Blood, Sweat, and Sawdust

Going against the grain

Tag: chairmaking

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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A Bogg’s Inspired Shavehorse: The Base

Somethings go as planned.  Others do not.  The base of my shavehorse followed the latter.  What seemed a simple, straight-forward glue-up ended up complicated and frustrating.  However, in the end everything worked out and the base is complete.

At first glance, the base seems simple enough.  Two sides, sandwich together with spacers between.  The rear legs fit into angled dados, and everything is reinforced with pegs.  However, the pegs fit somewhat tightly.  So, I was unable to do a full-fledged dry-run of the glue-up.  As a result, I ran into an unforeseen problem.

I lathered everything up with glue and went to town.  The front went together easy enough.  However, I immediately had problems with the rear.  First, I aligned both sides with the rear spacer, and drove the peg through all three pieces.  Then, I started with the legs.  Unfortunately, the legs fit a little too tight, so I started to drive them home with a dead-blow mallet.  After a few moments, I realized I wasn’t making progress.  Every time I drove the mallet, I was only shifting the legs; the space between them wasn’t growing any smaller.  I began to fear that I was running out of time.

Fortunately, quick thinking and just the right amount of panic led to a solution.  I clamped a stop on one side of the legs, and drove with the mallet from the other side.  When they were close enough, I used two clamps to cinch them the rest of the way.  Crisis averted!

With the shavehorse’s base complete, I will move on to the ratchet, key, treadle, etc.  Stay tuned.