Japanese woodworking focuses on advanced joinery (tight clearances) and finely planed wood surfaces. This Japanese-style sawhorse is built using only compression joints and can be set up and broken down with nothing more than a mallet.
It takes time and patience to build using the Japanese woodworking method, but finished pieces are often works of art. This sawhorse requires no nails or screws to assemble, but it does take a trained eye to hand-carve the joints, which include a bridle and mortise and tenon joint.
A more advanced and permanent version of this sawhorse is shown here. Shims are used to tighten the joints even further by increasing the compression strength of the joint.
For more information about Japanese woodworking, check out Jay Van Arsale books and videos. He’s an instructor of Japanese woodworking and has published a few books on the subject.
Japanese Style Sawhorse [Journal of Light Construction]