Shaving Horse #3: Fitting the Ramp

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Blog entry by Tom posted 11-24-2020 05:22 PM 300 reads 0 times favorited 1 comment Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 2: The Stock and the Base Part 3 of Shaving Horse series Part 4: Forming the Clamp »

This kind of shaving horse is really not too fussy about precise construction. Installing the ramp is a fairly easy process, however, I did fuss with it quite a bit. Since this wood is totally green and is bound to shrink and move, I think it was not really productive to spend as much time as I spent setting up the ramp. But I am not too used this kind of woodworking, so I just did my best.

In the version that I am making, the ramp needs to be beveled on the underside where it mates up with the base. I set the ramp in place with a temporary riser piece and roughly marked out for the bevel on the underside. I then removed some of the waste with a half hatchet (that’s all I have right now) and then worked it with a heavy set jack plane. I expect you could do all the bevel with a hewing hatchet if you have one. That should be precise enough.

Then I set it up again with the temporary riser and found the angle for the slot for the riser. This slot helps to keep the riser from sliding out of place during use and provides a more stable base for the clamp. Then I laid out for the slot and cut it out with the saw and chisel.

I roughly prepared a 6” high riser from an offcut and worked it with the jack plane to fit the slot and square it up to the base. It’s not fancy, but it was fit up well enough.

The riser is held in place by dowels into the base. I marked out the location of the riser on the base and set a couple nails where I want the dowels. Then I clipped off the nails and tapped the riser down to mark the locations. Then I just removed the nails and bored 1/2” holes for the dowels in the base and riser. I elongated one of the holes to allow for wood movement.

It looks pretty good up to this point, but I was not comfortable with the height of the riser. I really wanted it lower to be more inline with my elbows. So I spent some time reworking the riser height and adjusting the bevel accordingly. Eventually, I got to a point where the height seemed right for me and things were fitting up OK. I used a different method to adjust the bevel by sawing stop cuts and chiseling out the waste. I saw this in one of Roy’s videos and it worked well. I finished by leveling it with the jack plane. I also worked the slot and riser to get an even fit since it will be taking some pressure in use.

The last picture above is a later one in the process, but it shows a pretty good fit for the riser and ramp bevel. I’‘m not sure if it is worth putting this much effort into green woodworking considering the wood is going to be shrinking a lot and moving. Time will tell. for now it looks pretty good.

Next steps are forming and fitting the clamp.

Thanks for reading…. :)

-- Tom

1 comment so far

View smstevo's profile


11 posts in 1844 days

#1 posted 11-24-2020 07:07 PM

Glad you’re doing this. I’m about to follow suit.

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