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Marv's Three Legged Saw Bench


UPDATE:  See bottom of article.

Marv Werner is a  fellow hand saw enthusiast I often have email conversations with.  Marv lovingly restores old saws to nearly like-new condition, and also has quite a talent for wheat-carving.  I've talked about him before in my blog here.

Recently, Marv sent pictures of a saw bench he'd made.  While Chris Schwarz has an excellent plan for a great saw bench already available on the web here, but I thought Marv's bench should also be out there for a couple of reasons...  First, you can build it very quickly using just 2x6's and deck screws.  Second, because it will work well on an uneven floor - I have often had this problem with benches and saw horses - in my garage, for example, there is a crack in the floor that changes the level of the floor up to a full 1/4" in some places... 

The next section with photos was written by Marv, with my words are in italics:

"I built something that I should have built years ago when I first got serious about filing saws.  I was emailing [another friend and saw enthusiast] awhile back and we were discussing saw benches.  He was complaining that no matter how perfect he makes a four legged anything, it will usually wobble because few surfaces are as flat as his stools and benches are accurately made.  That inspired me to solve the problem."

"Here it is in use...well, sort is a saw bench, right?  The two saws on the floor are Pacific saws, made in San Francisco just prior to the 1906 earthquake.  The factory was destroyed and that was the end of the company.  The saw standing on the right is a Spear & Jackson, 12-1/2PPI, very thin blade. You can whip it like a sheet of thin sheetmetal."

"Here it is not in use.  It measures 12" x 27" x 18" high.  All the pieces are held together with deck screws. No M&T,s on this thing. " [Note:  in the drawings and sketchup model I provide below, the measurements are 12-1/2" x 27-1/2" x 18"]

"It's a little tippy on the one legged end but rock solid on the business end." [Note the green saw handle in the next photo - wow! Marv told me it was done as a "lark"...  I can only hope!]

 "Thought I might as well add a bench hook just for giggles.  A cleat on the underside centers it in the 1-1/8" gap." [Note:  in the drawings and sketchup model I provide below, this gap is 1-1/2"]

 "The legs are at a 22-1/2 degree angle.  The thing on the corner there is a stop to prevent a board from sliding forward.  The black knob is a little overkill, could easily be a screw."

 "Normally I wouldn't paint something like this but I will primarily be using it for making test cuts with freshly filed saws.  The cushion is for my troublesome left knee. " 

Me again.  I created a PDF file of Marv's saw bench free for you to download and use as you wish. 

Marv's saw bench in PDF format (UPDATED - SEE BELOW)

I took a few liberties with the measurements so that a 2x4 or 2x6 could be used as a spacer while constructing it, and also so a 2x could be used as a stop by placing it between the two top pieces.  This need to change his design probably came from my days as a carpenter..

Hope you find this useful...



UPDATED:  I have the drawings slightly off - the legs are actually splayed somewhat.

Update from Marv:

"One small thing though....can you make changes at this point in time to your PDF drawings?  The pictures I sent you probably doesn't show clearly how the legs at the two legged emd are angled.  They are angled using compound miters so they actually are angled in two directions so that the bottom ends are even with the top surface edge both at the end of the bench and at the sides. This adds a lot to the stability at that end where all the sawing is to be done.  If I were to make another one, I think I would angle the legs maybe another inch or two out beyond the top on the sides but leave the legs even with the top at the end. I wouldn't want the legs to extend beyond the end so as to not interfere with the end of a saw blade when sawing."

"I just now double checked the angle of the two legs.  7-1/2 degrees spreads them at the bottom to exactly 12". the width of the top.  This angle can be increased if one so desired in order to add a little more stability in that direction. It's quite stable and solid as it is, especially if a saw cut is made with the board being sawed is located more or less in the middle of the top right over the gap.  The legs should be no less than the width of the top. Usually the board being sawed can be held with the other hand without placing a knee on it. When a knee is used, the bench is even more less apt to tip.   If the bench were to be built with the legs straight up and down as your PDF sketchs show, the bench would not be stable."
Marv "


I have updated the pdf to show the splay....  I deleted the sketchup model as I cannot get around to fixing it right at the moment.





Thanks for posting this.  I like the three legged approach.  My basement is not exactly level and the 4 legs on my saw benches are always prone to wobbling on it.  The wobble is a little disconcerting while sawing.  Your friend's three legged approach solves that easily.  I also like that this bench has a rip slot down the middle.  I fit my benches with a pipe clamp to make a functional and fast vice when paired up with some dogs. 
<a href="">New Fangled Sawbench</a> I think the addition could be made to Marv's sawbench very easily.