Shaving Horse

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Project by DocT posted 11-18-2009 05:34 PM 10352 views 24 times favorited 19 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I finally took the time to build a nice shaving horse for myself, and I hope that it will come in handy on a set of Windsor chairs that I am planning.

While building my garden bench contest entry, I had finally had enough wrestling with my circa 1996 homemade horse. Although it worked fairly well, it was a struggle to use. (At the time that I built it, there was not much information to be found about shaving horses. Heck, that was practically before the Internet!) With a little research, I recently found a well-thought-out horse by Drew Langsner in his book Green Woodworking.

I decided to build mine from some scrap oak I had been hanging onto. It sure made this bench substantial. The legs are roughly shaved oak (as a homage to the bench’s function.) I added a little extra adjustability in the throat because I occasionally tackle larger limbs for rustic furniture. I have used the bench sparingly since I built it, and it works like a dream. I look forward to using it more and more. I finished my horse with a little boiled linseed oil just to bring out some warmth in the oak.

I left my old horse outside for years letting it weather in the elements… I think I’ll keep this one inside!


19 comments so far

View BarbS's profile


2434 posts in 3123 days

#1 posted 11-18-2009 05:37 PM

Wow, that is beautiful…one project I’d been meaning to tackle, and yours is a good example. I think you will really enjoy this! What a fine job you did.


View lew's profile


10620 posts in 2793 days

#2 posted 11-18-2009 05:38 PM

Really Nice!

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

View Rj's profile


1047 posts in 2668 days

#3 posted 11-18-2009 05:40 PM

Very cool !! You did a Great job .

Job well done!!

-- Rj's Woodworks,San Jose & Weed Ca,

View nmkidd's profile


758 posts in 2210 days

#4 posted 11-18-2009 06:05 PM

Well fabricated horse….....but being new to woodworking and rather dense at times…......what’s it do and how does it work?

-- Doug, New Mexico.......the only stupid question is one that is never asked!........don't fix it, if it ain't broke!

View DocT's profile


109 posts in 2476 days

#5 posted 11-18-2009 06:21 PM

nmkidd- Doug, shaving horses aren’t seen much anymore, but they’re as old as the hills! It is simply a bench with a foot-operated clamp. Step on the treadle and your work piece is held firmly between the bench and the head. It is traditionally used with a drawknife to shave wood to dimension or form round tenons, spindles…. I find it useful for many more activities because the clamping function allows the piece to be rapidly repositioned. Hope that answers your question!


View nmkidd's profile


758 posts in 2210 days

#6 posted 11-18-2009 06:29 PM

Doc…...thanks for the explanation……... already learned something today…......and still on my first cup o’ joe!!

-- Doug, New Mexico.......the only stupid question is one that is never asked!........don't fix it, if it ain't broke!

View a1Jim's profile


113725 posts in 2614 days

#7 posted 11-18-2009 06:33 PM

Nice horse Doc be careful don’t leave the shop door open:-)) Really nice job.

-- Custom furniture

View woodworm's profile


14144 posts in 2628 days

#8 posted 11-18-2009 07:37 PM

Really great shaving bench.

-- masrol, kuala lumpur, MY.

View Dudley's profile


742 posts in 2298 days

#9 posted 11-18-2009 07:44 PM

That’s a super lookin mule. I would keep it in the stall at night. BZ

-- Dudley Young USN Retired. Sebastian, Fl.

View mtkate's profile


2049 posts in 2363 days

#10 posted 11-18-2009 08:50 PM

Next time I am going to shave a horse, I will have to refer to your build. It looks great.

View TedM's profile


2002 posts in 2770 days

#11 posted 11-18-2009 09:20 PM


-- I'm a wood magician... I can turn fine lumber into firewood before your very eyes! - Please visit and sign up for my project updates!

View F Dudak's profile

F Dudak

342 posts in 2848 days

#12 posted 11-18-2009 11:30 PM

Nice horse! Bet it would be really comfy if it had a Windsor seat carved into it! You could add it as a saddle.

-- Fred.... Poconos, PA ---- Chairwright in the making ----

View littlecope's profile


3015 posts in 2539 days

#13 posted 11-18-2009 11:59 PM

Great Job, Doc!! I, too, have always wanted to make one of these… Someday… :)

-- Mike in Concord, NH---Unpleasant tasks are simply worthy challenges to improve skills.

View paulcoyne's profile


133 posts in 2158 days

#14 posted 11-19-2009 12:55 AM

great looking horse looks well crafted by the looks of it it should give you years of service, another project to add to my list…

-- thats not a mistake... i ment that

View Junji's profile


698 posts in 2419 days

#15 posted 11-19-2009 02:18 AM

Very very nice looking shaving horse! I always wanted to make one for me, but yours would be a big reference for me. Now you need to post some video of using this!

-- Junji Sugita from Japan,

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