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Handy tools #10: Bowl horse

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Blog entry by Dave Polaschek posted 11-15-2019 06:18 PM 399 reads 0 times favorited 23 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 9: The truck kit Part 10 of Handy tools series no next part

I moved earlier this year, and it’s going to be next year before I have a shop, so I decided to build a shave-horse / bowl horse as a way to keep busy and be able to do some woodworking.

The first step was building the horse itself. A couple 4×4s, a 2×8, and a couple 2×4s. I bought the fake redwood pressure-treated stuff at Homer Depot because it was the straightest of the various tubas they had. Course it was basically saturated with water, so it’s interesting watching it move as it dries out in the desert air here.

Anyway, I sandwiched the front leg between the two 4×4s, with a piece of 2×4 on either side of it. Pounded some 5/8” dowel into 5/8” holes drilled in the wet wood with an auger bit, and as the wood dried, the holes tightened down around the dowels nicely. No glue or fasteners on that joint.

Next was using my branch saw and a chisel to make mortises for the rear legs. I eyeballed the angles. They feel about right. The legs are screwed on with deck screws.

Finally, I shimmed the bench level, and then trimmed the legs a given height from the floor. Ended up taking a couple inches off every leg, but got the bench sitting level. Then I made a seat.

Then it was time to build the bowl head. I took a couple pieces of 2×8, and sandwiched pieces of 2×4 vertically between the ends of them, and screwed them together with more deck screws. Then I drilled a hole in each 2×4 just below where it stuck out below the bottom of the bench, and carved a wedge by hand to fit in that hole. With both wedges in place, the bowl head is locked to the horse very securely.

I screwed a couple chunks of 2×4 to the back of the bowl head. This forms the stationary part of the clamping mechanism. I’ll probably tweak the shape later, but the deck screws come out pretty easy, too.

Then I made the clamp. It’s a 2×4, shaved down a little so it will fit freely between the sides. I made a platform for the bottom of it by cutting a 2×4 mortise into a piece of 2×8 and putting in a 9/16 hole. A half-inch carriage bolt slides through to hold the platform on. Then I set the clamp in place and drilled a hole through everything so it could pivot. When I determined that my hole was the right height, I added a couple more holes so I can work on different sized parts.

-- Dave - Santa Fe



23 comments so far

View Diego Cassels's profile

Diego Cassels

154 posts in 649 days


#1 posted 11-15-2019 06:26 PM

Excellent Job Dave!

-- Diego Cassels

View oldrivers's profile

oldrivers

1894 posts in 2134 days


#2 posted 11-15-2019 06:26 PM

God job Dave, hope you get your shop set up soon.

-- Soli Deo gloria!

View Dave Polaschek's profile

Dave Polaschek

4331 posts in 1150 days


#3 posted 11-15-2019 06:30 PM

Thanks, Diego! Minimal tools used to make this, as most everything is in boxes until I get the new shop built.

And thanks, oldrivers! The guy from the architecture committee of the HOA is coming by this this weekend to look at the plans. If I get approval, I’ll be talking to the contractor on Monday.

-- Dave - Santa Fe

View HokieKen's profile

HokieKen

11637 posts in 1706 days


#4 posted 11-15-2019 06:31 PM

Woo Hoo! Ride that horsey Dave :-) Looks good man. Any woodworking is better than no woodworking!

-- Kenny, SW VA, Go Hokies!!!

View Dave Polaschek's profile

Dave Polaschek

4331 posts in 1150 days


#5 posted 11-15-2019 06:34 PM

Thanks, Kenny! I agree. And having this gives me a sawhorse and a low workbench too. Course I know I’m going to get in trouble for leaving wood chips all over the patio at some point, but I’ll worry about that later.

-- Dave - Santa Fe

View robscastle's profile

robscastle

6583 posts in 2772 days


#6 posted 11-15-2019 08:47 PM

Hi there Dave,

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tm4BrZjY_Sg

-- Regards Rob

View robscastle's profile

robscastle

6583 posts in 2772 days


#7 posted 11-15-2019 09:15 PM

I have been looking for some designs for your new workshop Dave I will post them as I find suitable ones.

Here is the first to consider.

-- Regards Rob

View Dave Polaschek's profile

Dave Polaschek

4331 posts in 1150 days


#8 posted 11-15-2019 10:24 PM

Thanks, Rob.

I’ve actually had plans drawn by a designer. The garage needs to match our house in style and be the same color, so we’re pretty limited in our choices.

It’ll be a one-car garage and an equal amount of shop space. Roughly 12×24 feet allocated to each.

-- Dave - Santa Fe

View LittleBlackDuck's profile

LittleBlackDuck

3116 posts in 1389 days


#9 posted 11-15-2019 11:33 PM


..... It’ll be a one-car garage and an equal amount of shop space. Roughly 12×24 feet allocated to each.
- Dave Polaschek

Not too generous… That sized workshop will limit you to pocket knives… money-pocket sized! At least you’ll still be knifing.

PS. I see your horse is not house trained…

already droppings on the concrete.

-- If your first cut is too short... Take the second cut from the longer end... LBD

View Dave Polaschek's profile

Dave Polaschek

4331 posts in 1150 days


#10 posted 11-16-2019 12:33 AM

We’re also limited to 650 square feet. I think mine comes in at 625 (25×25 feet external dimensions).

Yeah, Ducky. Horses leave presents behind.

-- Dave - Santa Fe

View doubleDD's profile

doubleDD

8827 posts in 2611 days


#11 posted 11-16-2019 01:12 AM

Nice work Dave. It’s great when you build your own tools for the shop. A good way to keep those skills in shape. Perhaps not one of the biggest shops but plenty of room to enjoy what you like doing. You will have a few more sq ft than me and after a few years I got it working well.

-- Dave, Downers Grove, Il. -------- When you run out of ideas, start building your dreams.

View Dave Polaschek's profile

Dave Polaschek

4331 posts in 1150 days


#12 posted 11-16-2019 02:50 AM

Thanks, Dave. It’ll be enough, especially when the weather is nice and I can set up outside with the bowl horse or low bench and enjoy the weather and the crazy birds (we’ve got a roadrunner that hunts something in our yard) and such.

I expect I’ll be tweaking the setup on the horse over time, too. I already know I need to carve a notch into the stop so the bowl doesn’t want to head left or right when I’m working on a side of it.

-- Dave - Santa Fe

View adot45's profile

adot45

163 posts in 1192 days


#13 posted 11-16-2019 12:55 PM

Nice Dave…Glad to see you are able to keep busy.
I know you will enjoy your new shop space.

-- David -- sent from my linux box

View LittleBlackDuck's profile

LittleBlackDuck

3116 posts in 1389 days


#14 posted 11-16-2019 01:16 PM



We’re also limited to 650 square feet. I think mine comes in at 625 (25×25 feet external dimensions).
- Dave Polaschek

So DP, you lied about the 12×24... With the above space you could swing 2 prarrie dogs by the tip of their tails, one in each hand.

-- If your first cut is too short... Take the second cut from the longer end... LBD

View Dave Polaschek's profile

Dave Polaschek

4331 posts in 1150 days


#15 posted 11-16-2019 01:20 PM

Thanks, David.

Ducky, I believe it’s a comprehension problem. The building is 25×25, but the shop gets half of that, being 12×24. The other foot is lost to the thickness of the walls, which is mandated to be six inches (or more) by building codes here.

-- Dave - Santa Fe

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