Sawhorse Load Limit

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    Hi all,

    I have embarked upon my long anticipated massive Roubo workbench build. I am currently milling and glueing up the 4″ thick ash tops with the assistance of a pair of Paul’s wonderful sawhorses which I built specifically for this project. What a great learning opportunity to say nothing of a now owning couple of righteous sawhorses made only with hand tools that will last my lifetime and beyond.

    Here’s my question: what load will these two sawhorses take? Towards the end of the bench build, I would like to put the completed tops on the horses upside down, then put the base on top to mark out the mortise locations for the tenoned legs.I do not know the exact weight of the whole bench, but estimate it will be in the 400-500 lb range when I carry out this step.




    Can’t answer your question about capability of the sawhorses.

    The idea of having 400-500 lbs balanced on sawhorses and needing to be turned over when it’s done makes me think of safety as an issue.


    Thanks for weighing in 😉 on this, GfB.


    Ecky H

    Despite not having the Paul Sellers saw horses, but made a pair of saw ponies like in the book “The Minimalist Woodworker” (similar to these: ).
    I made them of 7/8″ fir. They are much more filigree than the Paul Sellers saw horses. One of them carries me without problems – and I’m in the 220 lb range.

    : So my conclusion is: the Paul Sellers saw horses will carry the load of your Roubo bench top.


    Veni, vidi, serravi.

    Münster, Germany

    Sven-Olof Jansson

    For whatever they are worth: some estimates.

    The benches shown in L´Art du menuisier (With All the Precision Possible: Roubo on Furniture Making; Lost Art Press 2017, ISBN 978-9978702-3-7) are all long and narrow. Assuming a density of 0.7 Kg*dm-1, a 10 ft * 2 ft * 4” top of ash would weigh around 280 Lbs.

    The base, including a shelf, can probably come in at 120 Lbs. So, all in all, around 400 Lbs; less of course for a shorter bench.

    Sven-Olof Jansson
    London, UK; Boston, MA

    • This reply was modified 3 years, 3 months ago by Sven-Olof Jansson. Reason: incorrect input
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