Miniature Shaving Horse made from Walnut

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Project by RichardMu posted 06-30-2012 09:51 PM 3235 views 2 times favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I made this miniature shaving horse from walnut with hand tools and used no metal fasteners to assemble it. The butterfly splice is beech wood. It measures about 11 inches long and 5 1/2 inches tall. It does work and it was lots of fun to make.

-- You will never build it unless you try. The second one always turns out better.

6 comments so far

View jaykaypur's profile


4017 posts in 3863 days

#1 posted 06-30-2012 11:28 PM

Man that is a work of art. Very nice job on this. It’s absolutely beautiful!!!!!

-- Use it up, Wear it out --------------- Make it do, Or do without!

View flintbone's profile


217 posts in 4611 days

#2 posted 07-01-2012 11:38 PM

Beautiful job. I bet that was a fun job.
Keep up the good work.

-- If I had only known, I would have been a locksmith. - Albert Einstein

View polaski's profile


16 posts in 2671 days

#3 posted 12-14-2016 08:56 PM

I need a shaving horse/pony/mule for one thing and one thing only: the vertical shafts of walking canes. Maybe up to 38 or 40 inches in length (that would be a very tall person), and 1-1/2” thick at the top and 1” at the bottom. It could be more slender depending on the wood, and shorter depending on the intended user.

Assuming that your (really elegant) design could be used on a bench top, about how long would it have to be be and how would the adjusting/clamping level be most easily used and adjusted.

If this could work for a 36” stick, I’ll go out and get some really nice wood! Beautiful!

—Jeff (Philadelphia)

-- Jeff Polaski

View RichardMu's profile


259 posts in 4386 days

#4 posted 02-15-2017 10:09 PM

Polaski, I have never built a bench top shaving horse before. I made one similar to this one but in full size and it would work great for any size walking stick. They do a great job of clamping your work and moving it around very quickly to reclamp. Sitting on the bench and pulling your tools toward you is as you push your body back by applying pressure on the foot operated clamp allows you to really remove alot of wood and also the control to do delicate work. I really enjoyed working on the shaving horse that I built, it was very relaxing and rewarding work. It was definitely alot easier than trying to stand and do the same job.

-- You will never build it unless you try. The second one always turns out better.

View WayneC's profile


14359 posts in 5552 days

#5 posted 02-15-2017 10:15 PM

Awesome. Building a full size one is on my list.

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

View polaski's profile


16 posts in 2671 days

#6 posted 02-16-2017 12:29 PM


Every time I go to the gym and do my (very) basic exercises for the the various problems I have at age 70, I look through the window at the pool area (where I do water aerobics with my 80-year-old ladies). There’s a stationary rowing machine by the pool. When I was younger I used to do 30 minutes on the stairmaster, 30 minutes on the cross-country ski thing, and then 30 minutes on the rower. The sight of the rower keeps me motivated to do the basic, but still painful, exercises that I can do.

The thought of a full blown shave horse is just as motivating, but I fell on my back during the ice storms in Philadelphia in 2011, and now I’m limited by pain that won’t go away. The spinal pain forced me into retirement.

The only way I can work on a woodworking bench is by using an adjustable height work stool with a back support that I drag from spot to spot as the work moves. I’m now trying to jerry rig one of those new Bessey clamps to move from one dog hole to another, and reach out with a wooden plate of some type to hold down a long and narrow piece of work. If I’m successful, I’ll be able to reposition work within limits, and then stand up, move the clamp, move the stool, and get back to work again.

This is an avocation, a hobby, and there’s almost as much satisfaction thinking and planning as there is in the doing, at least for me. I just took delivery of a $29 eBay carved cane made from the lesser type of Lignum Vitae. The Jamaican who carved it did an abysmal job and left it very thick and heavy. All I have to do is shave it down to half its thickness and I have something useable.

That’s my test piece; not the expensive real Lignum Vitae I have on the rack.

-- Jeff Polaski

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