Making a Sawhorse Table – DIY Project | SawReviewed

Whether you are just starting in woodcrafts, or you have been doing it for a while now, creating something using your hands is surely an achievement.

Designing furniture and bringing it to life is one thing. This may be the reason why woodworkers love making tables—combining woods to make one beautiful piece.

Here we will discuss the materials needed and the steps that need to be followed in making a sawhorse table.

A sawhorse table is a desk with sawhorse legs. In the past, a sawhorse was exclusively used to support a plank or board for sawing purposes. It is now used as a base or legs for different kinds of tables.

If you want to add some industrial, rustic flair to your home, go for a do-it-yourself sawhorse-based table.

What Will You Need?

Tools and materials have to be prepared beforehand. This will allow finishing your sawhorse table faster or in one go.

For wood, check if your place has a local thrift-store-style lumberyard. These stores usually have a great selection of doors made of wood that can be used for different purposes.

Any wooden door that is not being used at home can also be repurposed as a tabletop.

Tools

  • Saw, preferably a miter saw that cut an angle as the bottom of the legs need to sit square on the floor (if not available, any saw that is capable of cutting 2/4’s)
  • Hammer
  • Nails

Supplies Needed

  • Two sets of sawhorse brackets
  • Spray paint for brackets
  • Five pieces of 2X4 studs (depends on how wide and how tall the crossbeam will be)
    For example, 32-inches long legs can make a table of countertop height
  • Tabletop (an old door, a repurposed tabletop or a DIY concrete tabletop)
  • Wood or lumber for the table legs

Measuring and Cutting the Boards

Prepare all the wood you will be using for this project beforehand. You can purchase the lumber uncut and saw it to your preferred length back at your workshop.

If you do not have a saw at home, politely ask the staff at the lumberyard to cut 4 or 5 2X4’s into ten boards for the sawhorse that will be the legs of the table. You can also ask the lumberyard personnel to cut the tabletop to your desired size that would fit your base.

Instructions for Building a Do-It-Yourself Sawhorse Table

Follow the below steps in the correct order;

Step 1 - Paint the Brackets

For a polished and neat finish of the table, paint the sawhorse brackets first. The black coating may look off-putting for some, but if you plan to use the table inside, the finish of the brackets could add to the quality look of the whole desk.

You can opt for oil rubbed spray of any color you want to improve the look of the shop grade brackets. Although optional, the polished look would be more appropriate for indoor use.

Step 2 - Measure and Cut Boards

To be honest, measuring and calculating the math of the table legs could be the most challenging part. The angle of the bottom surface and the height of the board set to an angle has to be calculated. In this case, cut 2x4 cross beams and legs.

Try these measurements for the boards:

  • If you want the desk to be as high as a countertop, the legs should be 32 inches in length each. Adjust the height according to your preference.
  • Cut one end of each leg at 55 degrees angle.
  • The surface should be equal to 80-85% of how deep the tabletop is.

Step 3 - Prepare and Sand the Lumber

After cutting the lumber, sand the rough edges or any stamps of the lumberyard. Sand using a palm sander for a good 5 minutes, or until edges are smooth or stamps are no longer visible.

Once it has been sanded cleanly, and the dust is removed, start painting or staining the wood. You can use this formula for a homemade stain that will work on the lumber:

  • Pull apart the steel wool and soak in vinegar for at least 10 hours.
  • In any water temperature, steep the tea for an hour. Earl Grey can be used as it has been proven to darken the shade of the stain.
  • Brush the steeped tea onto the wood. Make sure that the wood is completely saturated with the tea stain. Let it dry completely.
  • Now, brush the steel wool and vinegar solution into the wood saturated with tea.

Another tip is painting the lumber with linseed oil and letting it dry for 12-24 hours. Linseed oil adds richness to the grain and could make the lumber look more beautiful.

Beeswax furniture polish can also be used after for a more polished and neater look.

Step 4 - Assemble the Sawhorses for the Table Base

The purchased sawhorse brackets should have come with an instructional guide. Details of assembling it should be detailed there. In essence, simply insert the lumber legs into the sawhorse metal brackets. You can use the screws; however, the drywall screws would leave the heads extending and will not be even with the surface of the metal.

What you can do is hammer nails into the pre-punched holes in the brackets. If the legs have been cut with an angled bottom, inspect the ends again, and then add the nails.

Next, place the smaller pieces of wood or the top plate above the sawhorse bracket. These brackets would have small teeth inside, so when you put the wood and pull it just a little, the teeth would lodge into the wood and keep it in place.

Step 5 - Set up the Tabletop

After the sawhorses were assembled, you can now put the tabletop. If the sawhorses can hold the weight of your tabletop and are sufficiently wide to keep it stable, you have the option to not permanently attach the top to the sawhorse's support.

However, if there are kids at home, it would be best to secure the tabletop to the sawhorses.

You can drill holes on the tabletop going to the legs. Then, use 3-inch nails (depending on how thick the wood is), so it would go through the tabletop into the wood beneath. A tip is to pre-drill the holes to keep the wood from splitting.

Either paint or stain the holes or leave it be for a more industrial and rustic style.

Other Styles of Sawhorse Tables

Tables are versatile. You build one and can use it for a multitude of purposes. Here are some ideas and uses of a sawhorse table:

  • Industrial Sawhorse Table

Wood boards can be the top of the table, and the base would be metal sawhorses. Drill holes through the materials and secure with long bolts.

  • Sawhorse Table with Storage Solution

Storage or drawers can be added below the top. You would have to modify the design of the sawhorse base to form storage compartments.

  • Farm Table

This type of table is perfect for outside dining. If you have a removable tabletop, it can save space. Just make sure that the legs are strong enough to carry the weight.

  • Portable Table

Because the sawhorse legs do not necessarily have to be permanently attached to the tabletop, it can serve other purposes. It can be a dining or console table. The sawhorses and removable tabletops can conveniently fit smaller spaces and storages.


There are different variations of the sawhorse desks that you can choose from. Letting your creativity flow and doing some modification on the original design will let you build beautiful masterpieces that you would be proud of.

Final Words

We hope that with the steps and materials provided here in making a sawhorse table, you will be inspired to try doing one yourself.

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