Jul 29th, 2010 by Andy
I’ve been using my sawhorses more and more these days to build wood projects…using them even more often than my workbench. That seems a little strange to me, considering that I definitely put more time and money into building a bench than I did building a sawhorse. Of course, my sawhorses are probably not typical – at least not typical of what you might buy at Home Depot for $20 or less. I purposely designed my sawhorses to be a permanent fixture in the shop — and that means a heavy 2×6 top and sturdy 2×4 legs. And that’s the only reason I can even make the comparison to a workbench. In fact, they would be better named “workhorses” if I think about it.
Overall, I think the one big advantage my sawhorses have over my workbench is that they let me get behind my work — or in front — or below — or above — I think you get the idea. Just can’t do that with a typical workbench that gets shoved up tight against a wall in the basement or garage. I also made mine a little taller than most, which brings my work up to waist level. If I do need a flat table-like surface, I just lay a sheet of plywood or hardboard across the pair and presto, I have an instant work table.
I’ve also been surprised just how handy a third sawhorse can be – which totally goes against what sawhorses are best known as ( a pair). Working with longer boards and larger sheets of plywood creates a bit of problem with only two at hand, because the material tends to sag in the middle. The third sawhorse keeps everything on a more even keel.
I will say that in the end, it’s not so much a matter of choosing between the two. Both a workbench and sawhorse can compliment each other in the shop. What you might discover, though, is that a lot of the jobs you normally delegate to the bench can just as easily be completed on a sawhorse.