Building a Sawbuck

by Daisy on 01/10/2012

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After I built a sawbuck I was watching a movie.  In front of a remote woodland cabin in the Russian wilderness was a sawbuck.  I never would have noticed it before I had my own.  I’ll probably start seeing them everywhere now.

It was the same when I built a beehive.  In every period film I see things in the backgrounds I love.  Old things, timeless shapes, farm tools and equipment.

Do you have favorite movies for the things you see on the sets?  I’d love to hear about them.

But, I was talking about my sawbuck.

If you don’t know what a sawbuck is, it’s a sawhorse with a v-shaped top for cutting logs.  You can read a summary here.

I made a very simple version with a central pole so the sawbuck can be collapsed for storage.  I also think it’s an easy way to put one together.  The only harder-to-find thing  you need is a length of 1 1/4″ dowel (standard closet pole size) and a corresponding 1 1/4″ drill bit.  After that, it’s all cake.

I used some old 2×4’s my neighbor and I found while “curb estate shopping” (discarded on the side of the road), an old piece of closet pole, and pieces of old decking from a tear-down.  Well, which a falling tree tore down for me. . .

I cut six 2×4’s each 3 feet long and cut 30 degree angles in one end of each piece (legs).

Beginning about 8 inches from the other (non angled) ends, I drilled 1 1/4″ holes for the dowel.

I slid the dowel through all three pairs of legs making sure the angled ends alternated, with their “toes” pointing out.

I cut two 32″ lengths of the salvaged decking and screwed one side of each pair to the ends of the boards.  2 x 4’s would also work for this part.

I centered the central pair between the end pairs and screwed it in place to the decking, then screwed the decking down to the other legs.

Almost finished.  Lastly I sliced a bit off the inside of the “ears” of the 2×4’s to make room for larger logs.  You should probably do this before you screw everything together, but it worked out okay doing it this way.

The only thing left to do is to attach a length of chain between two of the legs to keep my sawbuck from doing the splits.

I’m hoping to find some discarded chain somewhere.

Maybe at my next curb estate sale.

The main reason I built a sawbuck is because I plan to try my hand at growing shiitake mushrooms this year.  The sawbuck makes a good place to hold logs while drilling holes for the plugs of spawn, inoculating the logs, and painting them with melted wax.

The sawbuck also will come in handy cutting longer logs into fireplace length.

Hope to bring news and info on the mushroom growing soon.



{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Julie January 11, 2012 at 11:15 am

I was delighted to see from Wikipedia that sawhorses are sometimes called mules!

My children made a sawhorse once. That thing was the ricketiest concoction ever! They loved it but realized pretty quickly that it was unusable. So they gave it a name and made it part of the family!

I loved the idea of growing Shiitake mushrooms. I heard this was pretty hard so would be interested to see how you do it.

queen of string January 11, 2012 at 12:32 pm

A really timely post for me. I had one of these back in the UK, but I think my dad made it. Right now, we have processed most of our wood and the only ones left are the ones that need to be sawn smaller before they will fit in the log splitter. Saw horse type thingy had just reached the top of the to do list. I have a long curtain pole that I think will serve as the dowel and some heavy weight pallet sides for the legs. I’m sure there’s some sides around some where and, as mine wont need to fold, I can screw something on to keep it stable. Thanks for the tutorial, I always find it easier to make something when I have someone else’s instructions to start me off, even if I dont follow them to the letter :-).

Ashley January 12, 2012 at 8:44 am

Oh yes! on the movie comment, I’m constantly checking out the background in period movies, even to the point of not paying attention to what’s going on in the action! It’s fun to see how accurate/inaccurate historical films actually are.

Javalady62 January 12, 2012 at 7:46 pm

Excellent ! This is what I need and I didn’t know how to make one. Please DO tell us more about doing the Shitake mushroom logs. I suffer from chronic Low Vitamin D levels. Mushrooms are nature’s BEST source of natural Vitamin D !! So I need to be growing my own to eat.

Chris January 20, 2012 at 3:22 pm

It is funny how you start to see things once you have them. I just bought 4 acres from a neighbor and leaning against a tree in the woods were two sawbucks. Both in very rough shape but usable. Thanks for the excellent description, I will have to build a new set to put in the woods too.

Alan Vallis June 19, 2012 at 1:33 pm

One small modification that may be of use. You can cut the two centre legs off level with the bottom of the cross pieces. Makes it more stable on rough ground and a little lighter. 🙂

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