Shaving horse for the workbench - shaving leg

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Blog entry by mafe posted 06-03-2015 12:35 PM 3696 reads 23 times favorited 16 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Shaving horse for the workbench – shaving leg
then there are no excuse…

Just to make sure all know what we talk about, a shaving horse / leg is a foot controlled clamp, like this you have both hands free for working and re position of the work are quick and easy, this especially makes it wonderful for round stock where you work with draw knife, spoke shave or what ever tools on handles, chair legs or so.

The name shaving leg is just what I found would be the right name for this.

If you want to know more about shaving horses look in my blog:

This is a workbench version, it takes little space when not in use and you can bring it with you easy.
On the picture you see me use it after the build.

Standard lumber, in fact this is a 2×3 and a piece of a Ikea furniture I found in my street, but really use what you have, even plywood can be fine.
I looked online and found quite a few versions, most of them are the same as the one I will build, just pinned different or fastened to the bench in different ways, so yes it is just to go for it, no rocket need to be launched here, and I prefer a simple cheap one.
If you want it more, take a look at this guy: I think he made a cool chromed version.

I start by making the foot pedal, like it to have a little wedge shape and then I can use the wedge also.

Just screw in place I give it three in each side.

Now I can test mount on a cut off I put on the table held by my wonderful old French holdfast.
Like this I can find the perfect height before I cut of the length of the legs.

The head are again just a cut off, now with a hole drilled through it.
The hole drilled same dimension as the threaded rod I had.

As you can see the pivot point are in the back and so the pivot point for the head are put in the front.
I drilled a series of holes up on both sides, so the head can be moved up and down.

Now back to the leg pivot point.
Drilling a hole through the table part.
As you can see I will use threaded rod, washers and self locking bolts.

Like this.
It gives less friction, but allows it to be tight.

On the other side.

That’s it!
Leg are secured.

Now the same for the head.

Also I like to add leather for good grip and being able to do delicate work.
So I cut some pads.

Glue on with contact cement.

While it dry I add some anti slip to the pedal.
This was some I bought for a skateboard way back.

And put some under the table hold, like this it will stay where it is supposed to.

I shaped the head a little, like this it is easy to see.
Here I also put a pin through the back of the head, like this the front of the jaw only catches the piece.
The front pin are with a wing nut, so it can be held tight and add stability, the back one have no bolt in the other end, the wing nut here are simply so it’s easy to get in and out.

Here the head are moved up and the back pin removed, like this the head pivot and hold on a larger area.

The wedge can also be used here.

I put it in a string and attached it to the shaving leg.

So here it is!
Took about an hour, that’s faster than fighting with sticks trying to hold them to the bench.

Well it’s not all woodworking…


See why I call it a leg…

This is how much space it takes when folded up.
(The pedal could be made foldable too).

Hope it can be to some inspiration perhaps some shaving legs.

Best thoughts,


-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

16 comments so far

View helluvawreck's profile


22669 posts in 2285 days

#1 posted 06-03-2015 12:46 PM

There you go, Mads. You are very resourceful and have a wonderful an interesting shop. I’d love to see all of your tools and your shop in person. It wood be a thrilling experience and very educational as well. Keep on having fun and enjoying yourself.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away. Henry David Thoreau

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile


13569 posts in 2037 days

#2 posted 06-03-2015 12:52 PM

This is an outstanding build, love it. Going to Faves and my To Do list, thanks Mads!

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. -- OldTools Archive --

View kaerlighedsbamsen's profile


1168 posts in 1132 days

#3 posted 06-03-2015 02:51 PM

Super clewer!
Do i sense a bow&arrow, Windsor chair or some other bodger-style project coming in the near future..?

-- "Do or Do not. There is no try." - Yoda

View stefang's profile


15512 posts in 2753 days

#4 posted 06-03-2015 03:43 PM

Super handy bench accessory Mads that works really well.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View SPalm's profile


5249 posts in 3300 days

#5 posted 06-03-2015 04:18 PM

That is really clever. Good job.


-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

View Jim Jakosh's profile (online now)

Jim Jakosh

16785 posts in 2524 days

#6 posted 06-03-2015 07:00 PM

That is a neat holding device! Nice job of building it and thanks for sharing!!

Cheers, my friend!!...........Jim

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View Combo Prof's profile

Combo Prof

2238 posts in 696 days

#7 posted 06-03-2015 08:08 PM

I like it!

-- Don K, (Houghton, Michigan)

View Ken90712's profile


16863 posts in 2607 days

#8 posted 06-03-2015 10:21 PM

I like it, Great job

-- Ken, "Everyday above ground is a good day!"

View lew's profile


11263 posts in 3174 days

#9 posted 06-03-2015 11:55 PM

Looks quite handy! And, the pizza looks delicious!

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View CFrye's profile


8563 posts in 1258 days

#10 posted 06-04-2015 04:37 AM

Nice pony, Mads! One of these has been on the To Do List for a while (why are so many things on that list and so few get done?)! Thanks for sharing.

-- God bless, Candy

View Mauricio's profile


7115 posts in 2570 days

#11 posted 06-04-2015 04:11 PM

#1 loving it. Would be great for shaping the outer bowl and handles on spoons.

-- Mauricio - Woodstock, GA - "Confusion is the Womb of Learning, with utter conviction being it's Tomb" Prof. T.O. Nitsch

View Roger's profile


19709 posts in 2222 days

#12 posted 06-06-2015 11:36 AM

I always get a lil nervous when I see “shaving” in any sentence… LOL… Very good Mads.

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed.

View madts's profile


1661 posts in 1758 days

#13 posted 06-06-2015 01:35 PM

Good thinking and execution Mads.


-- Thor and Odin are still the greatest of Gods.

View Philip's profile


1275 posts in 1957 days

#14 posted 06-08-2015 03:52 PM

Nice work Mads. Now the spring-pole on the horse and you’ll be ready to go!

-- I never finish anyth

View Duayne Israelson's profile

Duayne Israelson

5 posts in 579 days

#15 posted 04-18-2016 07:47 PM

Perfect and easy!

-- Duayne Israelson

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