Friday, August 7, 2015

Poppy's Saw Horses (Carpenter's Bench)


I was watching an old episode of New Yankee Workshop with Norm Abrams about different kinds of saw horses, and he pulled out a small saw horse he had in his workshop, pictured above.

I tell you the truth here - my jaw dropped.  That saw horse looks almost identical to a saw horse my Grandfather "Poppy" used to have.


My Grandfather was also a woodworker and I hang a picture of him in my garage so he can look over my shoulder while I'm building stuff.  Back when I was very young my grandfather, "Poppy" as I called him, would let me play with his bench in his back yard with my Star Wars figures.  I always pretended that the bench was an AT-AT walker or a rebel base.


These 2 figures (which I still have almost 35 years later) were always played with in the saw horse/ AT-AT walker.


So, feeling extremely nostalgic I drew up plans to make 2 small saw horses similar to what I remember my Grandfather had. One thing I remember was the circular holes on the top and sides.  I would image these are used for clamping material to the saw horse.


From what I can remember, his saw horse was made from plywood.  I don't feel much like buying a large sheet of plywood and having the workers at the hardware store cut it down into sheets that can fit in my car...


...so I'll be using some 1x12 and 1x4 pine wood boards.


I also bought a circle cutting bit to make those holes I mentioned earlier.


First step as always was to measure and mark the cuts...


...which were made with the table saw.


After a short while all the large boards were cut.


Next I marked the location of the circle on one of the boards, as well as the small triangle at the bottom.


I cut the triangle out with the jigsaw.  This gives the board 2 'legs'.


Then I clamped my board to my work table and used the circle cutter to cut the hole.


I then used my one board with the cuts as a template for the other boards.


After a while I had the 4 sides to my 2 saw horses.


While I had the circle cutter out, I cut the holes on the 2 boards that make the top of the saw horses.


Then I began drilling pocket holes into the boards that needed them.


But before I begin assembly, I marked the location on the side boards for the bottom shelf.


Then I attached the bottom shelf with pocket screws.


Next I turned the sides and bottom shelf upside-down and attached it to the top.


I did this twice, making 2 separate saw horses.


Before I go any further I really need to sand these things a little.


Next I began cutting the 1x4's for the supports.


These supports received some pocket holes....


and were attached with pocket screws.


With the supports in place I now have extra strength for the tops...


...and walls for the bottom shelf.


Assembly complete!


Next I sanded everything one last time.  Stacking these benches on top of each other made it easy.


These benches are quite sturdy and I can sit my fat @ss on them without having to worry about them falling apart under my weight.  Plus the shelves on the bottom are a good place to store tools and materials for jobs I'll be working on in the future.


These benches are also the perfect height for me to prop large projects on...


...making it easier for me to reach areas without bending over too much or lying on the incredibly dirty floor.


Although not necessary, I decided to stain the benches with some leftover stain I had.


It's a light stain, but it does make the benches look nicer.


Once the stain was wiped and dry, I sprayed on some clear coat.


Then I sanded one more time with fine sandpaper.


And I'm done!


These saw horses/benches will be quite useful.


The bottom shelves are great for storing some of the many C-clamps and corner clamps that I had in a closed box.  Having them in here will make me use them more often.


For fun I found some of my old Star Wars figures and propped them on.





A few weeks later I was really enjoying these benches.  I often sat on them while I was drawing up plans, or making measurements on material for other projects.  But since I would sit on these so much, I decided to strengthen them further by adding a few 2x4's underneath the top of the bench.


These were held in place with glue and screws.


They are a lot stronger now, so I'll continue to sit on them.


I'm sure my Poppy is smiling down on me now that I have made something he once had - something that I remember fondly.  Thanks for reading!

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