Through a strange sequence of events and serious risk to my health and wellbeing, I was able to work at my shaving horse for several hours yesterday. Sounds great and it was, but the back-of-my-front is pretty dang sore today. I have a good bit of work yet to do at the horse so a remedy for comfort was now top priority.
Let me back up a bit. A while back I built my shaving horse using Jeanie Alexander’s plans that can be found on the Greenwoodworking site. I remember that the plans mentioned something about a sliding seat…I won’t need that. I was waaaay wrong. Way wrong!
Straddling a board, for hours on end, takes a toll on the backside. So I did a little research on my lunch hour today. I wanted to see what the folks who make a living using a shaving horse do for a seat. The general consensus is that you need one, it should be tilted forward slightly and cushy is a good thing.
As soon as I got home this evening I went straight to the shop to see what I could come up with. My plan was to make a seat with two guide rails that would slide along the main beam of the horse. I came up with a piece of plywood and a few bits of pine. I sketched a simple seat shape on the plywood and went to work.
To achieve a slight forward tilt, I planed a piece of pine into a wedge shape.
I sawed the rough shape of the seat and refined the shape with a plane and sandpaper.
Assembly was simple. The wedge was glued and nailed in place. The two 2x guide rails were glued and screwed.
To get the cushy, I used the last bits of my upholstery foam and a piece of black vinyl.
I have to say, it is very comfortable and I cant wait to put it to use. To keep the seat from sliding when in use, I simply cut a small square of shelf liner to put between the seat and rail. It locks the seat down solid.
Anyway, just a quick little project and public service announcement. Saddle your horse, trust me!
Oh yeah, the risk to my health and wellbeing. Yesterday the shop was cold and I was home alone, management was at work. So I took it upon myself to move the whole shaving horse operation into the house on the nice warm sun porch.
I did put down a couple pieces of ply to protect the carpet. Anyway, management took it pretty well and working on the sun porch is now sanctioned. Who woulda’ thunk it?
This is the shaving horse I’ve seen with a comfortable seat, you should get into the upholstery business.
Thanks Salko. It turned out pretty decent for a quick two hour project. I enjoy the upholstery work, but barely have a clue as to what I’m doing.
Seems to me like you do bro, give yourself more credit because you bloody well deserve it. I wouldn’t hesitate in giving you work if I was living there and a chair maker.
Very simple solution and looks comfortable. I second Salko on your upholstery skills. You do nice, neat work, Greg.
Thanks Derek. It is pretty comfortable. I need to put in a long stretch or two to see how well it really performs.
Very neat seat. I have used a shave horse since 1979 making Sussex Trugs without a soft seat life would have been painfull. even for a short time a soft seat is good.
The tongue ofyour horse looks short, if longer would it not suport the work piece better, less force downwards?
The soft seat is a welcome addition, that is for sure.
The tongue was made from the longest piece I had laying about the shop at the time. So far, it is working just fine. If I have need to work on thinner stock, I may need to change it out for a longer version.