Chain Saw Cutting Bench

I had been thinking about building a chain saw bench for some time, and last October, when I watched the AAW video featuring David Ellsworth, he discussed the one he uses. I thought it looked like a useful design and I decided to create my verison of it.

His design appeared to be made primarily of 2×4’s, but also used a few wider boards. I didn’t want to be left with large board scraps as I have plenty of those already, so I decided to modify his design slightly to use all 2×4’s. He gave no dimensions during the video, so I made estimates based on the apparent size from the video. I tried to get the most out of 8 foot 2×4’s so mine ended up about 48″ long, 32″ high and 18″ wide. I used deck screws to assemble it so that I could easily modify it if needed.

The “legs” are 30″ long and attached as shown in the diagrams. The middle set of legs are not needed for support, however, they are the attachment points for the cross-pieces supporting the “V” boards so they are important.

The “V” supports are set at about 25 degrees, but whatever angle looks best to you is fine. I positioned the boards in the “V” about an inch apart with a gap in the middle of about an inch. The gap dimensions aren’t critical so long as they aren’t too large. They are there mainly to allow shavings and sawdust to escape. The boards also extend past the end of the base 3″ to allow some clearance to work. The screws fastening the “V” boards to the cross-pieces are driven in from the bottom to minimize the chance of screws being hit with the chain saw chain.

I have been using this bench for over a couple of months now and I am quite happy with it. As with almost any first attempt at a project, there are a few things I would do differently. I would:

1. make the height a couple of inches less. It’s OK, but it’s a little uncomfortable cutting larger logs;
2. make the length a few inches less. A foot less would make it lighter and easier to store without compromising anything;
3. move the “feet” to the end of the base rectangle and replace them with something like a short piece of 2×4 at each corner so they were more truly feet. This would further reduce problems with uneven ground or cutoffs, etc.

Total cost of the project: A little under $50. Maybe a little more if you have to purchase deck screws.

In case anyone is wondering, it took me forever to find boards with the knots all in the same pattern!

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