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Project Information

Wood And Materials Used
Oregon bitter cherry, African wenge, African padauk, eastern white maple, black walnut, African blackwood, eastern redcedar
Tools Used
Bosch plunge router, Dewalt scroll saw, Hutchins air sander
Northwestern Oregon
I have posted a couple of horse inlay coat/tack racks in the past. Recently I finished two more.

The base wood is native Oregon bitter cherry that grows wild on our property. I milled it with my Alaska sawmill. After being stacked & stickered for two years it was ready for woodworking. The body of the horse is eastern redcedar; white patches are eastern white maple; hooves are black walnut; eye and ear tips are African blackwood; mane and tail are African padauk.

I cut out the inlay pieces first with either a plunge router (1/16" straight bit) or a scroll saw. Then I trace the pieces onto the base wood. Next I use a 1/16" straight router bit to go over the traced on outline. I use a 1/2" flush cut bit to hog out the wide areas. I make the routed out part 1/32" shallower than the inlay piece. The inlays are glued and clamped in, and they stand 1/32" proud above the base wood. I use a tiny, curved "V" shaped router bit to carve in detail in the main, tail, and other features of the horse's lines. Then it is all sanded flush. Three coats of water based General Finish clear satin are sprayed on with a HVLP air gun set to 40 psi.

The steel coat rack is made with old shoes from our horses; sandblasted and welded onto a piece of flat stock steel (pounded with a ball-peen hammer to give a rustic look).

This next project is made to hang on the wall like a picture. One of our friend's 32 year old horse Zippy recently died. Zippy gave his owner Dave many years and countless miles of trail riding all over Oregon and Washington. Dave's wife gave me this photo of Zippy when he was in his prime; I used it to model the inlay art piece that I made for Dave.

Zippy's left rear foot was white (hard to see with the grass). The lower part of his head was slightly lighter than the upper part. That proved to be the hardest part to replicate with wood. I used African wenge for most of the body and black walnut for that lighter part of his head. African blackwood were used for the darker parts of his body. I used the small "V" shaped, curved router bit to carve in the wavy mane and tail. The hooves are black walnut. Dave was very happy with it!


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