a device used to temporarily raise and support pieces of material
A sawhorse is a beam with four legs used to support a board or plank for sawing. A pair of sawhorses can support a plank, forming a scaffold. In certain circles, it is also known as a mule.
The sawhorse may be designed to fold for storage. A sawhorse with a wide top is particularly useful to support a board for sawing or as a field workbench, and is more useful as a single, but also more difficult to store.
A sawhorse can also be used as the base for a portable work table by placing a sheet of 3/4" plywood or even a door on top of two sawhorses. If the sawhorses are strong enough, the portable table can be used as a platform for tools like a table saw, although with caution if the top is not secured to the sawhorses.
Crowd controlA device for crowd control in the late 20th century had the shape of a sawhorse made of wood. The legs are similar but rather heavy duty facsimiles of the hobby version of about the same height. The horizontal bar consists of a heavy-duty plank of about 4.2 meters (14 feet) long with printed on it in large letters: Police Line - Do Not Cross. The wooden sawhorses, used as barriers, are slowly being replaced. In New York, for example, in 2007 only about 3,200 wooden sawhorses (14 feet long and $60 each) remain. They are being replaced by an aluminium version called a French barrier (in the USA) of which New York now (2007) uses about 12,000 (2 meters (7 feet) long and $70 each). Other cities like Chicago and Philadelphia also use both types.
sawhorse in French: Tréteau
sawhorse in German: Bock (Gestell)