Wednesday, 7 January 2015

Knock down saw horses and low assembly table - Part 1

When cutting up large sheets of material, plywood, MDF etc., it is always better to break them down at a lower level (to prevent back problems) and with a circular saw (Festool track saw or even just a circular saw with a guide).
I saw the design for this a few years ago and redesigned it from memory. I didn't have much difficulty in remembering the design as it is so simple. Essentially it comprises 4 legs, 3 long sections and 3 cross members. It is possible to obtain all the parts from a single sheet of 8' x 4' x 18mm (3/4" nominal) plywood. I used external hardwood plywood as it is easily obtainable from a home centre. This will support a full sheet of 8' x 4' with no problem.

I can't remember the original inspiration for this design so apologies if it was you.

First of all I designed it on Sketchup and came up with this.
One possible assembly

As the saw horse construction is modular there are several permutations for the assembly. Here is another one.
Another version of assembly
The holes are simply to lighten each individual component.


Here are the rough dimensions. They are in millimetres but it is very simple to convert to inches (divide by 25.4) and the figures are not critical. Each slot is 20mm wide and 100mm long. The slanted slots are at an angle of 75 degrees.

Crossmember #1 - 2 required

Crossmember #2 - 1 required

Leg - 4 required

Long section member - 3 required

As mentioned above you can get all pieces from one sheet of 8' x 4' so here is my preferred layout.

The resulting structure is surprisingly strong when assembled and can support the weight of the author and is very stable. I will be using mine to break down sheet goods and also as a base for a torsion box low assembly table. I will cover the actual construction of the design in a later article.
Note that the resulting platform is only about 22" from the floor but I find it is an ideal height to lift sheets onto, use a circular saw or a panel saw. I also don't mind if I cut into the members with a saw blade.

Feel free to use my design as I'm sure a similar design is already on the internet somewhere.

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