Krenov’s genius didn’t stop at furniture
Synopsis: How innovative can sawhorses be? Pretty innovative, if they are based on a design by James Krenov. Unlike the clunky, splay-legged versions common to job sites and workshops, these are light, easy to move, and have a small footprint. Their upright design lets you position them close together for small glue-ups or other jobs, and they nest easily and take up little space when you stow them away. But don’t let the sleek design fool you: These babies can hold an impressive amount of weight. And each horse is made from just six pieces of stock, simply joined.
From Fine Woodworking #208
A few years ago, after moving into a small apartment, I needed a desk—and fast. I had a big slab of planed, live-edge walnut that would make a perfect top—but what to put it on? Then I spied the two sawhorses I made while studying at the College of the Redwoods, in the furniture-making program founded by James Krenov. Turns out, the horses balanced the mass of the slab perfectly. And their spare, elegant, and well-proportioned design actually made for a nice-looking desk that got tons of compliments from woodworkers and non-woodworkers alike.
But don’t let the good looks fool you. These are real workhorses, designed to be versatile and durable—holding up that desk is probably the lightest duty my horses have seen yet. And with straightforward mortise-and-tenon joinery, the horses also are easy to build. The basic design was developed by Krenov, but students add their own flair, as I have to the feet and joinery. I encourage you to do the same.
Why these are better: Every woodworker needs a stout pair of sawhorses. They’re great for rough-milling lumber and assembling projects—and can even be used as a sturdy base for…