The last time I wrote about this project, I had largely completed the Becksvoort Tall Sawhorses minus the adjustable parts (see that post here). Next on the construction schedule was making the adjustable components known as “extenders” which are what make these sawhorses unique.
We learn something with each new woodworking project don’t we? These sawhorses are no different. Like with most sawhorse designs I had several angles to fabricate, some of which are quite steep. Several other opportunities to learn would soon follow.
In this final part of the project, the first step is to drill a series of holes in the extenders. See their layout in the magazine photo below…
As this step drew near, I began to wonder if I really needed such fine increments in hole location. I decided not, so what you will see with my extenders is a hole pattern which is spaced farther apart.
Then, I had to create the cross bar for the extenders. As I looked through my scrap pile for straight slender boards, everything I found was at least slightly warped; a problem when using slender stock. Since the extenders are made of some oak I had, I decided to purchase oak dowels for the cross bar. I found a couple which were almost perfect. Next, I needed to create some joinery.
I had to think a little on how to create two flat spots on each round dowel – another learning step. After thinking through hand tool options, I decided my router would be most accurate. I then needed to come up with a way to keep the dowel stationary as the router bit did its work. The photo above shows what I came up with. I moved the two box beams of my Josh Finn style workbench so it becomes one big clamp, holding the dowel in place. I put two boards on top of the beams which enables my router to move above the dowel. This worked pretty good.
After starting this project, I made a design decision to decrease the height of the sawhorses. An unforeseen problem from this change was the extenders were then too long – they could not rest against the sawhorses in the fully lowered position. The answer was to simply cut notches which provided the needed clearance. One more thing about the extenders: I don’t foresee using them very often, but they will be nice to have when the need arises.
One last thing to do was to plug the screw holes. I did this at all screw locations except for the leg braces. This was probably over-kill, but I did it anyway.
This was a good learning lesson in trying to trim plugs totally flat. What normally happens when I trim plugs is I use a pull saw and get them close, and then sand them smooth. This normally results in a ever so lightly rounded plug. I used a hand plane to help with this effort, but in the end, they are still a little rounded. I’m not sure how other woodworkers do this; I have seen some use chisels, but this was cutting across end grain, so I didn’t use chisels.
I added a coat of wipe-on poly to the oak extenders and painted the sawhorses since they are a marriage of several different materials: pine, pressure treated pine, birch plywood and oak plywood – what ever I had on hand that fit. I especially wanted to paint the pressure treated pine since it had a couple of really nasty defects.
Here, one lesson learned was to think about buying an inexpensive sprayer for latex paint. Either that or invest in a super high quality brush and try to keep it clean.
So, that is it for the sawhorses. I like the look of the oak and moss green paint. From this point forward, I’ll be trying to add interesting looking items to my stop. This is the first of several shop upgrades. Some re-organization gets under way with my next project; the addition of a new router table. Naturally, I have a SketchUp illustration of what the router table design looks like right now…
My current router table is rickety, the fence is an old design, it has no capabilities for dust collection and the whole thing is basically out of date. This new design replaces the extension table attached to my table saw. It will move from a stand alone router table to one built into my table saw. As such, I am not sure I want it to be mobile, so the casters and base may be re-worked.
By the way, interested in the router table above? See how it came to be by clicking here.