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I am about to begin designing and building a "Shaving Horse" - more for the fun and challenge of it than actual necessity. I've seen several on videos and in books and it seems that they are all (at least thus far) similar. Basically they have appeared to be picnic table benches which are "ridden" like a horse, a foot pedal applies pressure to pinch the workpiece down atop of a wedge-shaped support. With most, the pinch mechanism is solely dependant on one's leg muscles and I've never seen one with spring assist or tool storage. I am thinking of building a modern version with some very basic bells and whistles that will be collapsible for ease of transportation.

Several of my friends and I make walking sticks from vine-damaged small trees and limbs, so quite naturally it seems like something that would be fun to use on a camping trip.

Any ideas, photos, sketches will be greatly appreciated!

Thanks so much,
 

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I make willow walking sticks all the time,like the ones below but I use a air die sanding tool to clean off the bark..I think I have about 25 ,8ft. sticks out behind the garage just waiting for someone to ask for one..

Diamond Willow Sticks - Rockler Woodworking Tools

Diamond Willow Walking Stick - YouTube
Diamond Willow Walking Stick.flv - YouTube
Diamond Willow Walking Stick 2 - YouTube

==

I am about to begin designing and building a "Shaving Horse" - more for the fun and challenge of it than actual necessity. I've seen several on videos and in books and it seems that they are all (at least thus far) similar. Basically they have appeared to be picnic table benches which are "ridden" like a horse, a foot pedal applies pressure to pinch the workpiece down atop of a wedge-shaped support. With most, the pinch mechanism is solely dependant on one's leg muscles and I've never seen one with spring assist or tool storage. I am thinking of building a modern version with some very basic bells and whistles that will be collapsible for ease of transportation.

Several of my friends and I make walking sticks from vine-damaged small trees and limbs, so quite naturally it seems like something that would be fun to use on a camping trip.

Any ideas, photos, sketches will be greatly appreciated!

Thanks so much,
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Bob, thanks for that info and those links - very helpful! Your use of the air grinders is a good idea, thus far I have been using a MicroPlane tool on my drill press, but am wanting a way to do this using hand tools - for camping trips, hence my need for spring assist. The German techniques are very interesting and I found the process they use to be geared for very high production. Interestingly, I haven't steamed any wood thus far, but may eventually find that method helpful and have been for several years now soaking freshly cut sticks in water for 1-2 weeks. My thoughts are that one reason for old furniture to have such good wood is that often large trees were floated on rivers - and in my [very informal] tests, previously submerged sticks haven't been checking when they become dry! I have a 30 gallon drum full of water mounted below my basement dehumidifier. The water is occasionally "supplemented" with water that has been aged for a week or so from being tap water. With a large volume aquarium water filter in-use non-stop 24/7, it enables me to have water that is chlorine & fluorine free for my tropical plant collection. Simply sitting my freshly-cut sticks in the water drum and swapping ends every couple of days yields dry sticks absolutely free of checks / cracks!
 

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Otis,

This is my first time hearing the expression 'shaving horse'. I wandered into this thread out of curiosity and the fact the system told me you started it and jigz had responded to it all ready.

What you are describing sounds like a fun contraption to both build and use. Sort of a cross between a bench, stool, 'work-mate' and tool box!

I'm still at the point where I'm working on shooting boards and bench dog type setups to secure the piece of wood being messed with at the moment.

The 'work-mate' contraption I use the most was yanked off of the flimsy stand it came on and bolted onto a crude 2x4 frame. That frame was then bolted down to a steel 'universal stand' of sorts.

Somewhere along the way, I put a pocket hole jig & clamp on the back beam. The two pavers sitting on the lower deck just add some ballast to hold it down better when I am using it to nail a box together or doing big-bite planing.

So my first idea in reaction is to design the business end of this horse to accommodate a variety of 'workpiece' securing contraptions. Perhaps a little off track, but not entirely so, picture an old stile foot power sewing machine converted into a scroll saw...:)



I am about to begin designing and building a "Shaving Horse" - more for the fun and challenge of it than actual necessity. I've seen several on videos and in books and it seems that they are all (at least thus far) similar. Basically they have appeared to be picnic table benches which are "ridden" like a horse, a foot pedal applies pressure to pinch the workpiece down atop of a wedge-shaped support. With most, the pinch mechanism is solely dependant on one's leg muscles and I've never seen one with spring assist or tool storage. I am thinking of building a modern version with some very basic bells and whistles that will be collapsible for ease of transportation.

Several of my friends and I make walking sticks from vine-damaged small trees and limbs, so quite naturally it seems like something that would be fun to use on a camping trip.

Any ideas, photos, sketches will be greatly appreciated!

Thanks so much,
 

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Hi OPG

" for camping trips " that's the best time to get them. you can get the green ones and peel off the bark with a pocket knife and sit by the camp fire and sand them down..done that a time or two..

On the dry ones that come home with me I put them in a 4" rail gutter with two end caps and soak them for a week or two..then peel or grind off the bark..

==

Bob, thanks for that info and those links - very helpful! Your use of the air grinders is a good idea, thus far I have been using a MicroPlane tool on my drill press, but am wanting a way to do this using hand tools - for camping trips, hence my need for spring assist. The German techniques are very interesting and I found the process they use to be geared for very high production. Interestingly, I haven't steamed any wood thus far, but may eventually find that method helpful and have been for several years now soaking freshly cut sticks in water for 1-2 weeks. My thoughts are that one reason for old furniture to have such good wood is that often large trees were floated on rivers - and in my [very informal] tests, previously submerged sticks haven't been checking when they become dry! I have a 30 gallon drum full of water mounted below my basement dehumidifier. The water is occasionally "supplemented" with water that has been aged for a week or so from being tap water. With a large volume aquarium water filter in-use non-stop 24/7, it enables me to have water that is chlorine & fluorine free for my tropical plant collection. Simply sitting my freshly-cut sticks in the water drum and swapping ends every couple of days yields dry sticks absolutely free of checks / cracks!
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks guys!
Stan, That's a good idea...I for some reason had not thought of that. We have two libraries in our house and I'll try to find those books and look-up that info. Thank you,

Bob, Yes the workmate does kinda do that - but in a horizontal way where I am wanting vertically downward pressure and kind of a "pipe wrench" type of mechanism. A pipe wrench actually benefits from the "wiggly jaw arrangement" for a tenacious bite. Thanks for that suggestion. This kind of info exchange has my brain in overdrive!

Bill, I also expect this to be a fun build project! I think people that see it will be curious how it will work. Certainly it will be a "hybrid" of several functions. I want it to have adjustability for differing users, wood shapes and sizes. For this required versatility, it am planning to make it easily adaptabile to accomodate different angles. Spokeshaves and drawknives are tools that I've never really felt comfortable with, so I need to avoid "painting myself in a corner". I'm hoping to add some spring assists to give it the added ability to maintain a position of workpiece cantilever without operator foot pressure. I know this is a lot of modernization to get from an old-fashioned tool, so the design efforts will be key.

Bob, There are 5 or 6 couples that go on these camping trips. The wives do the planning and cooking and us guys just sit around and piddle. Our last trip was at a state park in NC during a time of knife-making demonstrations and hatchet-throwing competitions. We don't do either, but do enjoy seeing and discussing it. Me and one of the other husbands enjoy cliff-diving, snake hunting and tree identification, but mainly it's just a time to relax and sit around a campfire!

Thanks again for your participation!
 

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Otis,

After reading your comments on the workmate comparison my mind is now slowly being able to wander outside of the box (parallel jaw vises in this case). Slip Jaw pliers, pipe wrenches & channel locks can grip items with great force, vise grips even more so!

Perhaps some sort of ratcheting mechanism with a release lever, in conjunction with a foot bar. Where is a giant pair of handcuffs when you need to part them out anyhow....:)

Of course the arc of the latching bar could have any shape, but would work better if it had the same arc as the closing jaws. I do like where this is going!

Thanks guys!
Stan, That's a good idea...I for some reason had not thought of that. We have two libraries in our house and I'll try to find those books and look-up that info. Thank you,

Bob, Yes the workmate does kinda do that - but in a horizontal way where I am wanting vertically downward pressure and kind of a "pipe wrench" type of mechanism. A pipe wrench actually benefits from the "wiggly jaw arrangement" for a tenacious bite. Thanks for that suggestion. This kind of info exchange has my brain in overdrive!

Bill, I also expect this to be a fun build project! I think people that see it will be curious how it will work. Certainly it will be a "hybrid" of several functions. I want it to have adjustability for differing users, wood shapes and sizes. For this required versatility, it am planning to make it easily adaptabile to accomodate different angles. Spokeshaves and drawknives are tools that I've never really felt comfortable with, so I need to avoid "painting myself in a corner". I'm hoping to add some spring assists to give it the added ability to maintain a position of workpiece cantilever without operator foot pressure. I know this is a lot of modernization to get from an old-fashioned tool, so the design efforts will be key.

Bob, There are 5 or 6 couples that go on these camping trips. The wives do the planning and cooking and us guys just sit around and piddle. Our last trip was at a state park in NC during a time of knife-making demonstrations and hatchet-throwing competitions. We don't do either, but do enjoy seeing and discussing it. Me and one of the other husbands enjoy cliff-diving, snake hunting and tree identification, but mainly it's just a time to relax and sit around a campfire!

Thanks again for your participation!
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Bill, those are some good points that you have brought-up! The main things I need to be mindful of are the differing shapes of items to be stripped of bark - which will be tree limbs, etc. One of my good buddies, who is also one of these campers carries with him a cordless Dremel Tool - so in addition to spokeshaves & drawknives this will need to be a consideration.

Interestingly, the human hand has an unmatchable ability to grip things of varying shapes & sizes - and with adjustable tenacity, as well. I'm currently thinking about some kind of "pinchers" that will incorporate rough sandpaper on one side and that rubber-like [comes in rolls] material so often used in non-slip situations, such as router pads and under small rugs.

I use several router fixtures and jigs that incorporate these two materials for non-slip and they work great! My "keywords in this endeavor are flexible, traction and positive. With a well-balanced foot adjustment mechanism and spring assist I think this could become an interesting project. At some point, I'll make 3d drawings to publish after the "evolution of development" has come to fruition.

Thanks again for your input!
 

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Your mention of the human hand sent me off thinking about a strap based gripping system. The most common example I can think of is an 'oil filter' wrench. If gripping teeth (made from plastic, wood, aluminum or 'whatever' else seemed right) were spread out along the strap, extreme gripping force could be applied by reducing the circumference of the strap's path around the workpiece.

Have you ever seen one of the pipe wrenches created by joining up a bicycle chain with vise-grip handles? Using chains to grip the 'sticks' seems like it would just blow the doors off the challenge to be able to grab randomly sized and shaped pieces.

Bill, those are some good points that you have brought-up! The main things I need to be mindful of are the differing shapes of items to be stripped of bark - which will be tree limbs, etc. One of my good buddies, who is also one of these campers carries with him a cordless Dremel Tool - so in addition to spokeshaves & drawknives this will need to be a consideration.

Interestingly, the human hand has an unmatchable ability to grip things of varying shapes & sizes - and with adjustable tenacity, as well. I'm currently thinking about some kind of "pinchers" that will incorporate rough sandpaper on one side and that rubber-like [comes in rolls] material so often used in non-slip situations, such as router pads and under small rugs.

I use several router fixtures and jigs that incorporate these two materials for non-slip and they work great! My "keywords in this endeavor are flexible, traction and positive. With a well-balanced foot adjustment mechanism and spring assist I think this could become an interesting project. At some point, I'll make 3d drawings to publish after the "evolution of development" has come to fruition.

Thanks again for your input!
 
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