|Packing for the picking. Off the verge and into the back of the ute. Nice pine from the USA.|
|Two models: the English Bodger style and the fabricated Dumb Head style.|
Making the Dumb-Head Style of Shaving Horse.
While I was in the USA last year, I used a fabricated dumb-head version while at the wonderful Roy Underhill's Woodwright's School. It was pretty much the same as this old plan by the legendary Drew Langsner, of Country Workshops, where I also spent some time while in the US. A big stick of timber I had would lend itself to making some of these.
|While I found this kicking around on the internet, thanks anyway to Drew Langsner for the plan!|
There was a nice long stick of timber in my possession, of some kind of Northern Hemispherical softwood, with Belgium stamped on it's IPSM 15 Mark. I had 6 of these sticks originally, which had come into Australia as dividers creating two layers of goods inside a sea container from Europe. Each was 7"x3" in section, 5.2m long. Yum. One of these would give me three 1.6m bodies for this style of shaving horse. Shown below after being docked up.
|One long stick (5.2m) of some Northern Hemispherical softwood, here cut up to give me 3 shave horse bodies.|
|This "dumb-head", attached to the lever leg via a removable wedge, made from WA Blackbutt (Eucalyptus patens).|
|Once part of a New Zealand manufactured bed. Now the lever leg of a recycled wood shaving horse.|
|My dear old Dad driving legs into the underside of a shave horse. Doug just turned 85.|
|Completed dumb-head shave horse, with extended foot plate on lever leg.|
|This pics shows a lever leg without the extended foot plate.|
|This one has a nice chunk of jarrah for the head. Beautiful.|
|The perfect place to be using a drawknife...|
I had used one to these horses at Roy Underhill's last year, in North Carolina. A search on the net found the following plan from another legendary American Green Woodworker, Peter Follansbee.
|Peter's plan was used to roughly base my bodgers' horse on.|
|Such beautiful clear branding. This would have to be a feature!|
|Other pieces of packing crates used to make up the treadle frame.|
|View from the saddle. Nice blaze on this horse's nose! - the branding.|
|These are a delightful horse to use. I have made three of them so far.|
I confess my favourite is the English Bodger's style. However, in retrospect I reckon these could have been made about a foot longer. You only notice this when working on longer pieces of wood, where you find your bum perches on the end of the seat. No problems, I still need to make more to reach my total of 12 horses.
|Four of the shaving horses, two different models. All from recycled wood.|
It is very easy to make a shaving horse from recycled wood. This wonderful tool, the shaving horse, has been used by chair bodgers, coopers, wheelwrights, wood carvers, spoon makers, basket makers, and so many other woodcraft workers - for centuries. By using wood rescued from the waste stream, and giving that wood a whole new life (Rather than just burning it or burying it in land fill) , I believe we bring honour to those trees from which the wood had originally come.
Soon I will make some more shaving horses... I can feel it coming on. It will be interesting to see what new breed emerges from this process. Stay tuned for a future post...