HEAVY DUTY DIY Folding Sawhorses | Video tutorial + Plans

Friday, March 27, 2020 -

*This video is sponsored by The Home Depot. This post contains affiliate links.

Holy cow! Things are nuts right now guys! So since we're all currently on lock-down at home, I imagine most of you are like me and trying to be productive with what you have lying around. A few weeks ago I shared my SUPER SIMPLE garage shelves if you're in an organizing mood, but what if you need more work space? 

Traditional sawhorses are super strong but big and bulky (read: hard to store). Folding plastic models are easy to store, but typically kinda flimsy (and surprisingly expensive for what they are). I wanted sawhorses that could do it all. Strong enough to support a tank, but folding and portable so I can tuck them away when not in use. 

The best part of DIY sawhorses is the fact they are totally customizeable. You can easily adjust the dimensions of the plans below to meet your needs better. Watch the build video for all the details or keep scrolling for the cut list and diagrams. 

Materials List: (makes 2)

  • (1) 2 x 6 x 96" boards
  • (5) 2 x 4 x 96" boards
  • (1) 2 x 2 x 96" boards
  • (1) 3/8" hardwood dowel

 Cut List: (makes 2)

  • (2) 2 x 6 @ 36"
  • (6) 2 x 4 @ 33"
  • (8) 2 x 4 @ 29-1/2" (cut at 15 degree angle on both ends) 
  • (4) 2 x 2 @ 14" 
  • (4) 3/8" dowel @ 6"

 1. Cut Material

Using a circular saw or miter saw, cut boards to length. Cut top plate, runner and cross supports square. Cut legs at 15 degrees off square on both ends, with the angles pointing the same direction (creating a parallelogram).

Measure 1/2" from the top edge. Adjust the blade of your saw to 45 degrees and make a cut, removing a small triangle section from the point.

 2. Attach Legs

Align the top edge of the legs to both faces of the runner, flush to the ends.

Using a power drill, like the RYOBI 18V Cordless Drill/Driver, attach a 3" non-mortise door hinge, connecting legs to runner.

3. Add Cross Supports

Align cross supports on the inner face of leg pairs. Allow a 1/4" space between the bottom of upper support and the top edge of the lower support so they don't knock into each other when the sawhorse is closed. Attach cross supports to legs using glue and 3" screws.

4. Attach Top Plate

Align the 36" long top plate on the top of the runner. Allow a 1-1/2" overhang on both ends. Using a cordless impact driver, like the RYOBI 18V Cordless 1/4" Impact Driver, secure in place using glue and 3" screws.

5. Add Locking Arms

Align locking arms horizontally, on top of the upper cross support. Clamp in place. Using a 1/4" drill bit, Drill through the side of arms and into the legs. Secure using 1/4" x 5" lag screws and washers.

6. Add Dowels 

Drill vertically through locking arms and into the the top of the cross supports. Move arms out of the way and insert 3/8" dowels into the holes. Secure using wood glue. Trim dowels approx. 1-1/2" above  the cross supports.

 7. Get to work! 

Think of your next project and start marking something awesome.

Each sawhorse only takes about 10 seconds to set up.

And  I love the little bit of security I get having the gate latch on the side holding the legs together when the sawhorses aren't being used.

When closed, they are only 5-1/2" wide. Plenty slim to slide into those little nooks and crannies in the garage. 

These bad boys are SUPER STURDY! We've already been using them as we build our new house. They've withstood heavy beams and more than their fair share of abuse.

What do you think of these entry levels builds? You like getting back to the basics or are you yearning for something more complicated?

Ready to build your own sawhorse? Feel free to pin the image below.

If you like that, you'll love these posts too:


Let's be friends! Follow along so you don't miss a thing!


  1. Hello Elisha:
    Simple, solid and economical design, thanks for sharing your work!

  2. Thank you for your energy and ideas in video, we bought a house to renove recently, we will try to do the same. You are really inspiring

    Comment from France

  3. You left the hinges off the materials list.

    1. Thanks for pointing that out! I went ahead and made the correction.

  4. I want to make the sawhorses 35" high. Do I need to add 5" all the measurements, ( height of cross supports, length of locking arms, etc) or just the legs?

  5. I don't think this is just me because I've checked in 3 different browsers but most of the images are returning 403's, except for the second to last one (heavy-duty-sawhorse-plans-TALL-700.jpg). You might want to check the permissions on the other images.

    Thanks for the great work!

  6. Christopher MaxwellJune 12, 2020 at 10:50 AM

    For the wood used in this plan, did you use any type of hardwood or does it not matter what kind of wood to use for this project?


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