Celeste's Rocking Horse

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Project by Francois Vigneron posted 01-31-2012 01:34 AM 2100 views 1 time favorited 11 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I made this rocking horse for my niece Celeste (first photo) but it ended up being quite popular with the whole family… The back-rest can be moved easily to accommodate any rider from toddler to grownup.

Type of wood :
- rocking sides : ash
- seat : a thick piece of poplar, beveled on the underside to provide a rigid support to the sides.
- head, back-rest, handles and undercarriage dowels : oak

Other significant materials :
- the movable back-rest is secured with brass dowels.
- a coper plate engraved to Celeste’s name.

Finish : FDA approved mineral oil (baby proof).

This project was completed in Altadena, 08/2009.
The design was inspired by a photo found here :

-- Francois Vigneron, Gif-sur-Yvette, France & Altadena, CA

11 comments so far

View DamnYankee's profile


3312 posts in 2760 days

#1 posted 01-31-2012 01:40 AM

Very cool looks like the little one really like it

-- Shameless - Winner of two Stumpy Nubs Awards

View a1Jim's profile


117328 posts in 3775 days

#2 posted 01-31-2012 02:14 AM

very nice work Francois, The scroll work ads a lot.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

#3 posted 01-31-2012 02:15 AM

That is beautiful,Francois !!!


View Ken90712's profile


17594 posts in 3387 days

#4 posted 01-31-2012 02:26 AM

Great work the pics say it all! BIG HIT!!!!!

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

View terry603's profile


320 posts in 3112 days

#5 posted 01-31-2012 05:30 PM

nice,i agree with the scroll work,never seen that done before,great idea

-- may not always be right,but,never in doubt.

View Timthemailman's profile


327 posts in 2975 days

#6 posted 03-04-2012 04:03 AM

Hi , great looking Rocking Horse. My wife want you to build more stuff so she can see more pictures of your “cute babys”. LOL Take care and Happy woodworking

View edward60's profile


152 posts in 2122 days

#7 posted 02-27-2013 07:35 AM

Beutiful Horse. This rocking horse is better at wooden horse projects. Are you have the scrool pattern of this project? I want made it to my grandson.

View Scooter McClain's profile

Scooter McClain

174 posts in 2120 days

#8 posted 02-27-2013 07:45 AM

Wow, that is a work of art! Great job!

-- I make sawdust. I think thats a fair assessment of my finished products!

View Francois Vigneron's profile

Francois Vigneron

263 posts in 2518 days

#9 posted 02-27-2013 12:19 PM

Hi Edward60, I can’t find my original pattern anymore. But you can print the 2nd picture above and then scale it up with a copy machine ; you can then use that to transfer the design on a piece of wood. I made a pattern from MDF first and then I used a palm router to transfer the pattern to the final wood. I roughed the cuts with a jigsaw first. For the seat, I started with a thick block (about 1” 1/2) and cut a long dovetail under each side. This allows the sides to rest on two strong surfaces (top & side) making the lower crossbars not essential. The lower crossbars are dowels drilled in place at an angle with the drill press. One comment about the horse’s head : the final design is a little nose heavy so I would suggest either hollowing the underside of the head or making the back-rest thicker to match the weights. It should not be an exact match (the kid will seat in the back) but close so forward and backward rocking speeds will be close. Otherwise, it’s scary for the kid. For better safety you can elongate the tips so the force required to tip the horse exceeds the force than the child can develop. You can also play on that to adjust the balance. This model is safe but Celeste did find it scary at first. Enjoy your own build and post the result !

-- Francois Vigneron, Gif-sur-Yvette, France & Altadena, CA

View helluvawreck's profile


32087 posts in 3065 days

#10 posted 02-27-2013 12:41 PM

That’s a wonderful rocking horse. Congratulations.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View CFrye's profile


10482 posts in 2038 days

#11 posted 10-01-2015 07:05 AM

Beautifully elegant rocking horse, Francois!

-- God bless, Candy

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