The shaving-horse grips stock securely in place while it is shaped with draw knives and spokeshaves. Simple to build, the typical shaving-horse features a bench, an inclined bridge, and a pivoting arm assembly. By stepping down on the assembly’s foot bar, you can lock your workpiece in position between the bridge and the assembly’s crossbar.
To build the version shown above, start with the bench, which can be hewn from half a log 10 to 12 inches in diameter, or cut to length from rough 3-by-10 lumber. Make the length of the bench to suit your needs.
Next, cut the legs from 2-by-4 stock and attach them to the bench with angled T half-lap joints, reinforced by screws and braces (right). Cut the two braces from 2-by-4 stock to fit between the leg’s outside edges and screw them to the legs. To bevel the bottoms of the legs so they sit flat and level, set the shaving-horse on a flat surface and butt a square board up against all four sides of each leg to mark cutting lines around them (above, left). Saw the bottoms of the legs flat, then cut the tops of the legs flush with the bench.
Next, saw the riser and the bridge to size; the riser should be cut and beveled so that the bridge is inclined at an angle of about 15′to the bench. Locate the riser about 30 inches from the back of the bench and screw it in place from underneath. Then screw the bridge to the riser (above, right) and the front of the bridge to the bench.
Next, build the pivoting arm. The assembly consists of two arms, a notched cross bar, and a foot bar (above) The crossbar is joined to the arms with through round mortise and tenons, while a bridle joint connects the foot bar to the arms. Cut the arms from 2-by-4 stock and bore two countersunk holes through each one for lag screws. Make additional holes through the arms above and below the first so you will be able to adjust the position of the assembly later to accommodate thicker stock. To prepare the arms for the bars, cut a round mortise through them at the top end and a notch at the bottom.
Next, cut the cross bar to length, making it about 3 inches longer than the width of the bench. Cut round tenons in both ends and a V-shaped notch in the middle of the bottom edge to hold your stock. Set the crossbar aside for now. Next, cut the foot bar, making its length twice that of the crossbar to provide an octagonal-shaped foot rest on each side of the arm assembly. Cut dadoes in the foot bar to match the notches in the arms, fit the pieces together, and reinforce the joints with screws. With the foot bar attached. slip the arm assembly under the shaving-horse and screw it in place with the lag screws. Do not tighten the lag screws immediately; leave them loose enough so you can slip the crossbar in place. Do not glue or screw it, but leave the bar free to pivot. Once it is connected to the arms, finish tightening the lag screws.
You Can Download More Shaving-Horse Designs From Fine Woodworking Designs.
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