Shaving horses

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Re: Shaving horses

Postby jrccaim » Tue Oct 26, 2010 4:12 am

As usual Robin Wood has the complete info. But bodger's forum (or board) now allows you to post photos directly. Click on "post reply" at bottom of topic. Then click on "upload attachment". Follow directions in front of your nose. You know, "browse" and find the image. The but is that you should really resize your image to fit the occasion. I use XV, a freeware program that runs under Linux. I don't do Windows or Mac and wouldn't even if they paid me. If you have Photoshop you can easily resize, of course. I take images at 1024 x 700 something. I reduce to 60% of original before posting the image.

I have become very suspicious of all the "public" sites. Photobucket, Twitter, Facebook. Harmless? Hardly. They are information-gathering sites. I will not "join" any site any more, even (or especially) if they are "free". Forgive this one-paragraph rant, but I find it insupportable to have, say, my tool preferences to be sold to some megacorp for marketing purposes. Or worse yet, to some government for snooping purposes. And if say photobucket.com itself would'nt release your photos, they have been hacked repeatedly. Bodger's is relatively immune to hacking. Who would want to hack a bunch of people who adore the 18th and 19th centuries? What, no po**? Forget it :)
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Re: Shaving horses

Postby Cracker » Fri Nov 19, 2010 3:55 pm

Image

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Oak. Made for a customer.
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Re: Shaving horses

Postby SeanHellman » Fri Nov 19, 2010 7:21 pm

Hey Cracker, cool shave horse, I like the way you have over come the problem of drilling the hole through the seat slab. I am actually more interested in the building behind, any chance of a photo? or should I drive up and take a look?
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Re: Shaving horses

Postby RichardLaw » Fri Nov 19, 2010 9:54 pm

Looks too good for a customer - why is it that "the cobbler's shoes" maxim is so true? I mean who would build a horse in oak, except it was for a customer? I'd like an oak horse, ooo but the expense!

That new framed building does look very interesting indeed, even the door, looks like a hard-earned trip back to yesteryear.
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Re: Shaving horses

Postby Cracker » Fri Nov 19, 2010 11:33 pm

Thanks guys. I built it last year from materials around our land, spruce poles, alder, hazel wattle and daub walls. The eaves are really long so the non durable timber stays dry. I'll post a few more pics.
This year I built a round house from cleft oak with a reciprocal roof frame. Mud and straw walls, living roof. I'm using it as a workshop. Cheap and cheerful. :wink:
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Re: Shaving horses

Postby Mike Abbott » Mon Feb 14, 2011 1:40 pm

I'm just recouperating from a hernia operation and find sitting on a perching stool in front of the computer about the comfiest position, so I'm treating myself to a look through the forum while eating a grapefruit smeared with Manuka honey - good stuff.
Thanks Robin F for posting the lumber horse. It has since been tweaked to double up as a cleaving brake so now it's a sheaving horse. I've seen all the instructions for uploading but too much for my little brain, so you'll have to wait for the new book to see it! Going with the Grain - Making Chairs in the 21st Century. (including how to make a perching stool for anyone about to undergo surgery)
I loved the pic of the horse with a tail. We have a few with tails in the woods but not as good as that.
Gavin.. gday mate! If you get it from the timber yard it is already tanalised, with modern treatment which is supposed to be OK. I was going to use some Western red cedar but used it all got used in the cabin so now I buy whatever it is at the timber yard for £20/horse planed all round. Bromyard Timber, a few miles from Brockhampton - bring a truck to the BBall. If anyone wants, I could get a load delivered to my workshop a few miles away.
Specs of the 2009 version are on my site http://www.living-wood.co.uk.
See you all in May i hope.
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Re: Shaving horses

Postby steve tomlin » Wed May 18, 2011 7:55 pm

it's fitting that Mike is the latest post on this thread, discussing the 'lumber horse'. I had seen pictures of it before and the Brian Boggs original way back when. Am I the only person that thinks making a shavehorse out of tanalised 4x2's is somehow missing the point of greenwood work and prevents beginners having a valuable experience learning greenwood skills?

It's great to look through all the photos on this thread of the individual horses and long may they reign supreme so here is my blog post In praise of the homegrown shavehorse. Comments welcome, here or on the blog.

Steve
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Re: Shaving horses

Postby Ian S » Thu May 19, 2011 7:51 am

I disagree with Steve comment about a shavehorse being made out of 4X2 'somehow missing the point of green woodworking.'

I. like the vast majority of the UK population, live in a flat, in a city. I cannot easily get my hands on big lumps of wood for making a round wood shavehorse, but I can get 4X2 easily enough. Am I less of a green woodworker because I use a shavehorse made from 4X2?

(Fairly rhetorical really - I don't have a shavehorse yet)

Surely the most important thing is to get people making stuff out of green wood, and if that's spoons, spatulas or butter knives, then great. It doesn't need to be bowls, chairs, tables, cabinets, buildings or boats. If people want a shavehorse, or a workbench, does it really matter what it's made of, as long as it works for the person who made it?

I believe that we need to encourage people to try green woodworking and not be dogmatic on the tools and the equipment that people use.

Cheers
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Re: Shaving horses

Postby RichardLaw » Thu May 19, 2011 8:51 am

The only green thing about a lumbar horse is its color. I think the main problem is the aesthetics, which I'm not really qualified to spout about. However, I do get fed up with being criticized for using a cordless drill (it does make the same hole with the same bit!). I use augers for big holes, and people seem to like this (also saves my wrists from being broken). I've now given in and gone all out and bought a second-hand Stanley brace (OK,OK I know it should have been a one piece wooden jobby, but my purse is not bottomless - the Stanley cost £5, blummin Heck!), and damn the tennis elbow. I feel that as I work almost always in public that I need to keep my end of the greenwood brotherhood up and provide an interesting spectacle for Joe Pub. I also believe that having tools in keeping with what people expect to see helps sales (I appreciate that is not topmost issue in many people's list, but vital for others). Yes, I do drive a diesel golloping Land Rover, wear glasses, have a quartz pocket watch etc, etc. There is a lot to this and I don't have time to go into it here. I'll write a blog post someday examining my thoughts more fully. In the meantime, as Steve points out "A Hand-made Life" is a good starting point.
Image

Here's my latest horse (pony) guess what it's for.


OK off to shift the last of the timber from this year's felling.
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Re: Shaving horses

Postby Paul Thornton 2sheds » Thu May 19, 2011 12:31 pm

now, i have read one of Richards blogs about timber extraction, he uses a small hand pulled skidding arch, personally i use a 6tonne skidding winch behind a 70hp tractor and then on to a forwarding trailer/crane to the timber stack, if its a sensitive site i extract witha quad an mini forwarding trailer, if it's more appropriate to the woodland i do not extract at all.

if i am drilling a hole i will use either a cordless drill, a corded drill and generator, chainsaw mounted atom drill or possibly a hand brace if needs must

how does this relate to shave horses? well i reckon you use what you've got at your disposal and get the job done :D
learning more every day
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Re: Shaving horses

Postby SeanHellman » Thu May 19, 2011 8:24 pm

I agree with Steve, using 2x4 tanalized timber does miss the point of green woodworking. But a tool is a tool and what the hell does it matter what it made out of. I made my first pole lathe from 2x4, but it came from a skip. There is really no need to buy new timber, a bit of searching will get you what you need. There is so much round timber left to rot or turned into fire wood that with a bit of research and work we can get hold of it. Use what you can to get started, but surely your next pole lathe or shavehorse should be made from round wood. The materials are cheap, and using them will improve our skills. Making a shave horse from 2x4 is a lot easier than using round wood, bolts are easier than joints. Over the years as my skills improved I wanted to make my tools using traditional methods, I started off with what I knew I could do. I now think that the sliding tapered dovetail is the best joint ever, especially for lathes, bowl donkeys and anything else that will need to be taken apart, the round mortice and tenon are now for pivots only, they can be such a hassle to take apart.
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Re: Shaving horses

Postby RichardLaw » Thu May 19, 2011 9:35 pm

SeanHellman wrote: I now think that the sliding tapered dovetail is the best joint ever ... the round mortice and tenon are now for pivots only, they can be such a hassle to take apart.

Couldn't agree more - I'm considering incorporating a small charge inside leg mortices that can be detonated to expel the legs.
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Re: Shaving horses

Postby steve tomlin » Thu May 19, 2011 9:51 pm

hi,
i'm glad that this is sparking some discussion.

As much as I dislike the 4x2's in themselves, what I'm most concerned about it a bigger issue which is how people are introduced to greenwood working. I remember when I went on one of Mike's courses in the 90's and subsequently was his assistant that many people came who had followed the instructions in 'Green Woodwork' to the letter. If you do this then by the time you come to make a chair you have learned about cleaving, shaving, axework, polelathe turning, drilling holes and shaving tenons to fit (more if you've hewn the bed from a log) and, importantly, how and where to source round timber. At the same time, you've had chance to learn these skills making something that will work even with a few beginner's errors and doesn't have to be beautiful.

With the new method, you have a shavehorse taking up space in the garage and you're keen to make a chair - after all, that's what you're interested in if you've bought the book but you don't know where to get some timber and you don't have the skills so it all still feels daunting.

It took me a while to realise how valuable a course on making a shavehorse is; the students go away with a really useful device but more importantly, the skills they need to use it.
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Re: Shaving horses

Postby jacob » Thu May 19, 2011 10:21 pm

steve tomlin wrote:... making a shavehorse out of tanalised 4x2's is somehow missing the point of greenwood work and prevents beginners having a valuable experience learning greenwood skills?,,,,,,
Recycling found wood such as building timbers in skips, is "green" in the other sense. For me it qualifies especially if it's free and otherwise destined for landfill or firewood.
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Re: Shaving horses

Postby jrccaim » Fri May 20, 2011 3:48 am

jacob wrote:Recycling found wood such as building timbers in skips, is "green" in the other sense. For me it qualifies especially if it's free and otherwise destined for landfill or firewood.


steve tomlin wrote:hi,
As much as I dislike the 4x2's in themselves, what I'm most concerned about it a bigger issue which is how people are introduced to greenwood working....


Oddly enough, I agree with both Jacob and Steve. It depends on your circumstances. If you live somewhere where you can lay your hands on a 12" log about 2m long, then I think you should do a shaving horse from the log. I did, and it is very crude (I really didn't know what I was doing) , but it works and I have been using it for six summers now. I learned a lot from building it, following Roy Underhill's instructions. But if you live in the depths of a big city, it may be daunting if not impossible to procure a log. So go ahead, use 2x4 or 2x6 milled lumber. If you do, try to recycle it. There is a proverb in the martial arts: "warrior, use weapon to hand." Even if you bought the lumber, far be it from me to criticize. It is far better to get started than to sit around waiting for ideal circumstances to arise. But keep it in the back of your mind: "someday I'll do a horse from a log."

Finding materials is largely a matter for the eye. Most people do not notice what is going on around them, much like Dr Watson in Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes stories. To me, a garbage skip or dustbin is a source of treasure. An incredible amount of usable material is thrown away every day. Today I found a discarded cargo pallet. Joy! I need some shelves. Do you need a log, and live in deepest Manchester (for instance)? Well, you won't find one downtown. But if you were to take a jaunt into the countryside you might find one free or really cheap. Get off the main roads. Like Sherlock Holmes, develop your powers of observation and deduction.

And I must add a note on boring holes. Once again, far be it from me to criticize. Use what you have, Warrior. But get your gluteus maximus off the couch! For example, I have two 1 1/4" augers. This is because it is very difficult for me to find working augers in the USA. One has a broken lead screw, the other a good lead screw but lousy edge design. So I use both in alternation. Talk about boring! If you are beginning, all methods are legitimate. As you advance, you will become pickier. And that's what learning is all about.
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