Shaving Horse Finis.

I finished it awhile back, but realized that I never posted any pictures of it.  Interestingly enough, after I had finished it Peter Galbert posted an article about this specific design and some his problems with it here.  And then, Brian Boggs responded to those critiques here! It was probably the most exciting week of shave horse discussion that will happen in my lifetime.  You think I’m joking.

Anyways, it came out splendid.  I still need to upholster the seat, but I’ll get around to that when I gets around to it.  I haven’t used it much, but hopefully I rectify that issue this spring.  

Picture time!

– Matt

More Shaving Horse progress and other happenings

So, a bit of progress on the shaving horse this afternoon.  I’ve had very little shop time over the past couple weeks, but more on that later.

I’ve almost got it finished up.  I still need to fashion a seat, and cut the dowels to size and wedge them, but that’s pretty much it!  Here’s some pictures in the meantime.

I left some bark on the ratcheting lever and liked it, so I decided to leave some on the bottom of the foot bar as well. I’m not totally sold on it, but I think it looks ok. For whatever reason, chair making seems very “appalachia” to me, so I’m more inclined to leave these folksy details on.  I dunno.

One very important detail that I copied from Greg Pennington’s horse was a place to put your drawknife / spokeshave while you’re working.  After using his horse for a week, it was obviously a very good modification, and almost an indispensable one.  If you don’t have a place to set your tool, you’ve got to have a little bench or something next to you to sit everything on.

All in all though, it seems to have come out pretty well. Another afternoon in the shop and I’ll be done. One final detail that I added was on the bottom of the ratcheting head.. It’s the same detail that Chris Schwarz puts on his English Try Square. I thought it looked nicer than just a squared or rounded over end.

Moving on, the reason I haven’t gotten much shop time lately is because another project that has been in the works for a long time finally came to conclusion..

Porter Edward O’Neill is here! Arrived Nov 29th, 8lb 8oz.  Gratuitous fan back rocker picture, of course.  Hopefully I’ll be able to impart to him that “shabby-chic” is not a style of furniture, something I’ve been unable to do with my wife.

So, that’s what has been happening around here.  I’ll post some finished pictures of that shaving horse in a week or so; I’m building a walnut trestle desk next, so that should be a fun project to document (and won’t be too hard either).

– Matt

Shaving Horse pt. Deux

I got the ratcheting head working.. I was a little worried about getting the lever placed in the right spot, but everything worked out just right.  There’s a length of bungee cord to pull it back into place, so all you need to do is pull the head up, or press down on the lever to lower it.  It works really well!

I’ve still got another 5-6 hours before this is done.. It’s not the most exciting thing in the world, but having good tools inspires you do great work. And building something like this is definitely a change of pace!

– Matt

Breeding Shave Horses

If I want to be a REAL chair maker, I’ll need a shaving horse.  What’s a shaving horse? Well, it’s basically a specialized bench for clamping and working with chair parts; specifically, spindles, crests, anything you’d be using your drawknife or spokeshave on.

Didn’t I just build a sweet bench with awesome vises though?  Yes, yes I did.  And I could technically do everything with a regular vise that I’ll do with the shave horse, but it would take waaaay longer, and be super annoying.

Here’s a good video on what a shavehorse is used for:

In fact, that whole series is fantastic, and Curtis Buchannan is like the Mozart of windsor chairs, so I’d recommend watching all of them if you’ve got time on your hands.

Anyways, I drove up to Greg’s yesterday, and bought a couple big pieces of cherry.  I whipped out my circular saw and started cutting some of the pieces down to size…

And, eventually I go them both cut out, and jointed and planed…

I’m building a Brian Boggs style shaving horse.. The main difference between his and others (that I can gather) is that he doesn’t have open sides on the head.  Well, since his style is the only kind I’ve ever used, I figure I may as well stick with what I know. Like usual, I’ve got the plans within view;

Those plans don’t have all the lengths listed, so I was having somewhat of a difficult time figuring out dimensions based on angles and heights. You know, basic geometry that I’ve long forgotten. So, I thought, why not just draw this thing out on the floor?  I don’t really care about pencil marks on the concrete, so I drew out some of the full size dimensions and it made things much easier to figure things out.

So, I got the front leg cut, and also the correct bevel on the main body. Tomorrow, I’m hoping to get some legs cut, and also the rocker sides.  Hopefully this project will go pretty quickly, I’ve got a few other things I’d like to finish before the end of the year..

Thanks for reading!

– Matt