I would like to build a sawhorse and see Home Depot has those cheap “whitewood” 2x4’s. Would it be a bad idea to build a sawhorse with this wood?

Here’s the wood https://www.homedepot.com/p/2-in-x-4-in-x-8-ft-Prime-Stud-058449/312528776

They list the species as “Spruce/Pine/Fir.”

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    What the heck is "whitewood"? What's the actual species?
    – LarryBud
    Commented Dec 19, 2023 at 16:07
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    Yes, no problem making sawhorses out of that. That's what's used to build houses (hence the description of "framing stud")! Where did you get "whitewood" from?
    – LarryBud
    Commented Dec 19, 2023 at 16:32
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    "White wood", @LarryBud, is a generic term for SPF. Generally it means "whatever was cheap on the day we bought the futures contract". It may be less familiar to the woodworking community, but it's not uncommon in the construction world.
    – FreeMan
    Commented Dec 19, 2023 at 19:09
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    @Freeman Crazy, I've been buying lumber forever and never heard anybody use that term. Perhaps a regional thing? I don't see any mention on the HD website using that term either.
    – LarryBud
    Commented Dec 19, 2023 at 20:42
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    @LarryBud I just realized I saw “whitewood” on the price tag in the store but not on the website. Huh… Commented Dec 19, 2023 at 21:39

1 Answer 1


The biggest downside is warped wood. However, if you select carefully (I've been known to paw through 1/2 a stack of lumber looking for straight 2x4s), you shouldn't have too much issue.

Remember, these are saw horses. They're designed for a rough life and to take all sorts of abuse, they're not designed to be fine furniture.

If you discover that they really didn't last as long as you'd like, well, they were really cheap to make, and you've got a nice bit of wood for the fire pit on the next crisp fall evening. And, you'll know that you need to get some better quality wood for your next set.

Or, you might discover that, for the price, they lasted long enough and you might make the next set exactly the same as this one.

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