Launch Slideshow

Clever Home-Built Saw Horse Work Station

Clever Home-Built Saw Horse Work Station

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    Brian Campbell

    Tri-horses are designed to be cut from a double-layer of 3/4-inch plywood. The components shown here are enough for one 4-foot and one 8-foot Tri-Horse.

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    Brian Campbell

    This is one way to set up a mobile shop. Note the various home-made attachments for supporting saws and stock. There’s no reason the saws couldn’t be turned to face the opposite direction or that longer or shorter horses could be used for either leg.

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    Brian Campbell

    In this photo Tri-Horses are being used as traditional saw horses—probably the least likely way for them to be used since there are so many other ways to support material. The best use for Tri-Horses is as part of a work station.

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    Brian Campbell

    This is an interesting setup because instead of a plywood top rail that curves down to land on the floor; the top rail on this work station is a 2x10 or 2x12 supported by plywood leg sections. This would likely be an easier and more economical build than a conventional Tri-Horse, but perhaps not as stable on uneven ground (because it has 4 rather than 3 points of contact).

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    Brian Campbell

    Here’s one you don’t see every day—a traditional woodworker’s bench attachment.

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    Brian Campbell

    The plans consist of a 12-page PDF that sells for $10. They include detailed instructions on how to build Tri-Horses and suggestions for how they might be customized. These are the main components and one suggestion for how they might be combined.

Brian Campbell is a finish carpenter in St. Paul, Minnesota, who I am acquainted with through Facebook. For the last year of so he has been posting photos of a sawhorse/work station he was developing in hopes of turning it into a product. He has, and it's called the Tri-Horse—so named because each horse has three points of contact with the ground. At this point Brian is selling plans; but who knows, someday it will be possible to buy ready-made Tri-Horses.

It's not my intention to promote the Tri-Horse, any more than it was to promote the Micro-Blaster or Multi-Function Tool Cart when I wrote about them. I just think certain products are cool and that if they interest me then they might interest you. This product is cool because:

  • It breaks down and stores flat for transport
  • It can be set up different ways
  • You can make it yourself so it's completely customizable

Tri-Horses are shaped like saw horses and can be used as such, but are best suited for use as saw stands or supports for work tables. They are designed to be made from a double-layer of 3/4-inch plywood or MDO. Two sheets of plywood are enough to make one 4-footer and one 8-footer. They look pretty simple to make—just some cutting, drilling, and gluing. To me, the worst part would be gluing up the double-layer pieces of plywood. It's not hard to do; I just don't like doing it. Too bad there isn't an inexpensive material that's already the right thickness.

If there's a flaw in the design of the Tri-Horse, it's the likely weight of the pieces—which has to be greater than that of the average manufactured stand. Then again, manufactured stands are difficult to customize and can't be set up as many ways as Tri-Horses can. It's a clever design that appeals to me because I'm one of those guys who'd rather build than buy.

The video below shows one way to set up a Tri-Horse work station. The slideshow on the left contains photos of various details plus a page from the plans. The plans consist of a 12-page PDF that Campbell sells for $10.