1. Perhaps if the gusset was a seat for the crossbeam it would be good, as it stands it’s only likely to interfere with the gusset when it expands in wetter weather. Remember the cross beam is supported by seat cuts in the 4 legs, which is more than ample for any weight it’s likely to take, and any expansion/contraction in the legs will not affect that top beam. I’ve seen people do all sorts of fancy things with gussets, including tenoning them into the legs, or housing them, and it’s just not necessary in my view.

      A sawhorse is a fantastic tool, but it’s going to take some hammer over it’s life, so there isn’t much point trying to make it look like a work of art. Your time is better spent elsewhere.

      1. It is not just a saw horse it is another lesson in perfection…….learn to do it with accuracy and accuracy becomes standard

        I’m making mine with beech…..some would say …a bit over the top but free timber from a wood yard stock spacers!!

        John 2V

  1. Paul and team: I really noticed an improvement in the video, lighting and sound quality on this episode. I very much appreciate the team striving to improve not only the projects demonstrated, but the production quality as well. Thank you!

    1. For heavy loads, you can add a stretcher either between the gussets (with tusk tooth on each side) or simply screw a pair of stretchers across the legs level with the lower end of the gusset, to prevent the legs splaying outwards with twisting loads. You might also build with slightly beefier, clear lumber too.
      For lighter loads: Last year I built some Krenov style horses ( Google) because they stack easily in a tight space.
      Thanks for the videos!

  2. Maybe I missed it, but did Paul give advice on how to determine the best height for the sawhorses? I’m 5 foot 6 inches tall and I need to figure out how to downsize the sawhorse to my height.

    1. My guess on finding the height would the distance from your knee to the ground as this is the height you would be sawing at using your knee to anchor the item being sawn

      Kind regards and Stay Safe

    2. As a general rule, your sawhorse should be high enough that you can saw on it, without your saw whacking into the ground. A typical handsaw is 24-26″ long, although they can be up to 30″, and down to 20″ (or even 16″, in some cases). You don’t want it too high either, because you want to be able to kneel/sit on your work to hold it.

      I think Paul does actually address the height in either the project intro, or the first episode.

    1. Hello, In Britain 2x4s or as we say 4x2s , are usually spruce. Fairly soft and easy to work but a bit too loose in the fibre ( fiber, U.S.) for fine work. Douglas fir would be regarded as a bit of a luxury wood here. Timber and most things we buy are expensive here.
      The hand tool revival is strong here and ebay has lots on offer. The main handicap for most people is a lack of space to work in. Housing is very expensive. In most cities a house is 5- 10 times a tradesman’s annual wage. As a result , many of us live in flats (apartments) with nowhere to work. Rented workshops are equally expensive and beyond the means of hobby woodworkers.
      Marvelous that we can share an interest thousands of miles apart.

      As Winston Churchill said of Britain and the United States “2 great nations divided by a common language”


    2. It looks like Paul used Scots pine or pinus sylvestris (also known as yellow pine). It’s not generally available in the US. In Georgia we can get southern yellow pine, which is somewhat similar. You could use any wood that’s kiln dried and relatively free of knots – alder, poplar, etc. Of course a softer species will make your life easier with hand tools.

    1. Hi Chris
      Yes I would have, before retiring, cut a vee to shoot in a door, with opposite end of top stretching out to push against a wall, allowing for skirting i.e. past bottom of leg,….this gives strength to horse without stressing joints….John

    2. I made a pair using 2×6 Douglas Fir for the top beam and trash-picked Southern Yellow Pine for the legs. Once I planed the tops and cut off the rounded corners they were about 1 1/2 x 4 1/2. I also reduced the overall height to 19-20″ so I could use them as saw benches and assembly benches when needed.

  3. Thank you very much for offering a project that teaches so much.
    The high point, for me, was the leg joint, I just love the two step approach. Less spectacular maybe but hugely useful is the cardboard used to avoid sawing into the legs. (This moves teaching far beyond the magical formula of the technician.)
    For me this is so typical of Paul’s teaching, and what makes it so valuable. The technical how-to of the craftsman, and the “trick” that “saves” the beginner from breaking what has been build.
    This makes me feel a little bit like being a real apprentice of a master craftsman.

  4. Thanks for sharing your experience and craft Paul. You use a term when planing a chamfer on the edges of boards or removing sharp corners that I haven’t been able to catch. Sounds like ‘irises’ to my American ear but may be entirely different. Can you clarify the term’s spelling and or meaning?

    1. An arris rail is a structural element, whose cross section is a 45 degree isosceles right angled triangle. Arris rails are usually made of wood, and are manufactured by cutting a length of square-section timber lengthwise diagonally. They are used for structures which require joining two timbers at right angles; for example, connecting wooden posts and beams. Another common use is for the horizontal rails of timber fences, since the diagonal edges prevent water from collecting on top of the wood and thus rotting the timber. It also adds an element of security, since the fence is harder to climb.

    2. @gmorse7
      Paul was indeed using the word arris, which in this case is used to mean a sharp edge formed by the meeting of two surfaces.

      We remove this as it improves the feel of the piece as well as it being easily damaged if not removed. The sharp corner is also hard for finish to adhere to, whereas once the arris is removed, finish can usually flex/bend around the softened corner.

  5. Again, wonderful! Ithink this is my first project, ahead of the workbench marathon (!).

    Which brings me to two questions: one is, how would you attach the wider top piece to avoid any clash betweennfixi g screws, say, and saws in subsequent use?

    Second: in the intro to these saw horse videos, Paul points out that saw-horses and trestles are different and, in the workbench videos Paul uses trestles to start off making the laminated top, etc.

    Could, therefore, Paul and the team make a video as to how to make those trestles?

    They, then would be my project #2, before the marathon #3, the workbench . . . for which, I already have a vice . . . to fit flush . . . not inset . . . !

    Again, thanms all!

    1. Hello John,
      With the fixings Paul uses, the idea is that they are far enough below the surface that you would notice you were sawing the sawhorse before you hit a screw. You could just glue and see how it holds up if you were determined to avoid screws.

      A series on making the trestles is en route within the next few months, so hope you enjoy that.
      Best, Phil

  6. Hi!
    Excellent project! And the simplified layout – awesome!

    A technical note on audio though. In this and some other videos a constant whine is audible. It’s very easy to remove in aditing and doesn’t require a master producer. Here’s a procedure for a free and opensource audacity:
    1. Record as usual but make sure to include a section where there’s only the ambient whine.
    2. Select the section mentioned above and Go to Effect > Noise Reduction, Get Noise Profile. Then Preview or OK.

    1. Hello Rimbo, glad you enjoyed the project.

      Thank you for the suggestion. We did have problems with the background noise from woodworking machines at our previous premises that various neighbouring woodworking businesses units used.

      The issue is that the tone and volume was not constant or consistent enough to remove further without totally distorting Paul’s voice. What you hear has already been reduced.

      All the best,
      Manager of Woodworking Masterclasses

      1. Hi Phil,

        Why when planing towards the end of piece of lumber, there is the potential for breakout, but when planing an arris, you can plane the whole arris all the way to the end without worrying about breakout?

        Jeff D

        1. One is cross grain. One is with the grain. You cut the ends of fibers when planing end grain or cross grain. This lets the ends fracture whenyou go off he edge. When planing ith the grain,you slice the grain along its lengthand it is fully supported by the rest of the grainin the wood.

    1. Hi Ted,

      There is 2 episodes in this series. Paul completes the project and gives some information on finishes and suggests the additional extra piece on the top to protect the joinery when working at the end of the video.

      Kind Regards,

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