One wild shaving horse #1: or MaFe's version of the beast at least...

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Blog entry by mafe posted 08-09-2011 10:03 PM 33283 reads 14 times favorited 25 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of One wild shaving horse series Part 2: and the show must go on... »

One wild shaving horse
or MaFe’s version of the beast at least…

This is not a tutorial, just me playing arround.

Ok I know it, I have a problem with words, yes words, not horses – and even the fact I am retired not ten wild shaving horses can keep me of the wood…
I’ll stop now! Not the wood the words I mean.

The shaving horse:
For years I have been looking at this fascinating work horse, at the internet and at museums all over Denmark and on travels, it seems to shop up all over and have a long history.

Here a traditional Danish one from the tool museum in Roskilde.

I made this drawing of what I wanted, or at least something in this direction.
(This version has a ‘hold’ placed on the bench like a clog maker’s bench).

And here the full version with lathe and all the jazz.

The build is done now for the first part, and the shaving horse can be used now, actually I used it to build itself, the lathe will be added when I get the proper branch for the bow that I want to make or perhaps I will buy a bow for shooting, just for the fun of it.

I helped a friend to draw a new roof for his house years back and he offered me some roof rafters that was delivered extra, these have been waiting for a purpose, and here were a really nice one.

So when this summer began I began also playing around with the wood and slowly building the shaving horse that I dreamed of. Slowly for two reasons, one that my health do not allow me so much time with hand tools and only on the good health days and I had decided this should be build with hand tools only. Two that I wanted it to be a pleasure project with no deadline, just me and my tools, wood and sun. And so it went.

Here the rafters.
I made the layout with a square, chalk line, and a pen.

Since I had no drawing with measures I just planned as I went, marked what I felt would fit my body.

Tools out, this is an all vintage tools project, English planes.
Started out with a vintage saw also, but since my sharpening still is only a project I gave in and used a new handsaw.

New day new deal, trying to make the fixture for the slope.

Here it is about to be there, at least the basic idea takes form.

Here drilling with a wonderful old English brace.

The whole way through.

Slope is a reality, now I just need to make it able to be fixed.

And this I decide to solve in the top end with an adjustable version, so I can decide the height after the project.

Ohhh yes and there were time also for a BBQ.
Also you can see the horse resting under the parasol, now with pins and shaped adjusters for the slope.

And to enjoy the wonderful summer in Denmark, and every moment where my health allowed me to work.

Now another step or two ahead, the slope got a hold bar and I am working on the head.

The head are a cut in half piece of tree, you will see after, it is fixed with mortise and tenon joint so I cut a mortise in the head.

And fix it with a wood dowel.
Also first leg is now mounted since I as soon as the head was mounted I could start shaping the legs on the bench with a draw knife.
The legs are fixed to the bench in round holes that are hand drilled into the bench.

And here you see a gift from nature!
Yes that is just wonderful, I found this in the forest by a cut down tree, so I skipped my plans of a dragon head or the duck since this has natures own miracles included.

Made a V in the back end of the bench so it can be used for sawing.
Rounded all sides with a spokeshave.

Nice legs.

Time to play a little with nature, to help smiles arrive.
This side has a natural eye, so I add a nose hole.

Other side an eye and a grumpy mouth.

Time for a break…
My espresso machine went on strike, and I was in panic.
But it was only a plastic part that had gone too hot.
Nothing like a good espresso.

This will be a natural time for a break, so I will split up the blog here.
I’ll be back soon.

Hope this can be inspiring to follow, and that it might lead others to build a shaving horse perhaps.

Best thoughts,

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect.

25 comments so far

View Bertha's profile


13635 posts in 4190 days

#1 posted 08-09-2011 10:37 PM

A gift for the eyes, those tools and sunlight. Thank you for this! I have been an admirer of shavehorses for some time now.

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

View Brit's profile


8520 posts in 4340 days

#2 posted 08-09-2011 10:40 PM

Sheer bliss. One man and his hand tools under a warm sun working with nature to the sounds of nature. It doesn’t get any better Mads. Looking forward to the next part.

-- Andy - Old Chinese proverb says: "If you think something can't be done, don't interrupt man who is doing it."

View HalDougherty's profile


1820 posts in 4734 days

#3 posted 08-09-2011 10:41 PM

Good looking and usefull shaving horse. They were used to make all kinds of stuff over on this side of the pond too. I remember seeing them in use when I was a little kid and my grandfather would take me places with him.

-- Hal, Tennessee

View WayneC's profile


14359 posts in 5594 days

#4 posted 08-09-2011 10:51 PM

Looks like your making good progress. I want to build something smaller to shave spoons… Still working it out in my head…. Looks like your due a project to make a couple of saw benches or at least one to go with your horse.

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

View Don W's profile

Don W

20443 posts in 4064 days

#5 posted 08-09-2011 10:56 PM

is that burgers on the barbi? Cool project and it looks like you really enjoyed this one.

-- - Collecting is an investment in the past, and the future.

View Bearpie's profile


2601 posts in 4515 days

#6 posted 08-09-2011 11:05 PM

While reading and looking at your drawings, it came to me that it would be “cool” to make the horse’s head with big teeth to hold down the work and also carve the bottom part with matching teeth as well! Just a thought? Like your post and drawings.

-- Erwin, Jacksonville, FL

View Lars Öhlin's profile

Lars Öhlin

83 posts in 4855 days

#7 posted 08-09-2011 11:19 PM

True woodworking poetry!

-- Lars Öhlin [Sweden - Helsingborg - Domsten]

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10880 posts in 4612 days

#8 posted 08-10-2011 12:37 AM

great work Mads and thanks for the drawings and pictures :-)

now to part two for me


View shipwright's profile


8822 posts in 4295 days

#9 posted 08-10-2011 01:06 AM

That’s a fine horse Mads. I know from my chevalet build the feeling of linkage with the past that fills you as you work on this.

On another matter, every time my espresso maker malfunctions I just take it apart and put it back together. I never find anything wrong and it always returns eagerly to service. I suspect they just have a natural need for attention… the rest of us.

-- Paul M ..............the early bird may get the worm but it’s the second mouse that gets the cheese!

View RGtools's profile


3372 posts in 4151 days

#10 posted 08-10-2011 01:54 AM

It’s always wonderful to see your mind and your hands at work.

I will be building a shaving horse next year. I hope My steed is a valiant as yours.

Happy shavings from across the globe.

-- Make furniture that lasts as long as the tree - Ryan

View tsangell's profile


216 posts in 4190 days

#11 posted 08-10-2011 02:14 AM

Ah, the Rancilio Silvia. Mine is on the fritz, too. It must be an epidemic!

View Jiri Parkman's profile

Jiri Parkman

953 posts in 5309 days

#12 posted 08-10-2011 09:02 AM

Nice horse. Thanks for sharing.

-- Jiri

View Schwieb's profile


1925 posts in 4958 days

#13 posted 08-10-2011 11:53 AM

way to go Mads

-- Dr. Ken, Florida - Durch harte arbeit werden Träume wahr.

View helluvawreck's profile


32122 posts in 4363 days

#14 posted 08-10-2011 01:11 PM

Mads, I like this one; I’m just gonna go ahead and make it a favorite – thanks.

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View Cobwobbler's profile


31 posts in 3983 days

#15 posted 08-10-2011 02:32 PM

That’s a cool horse, I like the head salvaged from the forest.
Here’s a picture of a Royal woodworker using a horse.

-- Martin, Rugby, United Kingdom. Make Tea, Not War.

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