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post #1 of 13 Old 03-20-2013, 03:49 AM Thread Starter
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Popular Mechanics Sawhorse

Hi everyone.

The sawhorse plans call for a 20 degree bevel in the four notches of the 2 x 6 where the top of the legs fit into. The legs are also at a 10 degree rake. How would you go about making that notch? The pictures show a guy making the angle with just a hand saw; is that the way you'd do it?

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Last edited by Merkava_4; 03-20-2013 at 03:57 AM.
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post #2 of 13 Old 03-20-2013, 07:56 AM
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sure. why not? and yes, i also use chisels and planes.

do you have something against hand tools?
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post #3 of 13 Old 03-20-2013, 08:07 AM
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Yeah that's a good way to do that angle. You use the saw to cut little stripes and then clean them out with a chisel. It is hard to finesse something like that with power tools, but I suppose you could do it with a table saw sled instead if you want to go with power tools. Same principle, except you don't leave the stripes.
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post #4 of 13 Old 03-20-2013, 09:53 AM
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In picture #5 it shows cutting the ends of the slots for the legs. After cutting the end cuts, make additional cuts in the waste about every 1/8" next to each other. It will be much easier and more accurate to remove the waste this way rather than a large chunk that could break out and not where you want it. One issue with saw horses is that such cuts require both left and right bevel cuts. It's pretty easy to cut the mortices with a handsaw rather than trying to get a power saw to fit in there. There is a tendency for the area left on the ends after the mortice to break off

Another way to make sawhorses is to bevel the top on both sides. There isn't a need to splay the legs towards the ends or notch them into the top. They should have a wide width stance to prevent the horse from tipping over if you bump into it. A lower long brace on the legs will help keep the legs from breaking if the horse gets banged on the legs. A plywood shelf is handy for tool storage and additional strength.

Two old ponies in this picture, one in the background with the long brace inside. These are nice when using the horses to step up on.
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post #5 of 13 Old 03-20-2013, 11:17 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Curl View Post
do you have something against hand tools?
NO. I was just wondering if that was the best tool for that task. I thought
maybe someone might use a jigsaw or a router set at an angle maybe.
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post #6 of 13 Old 03-21-2013, 09:26 AM
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I'd use the handsaw. The only simple way I could see to do it with a power tool would be a router with some sort of really big dovetail bit, or a jig for a table or band saw.

The hand saw would be faster and more accurate than any of those, I think.
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post #7 of 13 Old 03-21-2013, 09:31 AM
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The tool selection is somewhat dependent on the design.

For the PM design with cutting the pocket and bevel, a handsaw at the ends of the hole and chisel works well.

A later reply showed a design where the entire top was beveled. This can be easily done with a table saw.

The pocket could have been cut square and the top of the leg beveled. This design could have used a router, but there would still be hand cleanup with a chisel to square the ends. The leg top is easier beveled with a hand plane than trying to hold this upright with a jig to use a table saw.
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post #8 of 13 Old 03-21-2013, 09:54 AM
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You could probably make the cuts with a sharp handsaw in the time it would take to setup a power tool arrangement.

For just a little more, you can do it yourself.
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post #9 of 13 Old 03-21-2013, 11:20 AM
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That looks similar to the saw horses I use only mine you don't have to mortice the legs into the top, the top just sits on top. I also use common 1x4's to frame it with. I've never broken one before and I've loaded them down heavy.
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post #10 of 13 Old 03-21-2013, 11:40 AM
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I made adjustable height ones. They have come in handy more than a few times for various and sundry purposes.
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post #11 of 13 Old 03-21-2013, 04:04 PM
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I made my saw horses to my own design, which included allowing the head to be adjusted for height.

As Chris mentioned, once you have a pair of saw horses, at some point you will want to use them for tasks you did not initially realize, and this frequently involves needing a different height than just for hold a board while you saw a piece off.
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post #12 of 13 Old 03-22-2013, 03:36 PM Thread Starter
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Is there an specific handsaw you guys would recommend for cutting those notches?

Forward saw or pull saw?
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post #13 of 13 Old 03-22-2013, 05:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Merkava_4 View Post
Is there an specific handsaw you guys would recommend for cutting those notches?

Forward saw or pull saw?
Push vs pull is a topic of much debate. Both work, but some folks prefer one style vs another.

I have a pull saw and do not like using it. Must be muscle memory. It is not as easy for me as it should be.

For those notches, these days I would use my hard back Veritas cross-cut saw.
http://www.leevalley.com/US/Wood/pag...884,68511&ap=1

Before I purchased the Veritas, I would have use a Stanley cross-cut saw. This one has japanese aggressive tooth pattern to cut on push and pull strokes. Really rough cut.

The Veritas is easier to start and control. I use it where the blade is deep enough for the cut.
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