Traditional Japanese woodworking is performed while seated on the ground. So as to not cut into your tatami, saw horses low to the ground are used.
I do not frequently crosscut while sitting in seiza, but I have found many uses for the horses
- Several sets of them on the floor of your shop make it very easy to break down sheet goods
- Take a pair and a saw when you go to purchase lumber. Yes, most places will cut the lumber for a small fee, but where is the fun in that?
- Use them on your workbench to lift work off the bench.
- Push up bars. Crank out a few push ups while you contemplate your next saw cut.
The low horses are also a great project to help you bootstrap your wood shop. They are cheap and easy to build. Also, they can be built with only hand tools.
I largely followed the procedure laid out by Make Skill Builder: Building Woodworking Low Horses. I cut four legs at 8 inches long and two beams at 22 inches long.
I found the center of the beams’ thickness. I also found the center of the legs’ length. These marks allow for dead-on layout for the Lincoln log notches which will be sawn out.
The notches are 1/2″ deep. I did not measure their width. I marked where I wanted the notches and then used the connecting piece to mark the width. Measurement is the enemy of precision. I used a coping saw to cut the walls of the notches.
I then used the coping saw to remove the waste from the notches.
A chisel will clean up the notch. Like an electron killing psychopath, I used a trim router with a straight bit to square everything up.
I cut relief with the coping saw in the bottoms of the legs to create feet. Again I used the trim router to tidy my cuts, but a mallet and chisel could be used.
I applied glue to the notches and clamped everything together.
I skipped cutting any design into the legs. Despite my aversion to aesthetics, sawing curves into the horses provides practice for curved cutting and makes them easy to identify as yours.