We may receive a commission when you use our affiliate links. However, this does not impact our recommendations. Hybrid Shaving Horse Expert craftsman Tom Donahey shares his plans for an essential tool to work green wood. It has a pungent odor and soft texture that make it all the more pleasurable to handle. Simple utilitarian items, such as chairs, benches, rakes and so on, have long been made from green wood. All you need are a few basic tools and one essential device for holding the work: a shaving horse.
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A lmost anything can spark an idea, and some of the best designs come from the necessity of using what you have to create what you need. Veteran chairmaker Brian Boggs understands this concept better than most, because the chair he was interested in creating 35 years ago required that he first build a shaving horse. It may look simple, but a well-built shaving horse is a precise piece of equipment customized for individual use.
The horse worked, but behaved more like a stubborn mule than the thoroughbreds Brian would eventually design.
After the shaving horse was ready, Brian visited a logger who lived near him to see if he could buy white oak logs like those John Alexander used in his book. Fortunately for Brian, the logger knew about making chairs the old way. He steered Brian to some hickory wood, which had been used to make furniture for centuries. Amazing material. I got real accustomed really quickly to repetitive work on the shaving horse, which acquainted me to the pros and cons of that kind of brutal physical work.
Grooming the current design After a couple of years of this intense work, however, Brian was noticing some major limitations in the capabilities of his original shaving horse.
The horse design proved effective for many years, but Brian gradually began developing back problems that made him consider quitting chair-making altogether. While I took a break from making chairs to let it heal, I decided to look at this nut again and see if I could crack it a little bit better. I made a new one that fit me better. Tilted the seat, improved the mechanism, simplified it. Got my work height at a more optimal level for my body type, and in the process, built a horse that looked a whole lot better than my old one and worked beautifully.
The shaving horse, that is. Ships April
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