Blood, Sweat, and Sawdust

Going against the grain

Tag: shave horse

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.

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Making a Boggs Inspired Shave Horse

Chair making deeply interests me.  The sensuous curves of a Maloof rocker and practicality of a ladder back captivate me.  Despite this, I have yet to build more than a few Adirondack chairs.  So, I signed myself up for Jeff Miller’s chair building class in November.  In the meantime, I decided to learn all I could about chair making.  Along the way, I determined that I would need a shave horse.

You use a shave horse to hold chair parts for shaping with a draw knife or spoke shave.  It consists of a seat and clamping apparatus.  A good shave horse allows the user to easily adjust clamping pressure, while maintaining a comfortable seating position

So, I scoured the Internet for information.  Eventually, I decided to build a horse similar to one Brian Boggs designed several years ago.  In case you didn’t know, Brian Boggs is a talented chair maker from Asheville, North Carolina.  His shave horse sits on three legs, uses a foot operated treadle, and clamps with an adjustable lower jaw.  Additionally, the user builds the device to suit his or her own body.

Shave Horse

I have already milled most of the lumber.  I have shaped the sides and started on the legs.  Once the base is complete, I will install the jaws, treadle, and seat.  If all goes well, I should complete the horse within a week.

Stay tuned for progress.