Rocking Horse

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Blog series by MC updated 07-23-2012 12:30 AM 10 parts 42147 reads 11 comments total

Part 1: Day 1

05-28-2012 10:44 PM by MC | 3 comments »

I am starting a project to build a rocking horse for my son. I am following a set of plans from Family Traditions. However, before starting I am already deviating from the plans. The material list calls for 3/4 inch hardwood for the project. I came across an 8/4 piece of ambrosia maple that I quickly decided would be the material for the horse. The saddle and harness will be made from Walnut and the rockers from hard maple that I have not picked up yet. I have not found the wood yet that ...

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Part 2: Day 2

06-02-2012 09:29 PM by MC | 0 comments »

Dimensioned the Horse Pieces to 1 3/4” today using a # 5 hand plane. Next I jointed the adjoining pieces again using my #5 plane. (Currently I only have this plane and a block plane. A jointing plane is on my wish list.) The 8/4 maple was a good workout. I finished the day drilling holes for the dowels using a doweling jig and a hand drill. Instead of the 3/8” dowell the plans called for I am using 1/2” with the larger wood I have chosen. Tomorrow I should be able to spend s...

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Part 3: First glue up

06-05-2012 01:15 AM by MC | 0 comments »

I was able to get back to the project after work today and glue up the horse head, neck, body and tail. I have a small gap between the neck and head that I am disappointed with but the gap will be hidden by the walnut harness.

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Part 4: Rockers Cut

06-10-2012 10:02 AM by MC | 0 comments »

I was able to get the project one more night after work this past week and do some more band saw work. Saturday was spent making the rockers. I first jointed and glued up a 16” by 46” panel of ambrosia maple. While the glue set I made a circle cutting jig with a 40” radius to form the rockers. The jig worked well I am pleased with the way the rockers came out.The next jig I need to make is to add a taper to the top of the legs so that they will fit at an angle to the horse. ...

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Part 5: Tapered legs

06-18-2012 12:51 AM by MC | 1 comment »

Made a little more progress this weekend. I did some shaping of the horse and worked on the taper for the legs. The plans called for inserting a wedge between the body and the legs to taper the legs out. However, since I am using 8/4 wood instead of the 3/4 the plans called for I decided to taper the leg to fit. I built a simple jig to control the taper using the router. The jig worked well and the legs are ready for their final shaping.

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Part 6: Dry assembly

06-28-2012 01:52 AM by MC | 0 comments »

I had a bit of a setback this weekend. After spending about three hours shaping the saddle I came to the realization that I had lined up the front of the top profile with the back of the side profile. Hate it when that happens. Will need to pick up some more walnut next weekend. Finished shaping the legs and made the first dry assembly. Need to make some small adjustments to the feet with a block plane so that they fit flush with the cross pieces. Before taking the horse back apart I will sta...

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Part 7: The details take more time.

07-04-2012 03:14 PM by MC | 1 comment »

Did not get as much done as I had planned this past weekend. I work in an open garage and the 105 degree F temperatures slowed my progress. I did pick up more walnut and made another saddle for the horse. I also rounded over all the edges with a router and cut inlays for the harness I made out of walnut scraps; had plenty. Shaping the inlay took some time and involved a block plane, rasp, chisel and finally a handy Dremel. Down to the final steps. I will be sanding and assembling over the nex...

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Part 8: Final Assembly in Progress

07-07-2012 11:07 PM by MC | 4 comments »

I made some progress today. I finished shaping the saddle, made the handles and sanded the horse body and legs as well as parts for the rocker. After sanding I put together the horse and rockers but I have not attached the horse to the rockers yet. I only have a few more items to finish; the trim pieces for the mane and tail and the eyes. Time to start thinking about how I am going to finish the project when complete. I am debating between BLO followed by a wipe on Polyurethane or just goi...

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Part 9: Final Assembly

07-15-2012 10:40 PM by MC | 1 comment »

Finished making the last of the parts this weekend and got everything put together. Added the booster step and ears made from the same ambrosia maple as the rockers. The mane and tail trim pieces came from some cherry I had left over from another project. The eyes are the same walnut dowel as the handles only stained ebony. That will be the only stain used on this project. What remains is some final sanding, finishing and some leather ears. For the finish I am using shellac as a sandin...

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Part 10: Finished (Almost)

07-23-2012 12:30 AM by MC | 1 comment »

Completed the final sanding this weekend and applied the finish. I used a 1 pound cut of shellac as a sanding sealer followed by four coats of polyurethane. I will let the Poly harden for a week or two and rub the finish out to a high gloss. I learned a lot on this project and am looking forward to seeing it put to use.

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