Hybrid Shaving Horse

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Project by Gofor posted 09-27-2008 02:28 AM 6019 views 11 times favorited 2 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I built this shaving horse based on the design in American Woodworker magazine, Issue #135, May 2008. It is constructed mainly of construction pine lumber, a little plywood, and a few pieces of hard wood for the ratchet mechanism and jaw clamp cross-piece. The original design called for 1 ten foot 2×10 and made a bench 4 foot long. As I had 2 eight foot 2×8s on hand, I made my bench a little longer for walking stick work (and am glad I did based on using it to rough out some walking sticks). The advantages of the design are that the jaw and clamp are both adjustable, both for the type of work and the size of the worker (in case you want to start your 8 yr old on making something). I used some black walnut drop I had for the ratchet teeth, ratchet catch, and jaw cross-piece.

Construction was not difficult, and the whole thing will disassemble if needed for transportation. Please note that the ratchet catch and swing arm fulcrum are held in place with wooden dowels. I did not glue mine in and have had no problems. If you glue them, it will limit complete disassembly, but you probably won’t be taking it apart to that extent unless for replacing pieces.

The angle on the splay for the back legs is 15 degrees as is the forward and aft cant of the legs. To get the splay is just a straight 15 degree cut, although it appears to be a compound miter due to the cant of the the legs aft-ward.

This is not a piece of fine furniture, so I did not go to any effort to beautify it. It works well, but I do plan to modify the work support (top face held on by screws from the bottom) as it is not the best for holding round walking sticks. I am looking for some leather to wrap the clamp cross-piece and lay on the work support which may solve that issue. (I have an old pair of mocassins that will probably be sacrificed for a greater cause!).

I apologize to my Neander brothers for using power tools on this, but sometimes you just “got to get-r-done”. I am still a novice in that aspect, but learning, getting more tools, and learning their use and maintenance. This can be done with only hand tools (I did use a handsaw on the splay angle for the legs, as is evident by the repair patch on the right leg!).

All comments and suggestions, positive or negative, will be appreciated. I am still learning after 6 decades of life, and hope to never stop.


-- Go

2 comments so far

View lew's profile


13357 posts in 4838 days

#1 posted 09-27-2008 02:43 AM

Nice shaving horse!

I like the flexibility in your design and that it can be broken down to make transporting it easier. The three legged design provides great stability on uneven surfaces.


-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View jusfine's profile


2422 posts in 4009 days

#2 posted 09-26-2010 05:16 AM

I had to look when I saw it said “horse”...

Looks like it was posted some time ago, how is it working for you?

-- Randy "You are judged as much by the questions you ask as the answers you give..."

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