Shaving horses

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Re: Shaving horses

Postby ToneWood » Thu Feb 28, 2013 9:57 pm

Roy Underhill making a shave horse from mainly a single log (preview only): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UmAMbsHWF8I
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Re: Shaving horses

Postby jrccaim » Sun Mar 24, 2013 5:32 am

A classic. Truncated video. Roy was a bit younger then, as we all were. Ah, Nostalgia. But maing a shave horse from a log is perfectly feasible. I did it myself out of birch; that was what I had available at the time! The front legs have rotted out at the front and I will either replace them or devise a substitute. It is not very hard to make a shave horse out of a log. It is even easier if you make an English-style "bodger's" hold-down instead of a dumbhead; I know dumbheads are supposed to hold better, but stapling a piece of old bicycle inner tube to the bodger crossshead makes it hold very well indeed. Warning. If your log has a "wind" in it, that is, corkscrew grain, discard it at once. I didn't. Still paying for it! It is the very devil to split a log with a wind in it. I towed the &^% log behind my car. I wasn't about to give up. All you need to spilt a log is a pair of iron wedges and some "gluts," big wooden wedges which you make yourself. The more gluts you have the happier you will be. Ideal way to make gluts is on the horse itself, but you don't have one to start with. So improvise. As I recall I used an axe and saw to make the original gluts. Chopped the edges, sawed in half, instant gluts. Crude. They worked. Reason you use gluts is because they are bigger than iron wedges. Much more split per whack/pound of mallet. Faster to split a log with gluts than with iron wedges. Need the wedges to start the split, though. I add a pic from about ten years ago:
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Note the horrible snakelike wind in the heartwood of this log. Avoid this! I didn't know any better then and I persevered. It worked, but that was luck and not good management. You will also need an axe or hatchet to cut fibers. Invariably there are small winds, you will have to chop fibers. There sits the hatchet in the middle of the picture. In fact, what I used is right there in the picture. Note the axe-hewn glut in the left-hand part of the split. It worked, and that was all I asked. The maul is there partly for still-life effect but actually it makes a fine tool to drive wedges and gluts. Use the hammer end of the maul! As I recall, I had no froe at the time. Did it all with wedges and gluts.One of the gluts is at the upper half of the left-side split log. Once you have split a log. making a planks is easy. But do try to avoid winds. I wish you all a wind-free log.
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Re: Shaving horses

Postby 81stBRAT » Fri Mar 29, 2013 10:22 pm

A shaving horse I put together for my grandsons in New Zealand, to cope with differant ages the seat slides on body not quite fullproof as it slid when effort overcome friction two pegs solved that one, and the seat could be moved over them for the big bodies.

Image
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Re: Shaving horses

Postby Ross Peters » Tue Apr 02, 2013 9:20 pm

Here's my new horsey. I've made one like this before, but I wanted to make a dumb-head this time. It's for the garden, so I made it from chestnut so it could stay outside. I've still got a bit of tweaking to do, but it works very well. I finally treated myself to a scorp, so I have a very comfortable seat to boot!
Image
This project also gave me the opportunity to use my homemade tapered reamer, so that as it all dries I can just knock the legs in a bit more. Fab!

Cheers,
Ross
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Re: Shaving horses

Postby ToneWood » Wed Apr 03, 2013 8:13 pm

Brilliant Ross, looks great, very elegant. 8 or 9 parts total? Is it quite small (I'm having trouble judging the scale of it)? How is the small dumb head - I made a very large one for mine but I suspect now that it is unnecessary?

81stBRAT, the adjustable forward-tilted seat is an interesting idea. I believe a forward tilted seat is considered more ergonomic, encouraging better posture. How did you like New Zealand?
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Re: Shaving horses

Postby Ross Peters » Thu Apr 04, 2013 1:02 pm

Thanks Tone, 8 parts, 9 when I get round to making the wedge for the dumb- head. The body is a bit smaller than I had planned, but this was the only chestnut log that I could find in the wood with the girth I wanted- beggars can't be choosers! It's about 110cm nose to tail. The dumb-head was a bit bigger (it came out of the body where I split the back off for the seat), but I cut it down as it unbalanced the mechcanism- I had to keep pulling back with my feet to open the jaws. I have seen some very large dumb-heads, but I don't know if they increase holding power? Mine works well for the time being, but it can always be changed it if necessary!

Cheers,
Ross
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Re: Shaving horses

Postby ToneWood » Sat Apr 06, 2013 9:42 pm

RichardLaw wrote:...
Image
Here's my latest horse (pony) guess what it's for.
...

Richard, I don't think you ever explained you horse/pony/rhino to us!
I'll make a guess. Is it intended to be dual use: some kind of saw-buck/saw-horse (using the rhino horns) combined with an English-style shave horse but with the swing arm currently removed in the picture? The wooden hoop frame behind looks like a log carrier (I could use one of those).
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Re: Shaving horses

Postby Nunhead Tim » Mon May 13, 2013 5:31 pm

My wife Carol has named this one the Nunhead Nipper. Bringing forward the point of contact with the workpiece gives it more of a downward force and a strong grip - I think that's why the Dumbhead shave bench works so well. I've tried to get the same effect with a frame shave horse, and it works very well. It grips hard and the jaws open a long way for larger bits of wood. It hasn't slipped yet (fingers crossed) even when we were giving it loads of welly in the Log to Leg race. The block under the platform (tied on with string) lets me change the angle at which the workpiece points up, so you can get the most comfortable angle. Plus the front leg is shorter, so gravity helps you push the treadle. It avoids that annoying effect where you have to push your feet a bit too far away to get the shave horse to grip.
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Re: Shaving horses

Postby Steve Martin » Tue May 14, 2013 2:04 am

Awesome!!!! I love the horse head shape of the hold down arms(?)!!
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Re: Shaving horses

Postby TRS » Wed Jul 31, 2013 2:54 pm

The one on the right is mine - standard type.

The one on the left I made for my 4 year one Saturday from offcuts I had lying around. The whole thing has been scaled down and is more like a "Shetland Shave Pony" than a horse. The seat is made from an old cupboard side and is thin pine, but it holds my weight fine :). My boy usually sits on mine in front of me if he actually wants to do anything, but the "pony" is great for "messing about like dad" and has plenty of scope for his growing arms and legs. I don't know how long it will last, but hopefully when he outgrows it he'll have enough strength and length of leg to have an almost full size one.

Start 'em young I say :wink:

Tony
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Re: Shaving horses

Postby ToneWood » Wed Jul 31, 2013 7:17 pm

:) Perhaps there is hope for us yet TRS!

Nice job Nunhead Tim, looks a little more... "organic" than most. Clever use of natural wood structures.
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Re: Shaving horses

Postby ToneWood » Tue Aug 06, 2013 9:00 pm

Ross Peters wrote:... I have seen some very large dumb-heads, but I don't know if they increase holding power? Mine works well for the time being, but it can always be changed it if necessary!
I don't think the size of the head makes a significant difference. The large muscles of your legs are the main thing (Drew Langsner's 1980s book is misleading on this IMHO, and on the importance of the pivot point for leverage, evidenced by all the successful small head & English-style shave horses on this thread and web).
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Re: Shaving horses

Postby gavin » Wed Aug 07, 2013 7:04 am

Tony,
Your shave horses will work far better if you pin them.

    The top bar needs 2 square, slightly tapered wooden pins outside each swing-arm. Put it outside to allow rotation of the upper gripping-cylinder.
    The lower foot-pedal needs a pin each side thru the swing-arm. Put it thru 'cos you don't want the foot-pedal to rotate.
Refer Mike Abbott's books for more instruction.
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Re: Shaving horses

Postby ToneWood » Wed Aug 07, 2013 9:24 am

witt wrote:A find on the web which I liked, in French a shaving horse is a goat.
[Image

Uploaded with ImageShack.usimg][/img]
Only 7 wooden parts + metal pivot pin. By combining the block with the main seat plank, as several others have already done, see above, that could be reduced to only 6 wooden parts but it might require extra shaping work, ideally sloping the block to reduce risk of injury - read Sean's/Witt's warnings earlier in this thread, owch.
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Re: Shaving horses

Postby TRS » Mon Aug 19, 2013 9:21 am

gavin wrote:Tony,
Your shave horses will work far better if you pin them.

    The top bar needs 2 square, slightly tapered wooden pins outside each swing-arm. Put it outside to allow rotation of the upper gripping-cylinder.
    The lower foot-pedal needs a pin each side thru the swing-arm. Put it thru 'cos you don't want the foot-pedal to rotate.
Refer Mike Abbott's books for more instruction.


Thanks Gavin, I'll look into that.

Cheers

Tony
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