Shaving Horse #5: Installing the Clamp and Conclusion

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Blog entry by Tom posted 11-25-2020 04:44 PM 335 reads 0 times favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 4: Forming the Clamp Part 5 of Shaving Horse series no next part

Time to wrap up this build. The last bit is to install the clamp. This is tricky and you have options. You can decide how close you want to clamp to the end of the ramp. You can also decide the opening height of the clamp which determines the size of the workpiece it can hold. To some extent, the height can be adjusted by boring another hole in the arm, but the slots may need to be extended.

The ramp should be firmly in place for this operation, but not pegged yet. You will want to remove the ramp to cut the slots for the clamp arm. Eventually, the ramp gets pegged to the base with two wooden pegs at opposing angles. For this part of the operation, I temporarily nailed the ramp in place. I laid the base on its side and positioned the clamp in my desired position and marked the extremes for the slots in the ramp and base.

I bring the lines for the extremes of the arm travel across the tops of the ramp and base. Then I laid out the 2” wide slots for the arm in each piece. I used the 2” leg of the square to mark it out. For the base, I bored out the ends with the auger and chiseled out the middle. I clamped a batten on the bottom to avoid too much blowout. It was difficult to bore the 1” holes in the green wood because the hole closes up on the auger and creates a lot of friction. I also angled the ends to match the arm position for the extremes. Luckily, I encountered a knot that made it even more fun to auger and chisel, but it came out OK in the end.

For the ramp, I cut the slot on the workbench with the chisel as if it were a mortise. It worked fine and it was pretty quick and efficient. Again, I angled the ends to match the arm positions. I did it all from one side with a scrap underneath to protect the bench. It made a fairly crisp clean slot in the green wood.

Finally, I pegged the ramp in place (just one peg for now), positioned the clamp arm in place with the base on its side, shimmed everything in position and bored a 1/2 inch hole for the pivot rod.

With the clamp arm installed on the pivot rod, I marked off the final length and trimmed the end for clearance above the ground. Then I used an off cut from the log to fashion a foot platform and cut a slot in similar fashion to the ramp slot. I also beveled the end for extra clearance above the ground. I added a dowel rod to the clamp arm to keep the platform in place.

I took if for a test drive and darned if it didn’t work great. I am pleased with the result. It was hard work to make this device and a new experience for me. I think it will be useful for my future projects. I coated it with BLO (AKA Danish oil) to help moderate the drying process.

I hope you enjoyed and give it a try if the opportunity presents itself.

Happy Thanksgiving! :)

-- Tom

5 comments so far

View 55woodbutcher's profile


72 posts in 794 days

#1 posted 11-25-2020 05:31 PM

Great project! Thanks for sharing.

View Sylvain's profile


1157 posts in 3468 days

#2 posted 11-26-2020 10:42 AM

nice shaving horse.

I have seen another method for wide mortises which would work with current chisel width:
It is in a Nordic language but the pictures are self explanatory
see second and third picture.

-- Sylvain, Brussels, Belgium, Europe - The more I learn, the more there is to learn

View Tom's profile


176 posts in 860 days

#3 posted 11-26-2020 11:47 AM

Sylvain – That’s an interesting method for cutting a wide mortise. Have not seen it before. I would prefer it to the augering method. I find paring the mortise gets me in trouble sometimes.

-- Tom

View smstevo's profile


11 posts in 1839 days

#4 posted 12-02-2020 02:54 PM

Thanks for sharing. Planning to start one this weekend.

View Tom's profile


176 posts in 860 days

#5 posted 12-02-2020 04:22 PM

Good luck Steve!

-- Tom

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