The Bogg’s Shave Horse: Ratchet and Key

The placement of the ratchet key worried me.  If installed incorrectly, the lower jaws won’t work properly on the shave horse.  Unfortunately, I hadn’t received any good instruction on how to locate it.  In the end, I devised a good solution that I think will help anyone building a similar shave horse.  Keep reading to see how I did it.

Ratchet and Key

First, I built the ratchet, and installe the guide block.  This shouldn’t require much explanation.  Unfortunately, I hurried this part of the build.  As a result, it ended up much more difficult than it should have been.  Don’t be like me!

Next, I used a set of drafting curves to sketch out the shape of my ratchet key.  It needed to be long enough to easily reach the handle.  Mine ended up 8 inches long and about 4 inches high.  Then, I cut the key on the band saw and cleaned it up on the spindle sander.  I left extra material on the pin end, to ensure a tight fit in the ratchet.

To find the correct location for the key, I did the following:  First, I marked the center-line on the key and the point for the dowel.  Then, I placed the key on the base, and transferred the center-line to the base.  I also used the notches in the ratchet to mark the pin on the key (this is why I left extra material on the key, earlier).  Finally, I transferred the line on the base down both sides.

Next, I removed the ratchet and inserted the key.  I carefully determined how low I wanted the key, and marked a second line.  Then, I measured the distance between the second line, and the horizontal line for my dowel.  This determines how far down the dowel will pass through the base.  Finally, I transferred this measurement down each side of the base and drilled my holes.

I did not glue in the dowel.  I want to be able to remove it later, if necessary.  Instead, I waxed the dowel and drove it through with a dead-blow mallet.  Next, I will tackle the treadle and seat.  Stay tuned.


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