Rocking Horse

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Project by fatandy2003 posted 11-13-2012 07:18 PM 2555 views 3 times favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This is my first rocking horse, made for my daughter’s first birthday. I used plans purchased at Woodcraft.

The body is made from 2 planks of ash (2” x 7.5” x 168”). The saddle and “stirrup straps” are mahogany with birds eye maple inlay. The dowels are all walnut and the hooves are mesquite.

From the time my wife and I decided that is what we wanted to give our daughter, I had a little less than 2 months to go from 2 planks of wood to the final project. It was a tight timeline, but I finished the final coat of lacquer the day before her birthday. It turned out better than either of us expected, but there is still plenty of room for improvement. I learned more lessons than I care to admit each stage of this project.

The most challenging part by far was the tapered legs because the amount of wood I needed to take off was more than my table saw or chop saw could handle. I was browsing LJ one day and came across a blog by mackcr (, this was the ticket! I made up a similar jig and quickly took off all the wood I needed (Thanks mackcr!).

I finished the horse with 3 coats of BLO, 2 coats of 1lb cut shellac to seal, about 7 thinned coats of high gloss lacquer (sanding with 600 between each coat), and finished with one coat of satin lacquer. (I could have saved myself some time by not sanding between coats, but that is one of the many lessons I learned)

All in all, I think I had as much fun making this rocking horse as my daughter will have playing with it!

-- -- Andy, “Those who expect to reap the blessings of liberty must undergo the fatigues of supporting it” - Thomas Paine

7 comments so far

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Monte Pittman

29878 posts in 2486 days

#1 posted 11-13-2012 07:36 PM

Cute & sturdy

-- Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View Fishinbo's profile


11362 posts in 2324 days

#2 posted 11-13-2012 08:20 PM

... and this will be the sweetest gift she will receive from Dad! Of quality built.


View Surfside's profile


3389 posts in 2322 days

#3 posted 11-13-2012 10:26 PM

Awesome and cute Rocking Horse

-- "someone has to be wounded for others to be saved, someone has to sacrifice for others to feel happiness, someone has to die so others could live"

View a1Jim's profile


117239 posts in 3725 days

#4 posted 11-14-2012 02:31 AM

great job , something that lights up you child’s eyes and now a family heirloom.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View hunter71's profile


3254 posts in 3335 days

#5 posted 11-14-2012 11:19 AM

Great Rocky Horse. An heirloom for sure.

-- A childs smile is payment enough.

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Scooter McClain

174 posts in 2070 days

#6 posted 02-20-2013 04:04 PM

Excellent work!

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

View oldrivers's profile (online now)


1435 posts in 1715 days

#7 posted 06-01-2016 10:34 PM

This is Wonderful project well done. You mentioned two great keys to woodworking, 1. Learning as you go (even by mistakes) 2.Having funs as you work not mention the Joy of a finished work that comes out right. I do believe you have built a family Heirloom hope you see your Great-grandchildren ride this Pony. The look on you daughters face says it all (My Dad Loves Me and he is number one.)

-- Soli Deo gloria!

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