“This has been Uncle Sam’s Woodshop of the Air, transcribed in Washington, D.C., and I’m Calvin Cobb wishing that, as you slide down the banister of life — that all the splinters are going in your direction! So long!”
Download the full-sized Sawhorse Plan
Excerpted from “Calvin Cobb: Radio Woodworker! A Novel with Measured Drawings,” by Roy Underhill.
2 thoughts on “‘The Sawhorse That Saved Thanksgiving’”
The design is from Roy Underhill’s 21st season in 2001. They are my all-time favorite sawhorse design, and I find them tremendously useful. There are probably hundreds of different styles and varieties of sawhorses, each with its own advantages and disadvantages, but I’ve never seen any that are more elegant, light, and strong for the materials used, than these deceptively simple Underhill-design versions. They are the best exemplars I know of Buckminister Fuller’s adage, “Do more with less.” Each of the full-size sawhorses is made with a short piece of standard tubafor lumber for the beam, and a six-foot piece of 1” x 6” board, both ripped in half the long way, and cross-cut in half, to make the four legs. A small piece of wood for a leg brace on each end, and some screws, glue, and nails, is all that is needed in materials for each sawhorse. Most other sawhorse designs use much heavier material, unnecessarily so in my opinion, and as a result they both weigh more, and are larger and harder to carry around and to store away, not even to mention that most of them are very fugly. They are however probably ultimately stronger, but much more so than they need to be for most normal uses.
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