A New Breed of Shaving Horse
A master chairmaker describes how to build this unique woodworking bench
Synopsis: This article includes woodworking plans and expert instruction for building a traditional shaving horse, as described by Kentucky chairmaker Brian Boggs. This full-contact workbench is essentially a foot-operated clamp, designed to carefully grip a workpiece in a variety of orientations so it can be shaped with hand tools. Find easy-to-follow instruction for this chairmaker’s companion.
For 15 years I have enjoyed excellent service from my Ulmia cabinetmaker’s workbench. It is a massive piece of European beech with enough power to crush most any piece of wood I put in its jaws and enough weight to hold work still for the heaviest planing. But when I want to shape a bent chair leg, I need a lot more holding finesse than any cabinetmaker’s bench offers. In fact, any organically shaped workpiece is a challenge for the standard bench, which is why shaving horses are so popular among chair makers.