Secrets of the Sawhorse: 7 Tips and Tricks
A folding metal sawhorse is every tradesman’s best buddy. They’re inexpensive, lightweight, and easy to store. Here are some helpful sawhorse tips to get the most out of your ponies.
Stand Up Horses
Install 2x6's on the top as sacrificial surfaces that can be cut into without damaging the sawhorse or a saw blade. Cut each 2x6 about 1/4-in. long on each end. That allows them to stand up on their own, so at the end of a job you can fold in the legs on each one; stand them up, and then run around grabbing two in each hand. They’re also easier to store in the upright position in a shop and trailer.
When working on larger projects, set up a sturdy workstation. Screw 2x4s to the tops of the horses and a plywood platform to the 2x4s. Let the 2x4s project a few inches beyond the plywood to make it easier for someone to help you pick up the whole works and move it around when needed.
Pipe Friendly Top
Hey plumbers, here’s a great setup for cutting pipe. Build a “U” out of a 2x6 and two 2x4s. Hold the pipes down with another 2x4 on top. This setup is great because it can still be used as a regular sawhorse, as well.
Build a Sawhorse Storage Shelf
Tired of stooping, searching, plugging and unplugging when using power tools with your sawhorse? Build this simple platform and slide it over the cross braces. It provides a more “back friendly” place to stash your tools. Adding a power strip then allows you to keep several tools plugged in at the same time. The platform can also provide a place for ballast if you’re using the horse for some task that might push it around or tip it over.
Protect the Floors
If you want to avoid scratching the floors, get these protective feet Ebco makes for its horses. Get a set of four on the manufacturer's website.
Build a Convenient Drying Rack
A pair of sawhorses works great for painting or staining long stuff. But where do you lay 25 pieces of wet trim while they’re drying? How about right in front of your nose. Make simple racks from scrap 3/4-in. plywood and custom-cut the slots based on your needs. Screw them to the sides of your horse and then go to work.
Keep Your Cord Connections Dry
Drill a hole near the bottom of your sawhorse, and hook a carabiner into the hole. Secure the end of your extension cord with the carabiner to keep it out of the mud and snow.