishing touches. Therefore, you have to make sure all the screws are inserted properly and the whole structure is rigid. Use a spirit level to check if the top is horizontal.

Smart Tip: Fill the holes with a good filler, let it dry out and sand the wooden surfaces with 120-grit sandpaper. Vacuum the residues and apply several coats of protective paint.



Thank you for reading our project about how to build a saw horse and we recommend you to check out the rest of the articles. Don’t forget to share our projects with your friends, by using the social media widgets.

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