Build a folding sawhorse


I’ve made a lot of sawhorses over the years because they are so useful. It’s like having a portable workbench ready whenever you need it. The biggest problem with all the different types I’ve made is that they take up too much space to store.

One solution is to make them stackable, or you can make them foldable. I decided to design this pair of sawhorses so they would require just 4″ space from a wall, the width of a 2×4. The plywood shelf makes for a handy place to set a circular saw or clamps while using the horse, but mostly it acts as a cross brace to provide stability.

I used strap hinges to attach the two swinging legs. They seem to have more side-to-side play than I would like, so you might want to experiment with a different type of hinge.

I attached the swinging side of the shelf to the swinging legs: it might work better to use the fixed legs for the swinging shelf.

Additionally, if the hinged legs splay, you can attach a brace between the two legs, near the top of the sawhorse.

Update: I just added a 3/4″ x 1.5″ brace. This works perfectly to keep the hinged legs together.





  1. That is a really cool design. I have a set of folding saw horses but they are heavy and difficult to use. I will be building a set or two of these.

  2. Yes your design is a good one but I think a 3 legged sawhorse would be a better design..I just completed a pallet wood lawn chair..set on the plastic horses and they kept walking away from each other.on uneven brick patio and eventually fall from the sawhorses had I not stopped that little disaster…Great video once again…take care!!

  3. Hello Steve, I was wondering if you could answer a question for me. I use Google Sketchup to design and build multiple different items. I am using the free version. How are you able to save your work to other file formats so that you can make plans. the only file format it will let me save it in is the SketchUp type of file.
    Please reply.

    Thanks, David Smith

    • Go to “file”, “export” and you have the options of “3D Model”, “2D Graphic”, and “Animation”. I never use the 3D or Animation so I don’t know how useful they are. The 2D graphic options are .bmp, .jpg, .tif, and .png. I export to .jpg and then do some minor editing, mostly cropping and resampling to reduce file sizes, in PhotoShop Elements to send drawings to customers. (I don’t send the .skp files because I don’t have time to teach customers how to use SketchUp.)

      I design in SketchUp but need a .dxf to create cut files for my CNC. The later versions of TurboCAD will import .skp files that can then be saved as .dxf files. That’s a cheaper way to get there than to buy the Pro version of SketchUp and export directly to .dxf.

  4. Hi Steve thanks for another great project design. Going to make a set for myself and for our Mens shed. Good for working on or morning tea table. Thanks

  5. I like it the project and the shelf is nice. It might be stronger if you put the plywood 90 degrees. plywood is actually many times stiffer in a directional way and curves or bends better 90 degrees from that. It might not ‘warp’ as much if you put the grain the ‘stiff’ way.

  6. Steve, Just a small suggestion. It takes more dowel but… Run the dowels from leg to leg. Then the legs won’t splay.

  7. What is the finished height of these sawhorses? I’m going to use this design to make some, but I’d like them to be at the same height as my mitre saw stand. Wondering what the finished height is, and how to adjust. Thanks!!

  8. Steve…the legs 19 degree angles, are they made on the same side of the wood, or do you flip them? Am very new at woodworking….

  9. I made these today and found that the dowel hole location on the legs to be mislabeled. The PDF plans incorrectly show that the dowel hole should be 15″ from the top of the leg, whereas the SketchUp plans correctly show it to be 15″ from the bottom of the leg. That comes up to a 1.5″ inch difference in location, when compounded with both legs it makes the 2 braces for the shelf too long and their dowel holes don’t match the legs.

  10. Just came across these on Youtube, and will be making them tomorrow. Have been looking for folding sawhorse designs, and this is the best I’ve seen in terms of simplicity and functionality. Fantastic, and thank you!


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