Welcome! Forums Project Series Sawhorse Leg Recess Too Wide – what now?

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    I’ve cut the recesses in th etop beam of my first saw horse. I struggled to get the first leg in the first recess so kept slicing away at the sidewall until… it was too wide.

    I now have a gap of about 1mm, so the leg has some sideways movement. I learned from that and the other legs are pretty good.

    So, is the movement in the first leg a show-stopper, or will it be okay once glued and screwed? Can anything be done to tighten up the joint?

    I have some spare wood, so could cut another top, but don’t want to waste the wood if there is another option.




    Hello, one of mine came out a bit wide but only by 32nd which is awful close to 1mm, once the plate support gusset goes on it helps too.
    If you felt it needed i suppose a small shim could be inserted to save it.

    Ontario, Canada

    Eyal Tal

    you can add a shim to close the gap


    I wouldn’t rely on screws-and-glue to stop the slight movement for ever. I think it’d develop ‘play’ over time. Sawhorses tend to take a fair weight, sometimes used as a makeshift working platform to stand on.
    I’d make the gap larger and insert a substantial dovetailed shim to the top-beam-recess.
    Or cut the beam again from new. Legs 2,3,4 went OK, so you’ve mastered the technique, and you’ll be happier with it.


    Thanks everyone. I ended up glueing a piece to the leg and planing down to the thickness of the recess. It’s not noticeable, and is now rock solid.

    The two saw horses have been used a lot, and are working well.


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