Thursday, 7 February 2013

The simple things........

With only a hour between a morning spent elsewhere and picking up Tom from school, there was not much time for work on the shave horse today. I always seem to be in a quandary when it comes to making jigs or tools that I use around the workshop. Part of me wants to make 'it' , ( whatever that 'it' may be )  as perfectly as possible. Same reason why we all like to buy quality tools to use. The other part of me just says "for *#@% sake, just make the thing and lets get on with it ! "

There are small problems associated with both. Spending too much time making jigs and things which are essentially utilitarian, is not exactly a proactive use of time. On the other hand making things that end up looking like they've had a beating with the ugly stick doesn't project the work you'd like to be known for and are certainly not as pleasant to use or have around the place. 

And so it is with the shave horse I'm making at the moment. The last two I made a few years back,  I spent perhaps a bit more time than was necessary. 

The first was made from a single slab of Tassie Myrtle and was adorned with an original H V McKay Tractor seat and a compliment of hand cut wooden threads on all the pivot pins. 

The second was solid New Guinea Rosewood, has a similar seat and a horses hoof carved on the front leg! Overkill? Yup, especially when they fall over in the back of the ute, get cut by the odd drawknife and generally knocked about. 

So with that in mind this one will not be anywhere as elaborate. The main frame and parts are Maritime Pine I milled a while ago. The 'Smarthead' mechanism, some odd bits of English Ash I had lying about.

 In a brief hour I managed to cut the angled frame and cut the mortise in the frame and clamp bed, where the leg of the mechanism will project through. 

And so I have decided to adopt a 'Shaker' ideal with this horse. Make it well, with simple clean lines and no unnecessary embellishment. You know, the KISS principal - Keep It Simple - Stupid. Perhaps I should lock up the carving chisels and thread cutting screw boxes......just to be on the safe side!  Hope to get it close to finished tomorrow.

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