This part of the project gave me more grief than any so far. They have to be perfect and exactly the same otherwise you have a wobble horse instead of a rocker. So, I decided to make a prototype.
Setting up a temporary trammel and using all the bench square footage I could muster, I started measuring the arcs.
I cut my prototype / template from 1/4” hardboard on my little trammel setup. I used a scrap piece of 1/4” plywood, a clear base for the router, and some double sided tape. I screwed it at a fixed point centred on a scrap piece clamped to the bench, and cut the arc. The top part of the rocker is a bigger radius than the bottom part, so this gave me a good idea of how I was going to do that.
A little cleaning up with the jigsaw, and I have a prototype. Relatively painless. I did spent an inordinate amount of time planning this move. Mostly by sitting and staring at it and scratching my head to pass the time.
I had a centreline drawn on the template, and had another alignment line on the piece that the trammel was screwed to. I used the longest straight edge I had to line up my board to get the most pleasing grain, or what I hoped would be.
I then set up my trammel again and cut one rocker. I made some anti-tip ends on the the rocker as per the plan suggestion, finished it’s shape, then used it to help align the next rocker, chucking my template for the now better shaped and final sized rocker #1.
The end result:
This move took me a lot more time that I anticipated. I realized very early in the build, that the rockers aren’t where you want to see any error, so they have to be perfect. I think these are. They are the same, anyway.
While I was thinking the rocker moves, I cut out the legs and some mane and tail accents.
I cut some wedges for the correct spread of the hooves, and glued them all up. Lots of clamps.
I trimmed the wedge blocks and used the little Porter Cable belt sander to fair them off for joining to the body of the horse. I also took some time to fix a couple of errors that I made when gluing up the initial panels for the body. I used dominos and three of them ended up right in the middle of a scroll cut for the head. I had to route them out and fill them. Finicky work but it was all chisels, block plane and my shooting board, so I was smiling.
Assembly will occur tomorrow night and God willing a coat of amber shellac. Two more coats Sunday, leave it sit Monday, and put a bow on it for Tuesday. I hope I have time!
-- You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation. (Plato)