Split top saw bench

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    Bill Wonneberger

    I’m interested in eyeing design ideas for a simple split top saw bench. I see Tom Fidgeon using one all the time, I’ve watched a couple of other saw bench design videos, but thought coming here to inquire might be a smart move.


    Hi Bill,

    I use Tom’s saw bench design, and I think it works well. Most saw benches have splayed legs, but Tom’s design uses straight legs on one side which helps your eye track parallel and keeps the legs out of the way of your blade. Though he may very well use saw benches, I’ve only seen Paul use his regular workbench, amd saw horses for larger pieces or outside work.



    I have attached a photo of one I cobbled together from a 1×8 and 1x4s.

    I don’t have any drawings, but it should give some information.

    Basically, the split top is two 1×4 in parallel with about 3/4″ in between them. The tops are nailed each nailed to 1×4 aprons.

    The end pieces have cutouts on the sides at the top to accept the aprons and at the bottom to accept stretchers.

    When using it I sometimes hang the stock over the side like shown. I use the center split from time to time, but I am wary about cutting into my top. I have done this, but I don’t care as it is just a sawbench.

    Also, I made what I think is called a trestle. This is a light support that I use for long lumber to keep the end up level with the sawbench. Both are just glued and nailed.

    Both are built at 18″, which is about knee height for me. I’ve read that under the knee is about where you want to be, but I think another inch would be better.


    Near Chicago, USA


    Check out YouTube: Stumpy Nubs. He made a very nice spit top saw horse. Good dovetail and mortise practice. I also need to make one and am considering this one.


    Here is mine; pretty simple but sturdy. Kindly ignore all of the clutter in the background. This was built in my really small shop while packing to move.

    Cleveland, Ohio U.S.A.


    I use that saw bench all the time… not just for ripping down the middle, but you can clamp stuff to the legs and sides and all sorts of other things. Once you make one, you find out how useful they are.

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