Expand Your Workholding with a Spoon Mule
Dawson Moore's spoon mule clamps workpieces low and from the sides, making it perfect for narrow parts, spoon bowls, and other workpieces.
Synopsis: The shaving horse, as demonstrated by Tim Manney in FWW #262, is a great tool for green woodworkers. But it’s less useful for shorter and more sculptural pieces than it is for long, thin parts. That’s where the spoon mule comes into play. Used in conjunction with the shaving horse, it clamps the workpieces low and from the sides, making it perfect for narrow parts, spoon bowls, and other workpieces.
If you’re into green woodworking, you’ve likely heard of a shaving horse. Mine, based on Tim Manney’s split-rail design in FWW #262 (“Build a Thoroughbred Shaving Horse”), is invaluable, particularly when shaping long, skinny parts, like for chairs. However, as your workpieces get shorter and more sculptural, the shaving horse becomes less helpful because its clamping head is more likely to get in the way. Unfortunately, this precludes using it for a number of green woodworking projects, like spoons, cups, and bowls, that are a struggle to hold to begin with. Enter the spoon mule.
Spacer helps clamp thin parts. Sometimes parts are too narrow to be clamped effectively. To close the space between the jaws, Moore adds a 3⁄8-in.-thick spacer that’s notched to fit around the wire.
Plenty of support. The flat areas in front of and behind the jaws offer good support in a variety of circumstances. On this wooden cup, for example, the spoon mule can handle everything from the handle to the backside of the bowl, a tricky place to work.
From Fine Woodworking #286
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