Reply To: Building a sawbench

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Hi Dave,

The V-notch serves a few purposes.  It can be used to hold doors upright/on edge for planing and lock fitting (Chisel and drilling) work, fret saw work (With the work piece laid flat above the notch and fret saw held vertically to cut) and as a means of clearance when chopping through mortises or drilling holes in stock.  In essence the saw horse is a miniature, very stable and versatile work bench that’s capable of quite a number of uses.

The design I’ve illustrated is an English one (Used universally throughout the UK) that’s as old as the hills.

The splayed legs – shown in my sketchup drawings – add longitudinal stability by virtue of their ability to “dig in” when pushed against the direction of the splay during planing operations and prevent tipping if ripping or cross cutting near the very end of the horse, or using it as a hop-up.  I wish to goodness Chris Schwarz would alter his supposedly “English saw bench” (? We typically call them saw horses or trestles (If taller)) design, as the result lends itself to longitudinal tipping problems during use and it’s not a case of it’s never yet happened to me, because tipping does and will eventually happen.  He reasoned the use of singly directional splays as a style better suited for novices to make, but in reality it’s an apprentice project that’s normally made during his/her first few weeks training .  The double splay design uses the same number of saw cuts and the only difficulty encountered, yet very easily overcome, might be the need to work to angles.