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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.

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Standing next to three saw horses stood up on their ends | Construction Pro Tips
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Stand Up Horses

Install 2×6’s on the top as sacrificial surfaces that can be cut into without damaging the sawhorse or a saw blade. Cut each 2×6 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.

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A work-bench made from two saw-horses | Construction Pro Tips
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Semi-Permanent Workbench

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.

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Cutting drain pipe on a saw-horse jig | Construction Pro Tips
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Pipe Friendly Top

Hey plumbers, here’s a great setup for cutting pipe. Build a “U” out of a 2×6 and two 2x4s. Hold the pipes down with another 2×4 on top. This setup is great because it can still be used as a regular sawhorse, as well.

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A storage shelf built under a saw horse | Construction Pro Tips
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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.

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Protective rubber feet for a saw horse | Construction Pro Tips
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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.

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Drying Rack built across two saw horses | Construction Pro Tips
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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.

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Sawhorse hook for keeping cords off of wet surfaces | Construction Pro Tips
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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.