April 2010: Toolbox


Traditionally, a sawhorse—a trestle with two A-frames for legs—is used to support a piece of wood for sawing or cutting, but there’s so much more to this toolshed beast of burden. Place two sawhorses together with a wide plank between, and you have a scaffold to support all kinds of projects. You can used the work surface to support doors and cabinets for painting, create a work area for operating power equipment such as table saws (subject to the sawhorses’ weight-bearing limits) or use it as a simple work bench for laying out tools and taking measurements. 

As with most tools, you can find really fancy versions at your hardware store—ones made of metal or heavy plastic with hinges that fold away for easy storage. If you’re like me, however, your fancy fold-away versions will be unfolded perpetually anyway, supporting whatever current D.I.Y.-I’ll finish-it-before-hell-freezes-over project you have in progress. 

Save yourself money by making your own stationary sawhorses—a D.I.Y. project for D.I.Y. projects! An online search yields a multitude of plans for sawhorse designs. The simplest versions require a few 2×4"s, a couple of brackets and use of a miter saw and drill. You can also go the semi-D.I.Y. route and purchase sawhorse-making kits, which come with everything but the lumber, from the hardware or home improvement store. The store may even be able to cut the lumber for you.—Katherine Ludwig