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Folding adjustable-height saw horses
20 Jun 2010

Adjustable-height folding saw horses

I have a small shop, which means everything must be mobile and if at all possible, serve multiple purposes. For several years I've been using a set of  adjustable-height knock-down sawhorses from Shop Notes magazine. Overall they have worked well, but they are very heavy, cumbersome to move around and they take several minutes to break down for storage. Trying to improve on that, I designed my sawhorses under these requirements:
  1. The pair should easily support the weight of any project I would want to put on horses for finishing or assembly (figure 400 pounds max)
  2. fold / unfold in seconds
  3. lightweight
  4. adjustable height for use as in/outfeed support (bandsaw, router table, table saw, workbench, etc)
The result is:

Adjustable-Height Folding Sawhorses

Here is a video that demonstrates how the sawhorses fold / unfold and how the height is adjusted:

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Additional Pictures

Here are a few more pictures to help visualize how to build them.

This shows the end. That is a standard 4" door hinge holding the sides together. The legs have a half-lap to support the weight transferred from the side and top. This puts the weight directly to the legs. As a result, the screws holding the legs to the sides are almost decorative.

Folding Sawhorses - from end

From below, you can see the two channels that the top supports can be in. The support is shown in the extension channel. It is cut at an angle matching the legs. Sliding the top to this position gives it more support when extended. It also prevents the legs from folding in, which is good if you accidentally kick a leg. The channel to the right is the folding channel. It extends the full width of the side and allows the sides to fold together around the legs.

Folding Sawhorses - from below

Here you can see the top supports in the folding channel.

Folding Sawhorses - shown folded from the bottom

This is the very simple locking bar that keeps the legs extended. This, too, keeps the legs rigid when open.

Folding Sawhorses - locking bar