Shaving Horse and Walking Sticks

This weekend Christopher and I dropped a couple trees in my yard.   He actually dropped them (because he can drop them exactly where he wants and I’d probably put them on my house) and I bucked.  One of the tress was a relatively small Ash that was in the shadow of a couple pines and heavily leaning over my house.  I liked this tree but didn’t want it falling on my house in a hurricane.  So, down it came.  I wanted to use as much of the wood as I could.  The trunk was split into some short two inch slabs for my to use and halves to become bowl blanks.  Heres a picture of the slabs.


There were also some small branches that were two to three inches in diameter that decided to turn into walking sticks.  Mainly because I couldn’t think of anything else to do with them.  It also gave me a good reason to build a shaving horse so I could use my draw knife.  Typically knives and horses don’t go together but this is different.  The shaving horse is basically a foot powered vice that holds a piece of wood so you can shave it down using a variety of tools.  One of the tools you can use is the draw knife.  The draw knife is a long thin bar sharpened on one of the long edges with handles on the ends.  There’s a picture of one a few images down.

The shaving horse I’m making is purely functions.  It’s not a piece of fine furniture.  I wanted to throw it together as quickly and cheaply as possible.  I looked around online and combined what I saw.  I took a trip to the store a bought a 2x6x12, a 2x4x10, some bolts and a hinge.  The 2×6 was cut down to make up the main beam of the shaving horse and the 2×4 was cut into leg pieces.


To keep the horse from falling over while I’m sitting on it, I angled the rear legs at 10 degrees using the band saw.  The front is vertical…well close to it.  I drilled the parts for some 3/8″ bolts and put it all together.  Notice I bought too long of a bolt for the rear top bolt.  So, I made a wooden spacer.  Fancy I know.


On the front of the horse is an angled piece of wood that holds the work piece up towards you.  I used a cheap hinge to attach the piece to the beam of the shaving horse.  The hinge allows you to vary the angle of the work piece.


The cheap hinge failed miserably when it bent after I first tried using the shaving horse.  After that, I went back to the store and bought a much heavier hinge.  It’s a little large…but it hasn’t bent.


What makes the shaving horse useful is a foot powered vice.  The vice clamps down on the work piece to keep it in place.  Its a simple device.  You push on the bottom bar with your feet and the top clamps downward.


There are multiple methods I saw online for setting the angle of the work piece.  The simplest was a wedge shaped block that you simply slide forward and backward.  It was easily created with a couple screws and a trip to the band saw.


Here’s the completed contraption.  The seat isn’t actually attached yet because I wasn’t sure where it should be.  Also shown in the picture below is the draw knife (on the left) and spoke shave (on the right).  Both tools are used for removing stock but the draw knife can remove more material in a pass.


To make my walking sticks I first band sawed off any twigs from the piece.  Next, to the shaving horse.  The draw knife is used to quickly strip off material.  Then the spoke shave is used next for finer work.  The knots cause issues because the grain changes direction resulting in some tear out.  I’m still not sure what to do about it, but am not greatly troubled because I’m making walking sticks.


Here’s a picture of the sticks I have so far.  I’m sure they’d be of great use to me if I hiked more.  Oh well, beats tossing them in the chipper shredder.


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