How To Make A Shave Horse? (Perfect answer)

  • Make sure that your shaving horse is comfortable to your needs. The length of the legs can be adjusted to your height. Attaching the legs and braces to the bench. Cut the 2 back legs and 2 front legs 2 X 4 X 19 1/2″. If you want a slight incline, make the 2 front legs 1-2″ shorter than the back legs.

How long should a shave horse be?

If you do find such a source, a single 2″ × 10″ hardwood plank with good straight grain, eight feet long should yield almost all the main components required for the project, including the plank, two legs and all the treadle frame components.

What can you make with a shave horse?

Typical usage of the shaving horse is to create a round profile along a square piece, such as for a chair leg or to prepare a workpiece for the pole lathe. They are used in crafts such as coopering and bowyery.

Do horses like to be shaved?

No, horses don’t like being shod, they tolerate it. I have a brother who was a farrier for 40 years (farrier is what you call a person who shoes horses) most horses like having their feet cleaned and trimmed as the frog part of the hoof stone bruises easily.

Why are horses half shaved?

Horses grow thick coats and their skin produces more grease in winter to help protect them against wet and cold weather. The thick coat is slow to dry, and it can’t keep a horse warm in this matted state, leaving the horse vulnerable to chills that can lead to illness. That’s why body clipping may be important.

Why do some horses get shaved?

Horses can be clipped for several different reasons, but most commonly it is related to health and comfort reasons. One such health condition where horses are clipped is Cushing’s, a disease that can cause a horse to not shed its winter coat properly.

What is a hairless horse?

Researchers have identified the gene variation that is most likely responsible for an unusual syndrome in the Akhal-Teke horse breed from Turkmenistan, in which foals are born with almost no hair and scaly skin. The first records of hairless Akhal-Teke foals date back to 1938.

What is a bodger tool?

Bodging (full name Chair-Bodgering) is a traditional woodturning craft, using green (unseasoned) wood to make chair legs and other cylindrical parts of chairs. The work was done close to where a tree was felled. The itinerant craftsman who made the chair legs was known as a bodger or chair-bodger.

What do you use a Spokeshave for?

A spokeshave is a hand tool used to shape and smooth woods in woodworking jobs such as making cart wheel spokes, chair legs, paddles, bows, and arrows.

What is a bodger slang?

/ (ˈbɒdʒə) / adjective. Australian informal worthless or second-rate. a labourer who traditionally lived and worked in the forest, making chairs from felling trees.

What is a spoon mule?

A spoon mule is a foot activated clamping mechanism that allows quick and easy work holding options while carving spoons. Since the clamping is done with the feet, powerful two handed tools like drawknives and large hook knives can be used to carve the spoon.

Making a Shave Horse — Philadelphia Furniture Workshop

It is also known as a shaving horse because it is a classic workstation that is particularly well suited for green woodworking and shaping woodworking components. It is intended primarily for drawknife and spokeshave work, and it is particularly well suited for the creation of circular pieces such as chair legs, rungs, and spindles, as well as spoon and utensil carving, walking sticks, paddles, and a variety of other tasks. Pressing down on the treadle’s foot bar applies pressure to a workpiece in a manner similar to that of a foot-activated clamping bench By relieving pressure on the workpiece with your foot, you may easily reposition it over and over again without difficulty.

During this two-day course, students will create their own shave horse and will have the opportunity to practice using a drawknife and spokeshaves.

The design will differ somewhat from the images of the shop’s prototype, which were taken earlier this year.

Green woodworking is a type of craft that involves the use of newly harvested (green) wood.

  • It is often considerably simpler to shape and work with greenwood than it is to shape and work with seasoned or dried wood when using hand tools.
  • PFW is looking forward to delivering more greenwood programs in the following seasons, and a shave horse is a crucial tool for many forms of green woodworking, including furniture making and cabinet making.
  • Many forms of woodworking need the use of machinery, dust collecting systems, and a large amount of area.
  • Green woodworking may be done fully unplugged, in perfect silence, and with great satisfaction.

Participants of all skill levels are encouraged to participate. A shave horse will be demonstrated and explained in detail, including how to shape conventional chair pieces, spoon carving, and other applications.

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We have decided to give you with a shaving horse design that has shown to be extremely successful in reality and that varies from the majority of shaving horse ideas we have seen thus far. Because of the introduction of machines and power tools into the workshops, several of the hand tools were nearly totally phased out of usage. In the case of the shaving horse tool, which was previously considered a necessary tool for carpenters, bodgers (chair builders), bowyers (bow makers), and coopers, this was also the case (barrel makers).

Even today, a shaving horse may be a helpful instrument due to its wide range of applications, particularly if your style of work is centered on small batches.

It is often used in conjunction with a drawknife or spokeshave, although it may be modified for use with a variety of other hand instruments.

for the beginner to advanced carpenter with some experience The standard of workplace equipment Hand tools, power tools, and machinery for use as a hobby Joints used in woodworking applications A mortise and tenon joint that has been keyed Mortise and tenon joint with a rounded corner Approximately 390mm (15.34″) in width, 1740mm (68.5″) in length, and 962mm (37.87″) in height.

  • This shelf is used to house slats, posts, and rungs for shaving and drawing knives.
  • An individual shaving horse is made up of three parts: the bench, on which the woodworker sits; the pedal-operated clamp, whose purpose is to secure a workpiece; and the legs, which serve to maintain the shaving horse while it is being shaved.
  • You may create the shaving horse out of a variety of woods, including sturdy hardwoods (oak, ash, elm, birch, beech, hickory, walnut, cherry) and durable softwoods (pine, ash, elm, birch, beech, hickory, walnut, cherry) (Douglas fir, cedar, hemlock, southern yellow or red pine.).
  • Of course, if you want a lightweight tool (for example, a portable shaving horse), you may construct it from a lightweight and sturdy wood.
  • In order to accommodate this, there are several design variants available.
  • A correctly constructed item will almost probably last for an extremely long period of time.
  • The construction of this shaving horse is quite basic; there are no intricate woodworking joints, and it can be simply constructed using standard instruments such as a drill and a saw, among others.
  • These designs and instructions are written with the assumption that you have intermediate woodworking abilities.
  • Collin Riley has created a video in which he explains how he made and how he is currently using the shaving horse, which was built in accordance with our plan for manufacturing acoustic guitar necks.

If you are interested in seeing how the shaving horse is being used, you can watch this video by Mr. Collin Riley. How to utilize a finished shaving horse that has been finished (VIDEO) Download the project in the form of a PDF file. Project may be downloaded here (high resolution images)

Jenny and Ian Make a Shave Horse

Jenny, my wife, has recently been interested in green woodworking and bushcraft-type abilities. This all began with some formal training to become a forest school instructor (an initiative in the UK to gets kids outside and learning so basic bushcraft skills, like shelter building and fire making, along with craft work). Anyway, she participated in a week-long course on green woodworking skills and became enthralled with the hobby. She had asked me after the course if we could construct a shaving horse together, and I had answered yes without giving it much consideration at the time.

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So we started by viewing several videos on YouTube, and were astonished by the minimal quantity of them, so we decided to create our own to fill the gap (video).

Step 1: Knock Up a Quick Design on SketchUp

So we began by creating a shaving horse in Sketchup, which, like all of our ideas, was a mash-up of different drawings we’d discovered online and then brought them together. For the saw horses, I utilized a chassis that was “stretched” and then added the pivoting components to make it work as a shave horse. I prefer to work hard and push myself in order to get the most enjoyment out of what I’m doing. The project itself wasn’t extremely tough, but I spent a lot more time into the shooting and videography than I would have otherwise.

Despite the fact that we didn’t get everything just right, we had a great time creating the movies, and I’m really satisfied with the end result.

Step 2: Video Part 1

See the first video for an attempt to explain the process. Part 1 includes the following topics:

  • Trimming the stock to the proper length
  • Trimming the leg joinery Construction of the shaving horse chassis

Step 3: Video Part 2

The following information is covered in detail in Part 2:

  • Getting the legs to the proper length
  • Putting the pivot mechanism in place
  • A brief demonstration of how to utilize a shave horse

Step 4: Conclusions

We had a great fun putting this project together, which we completed over the course of a weekend. We hope you’ve had a good time viewing it. Please let me know if you want any further information or if you require the SketchUp model.

Step 5: SketchUp Model Link

Here’s a link to the Shave Horse SketchUp model, which I’ve posted to the 3D warehouse in SketchUp after finishing it in the program. If you require dimensions, open the model and measure the portions that you require. Link to the SketchUp download page

1 Person Made This Project!

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Expert craftsman Tom Donahey shares his plans for an essential tool to work green wood.

Working with wood that has just been split from a newly felled tree is one of the most satisfying woodworking experiences. The shape of green wood is significantly easier to achieve with hand tools than the shape of dried wood. In addition to its pleasant odor and silky texture, it has an interesting personality that makes it much more enjoyable to work with. Simple utilitarian objects such as chairs, benches, rakes, and other such items have been constructed from green wood for a very long time.

  1. I’ve always wanted to make a shaving horse, but never got around to it.
  2. Over the course of more than three decades, Drew has been an outstanding educator of the profession.
  3. To my delight, Drew introduced me to Mr.
  4. Tom has developed a beautiful piece of artwork.
  5. I took a chairmaking session from Brian Boggs, a well-known chairmaker from Berea, Kentucky, who had brought his own shaving horse with him to the workshop.
  6. It was with Brian’s permission that I photographed the horse and then returned home to study its build.” Brian had created a new feature: a ratcheting work support that was both adjustable and movable (see photo at right).
  7. His assessment: “It’s a lot more comfy.” Tom, with Brian’s permission, made a few horses and began working on perfecting the overall design.

Tom has generously agreed to enable us to publish his artwork.

A shaving horse is a combination of a workbench, vise, and chair in one convenient package.

The design of this shaving horse is a little out of the ordinary, combining classic components with cutting-edge innovation.

Then, elevate the work support all the way up to the clamping jaw, which should be free to rotate at this point.

It is held in place by a pivot that contacts a set of ratchets on the column of the work support.

This causes the lever arms to swing back and forth, pressing the clamping jaw into the workpiece.

To relieve the clamping pressure on a workpiece, reposition it, and get back to work creating those wonderful, gigantic curls, it just takes a few short seconds.

It is possible to cut all of the pieces for this shaving horse using southern yellow pine construction timber.

It is possible to construct this shaving horse out of any sturdy wood, such as oak, ash, hard maple, or Douglas fir, as long as the wood is not too heavy.

He’s found out how to make practically all of the pieces of a shaving horse out of a single 2×10 that’s 10 feet long (Photo1 and Fig.

Tom chooses timber that is clear and straight-grained in order to achieve optimum strength.

Hard maple is used for the pivot piece (K) and sycamore is used for the ratchet bar since they are subjected to a great deal of stress (F).

Maple or white oak are good choices for the revolving jaw (L), which clamps down on the workpiece.

You’ll just need a little piece of 3/4-in.

Baltic The treadle (S), work support (Q), and seat are all made of birch plywood (R).


Then set your miter saw to a 15-15 compound angle and put the blank to the left of the blade so that it may be cut on its right side.

If you’re creating the horse out of 2x10s, cut a 10-foot board into three parts that are four feet, four feet, and two feet long.

If you’re working with Southern yellow pine construction lumber, odds are it won’t be perfectly level or perfectly straight.

Providing they’re all the same thickness, it’s fine if they’re less than 1-1/2 in.


Prepare all of the solid-wood pieces by laying them out and cutting them to size (Fig.

Particular attention should be paid to the back legs (C).

Make both legs from a single piece of blank material (Photo2).



A basic, straight cut is made with the table placed at 90 degrees to the cutting surface.

Place both of the legs together and align them so that they form a matching set of limbs (Photo3).

The cutting is simple; it is the arrangement that is difficult.


Observed the legs (Photo4).

It is sufficient to position each leg such that the angled top end of the leg leans forward before cutting; all that remains is to follow the single line on the top edge of the board.

It’s a 90-degree angle on the cut.

Reattach the parts to the legs from which they were taken (Photo5).

Before adding clamps, manually press the parts together to push the brads into the joints.

The main body of the shaving horse is made up of two rails that are parallel to one other.

Temporarily attach the two rails (A) by screwing them together.


Lay out the big diameter washer holes on both rails and drill them before drilling the smaller diameter bolt holes entirely through the rails.

thick or less after planing, you can eliminate the large diameter washer holes.

bolt holes and 5/8-in.


Leg-mounting holes must be completed by drilling through both rails and into the legs.

Once you’ve separated your rails, you can clamp each back leg to the appropriate rail and drill a hole through each leg, using the holes in the rail as a guide (Photo7).

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Constructing a temporary horse and ensuring that it is properly aligned between the rails is a good idea.

F), clamp it to one rail, and drill the dowel holes through it.

hole that will pass through all three pieces of the back-up with a drill press.

Install the “backup” piece using large dowels, rather than glue, after the rear legs have been attached, and then continue with Assembly 8.

Install boxes or blocks to provide support for the rails, and then assemble the horse’s rear end.

It’s important to note that it’s not glued down, so you can remove it later if you need to make changes.

Install a pivot piece in the shape of a wedge behind the backup.

The pivot is supported by a dowel that passes through the rails.


Using the drill press, create a hole in the object.

With the help of a pair of large staples, attach a 6-inch-long cord halfway up the pivot’s front surface.

Fix the pivot in a horizontal position by clamping it.

Mark the point, then release the cord and remove the dowel and pivot.

Make sure the pivot rotates easily; you may have to sand the middle of its dowel to achieve the proper fit.

Install the leverarm assembly.

There’s a washer between each lever arm and the backup, so the arms will swing free.

Drill holes in the levers (D) and notch their bottom ends to receive the treadle support (N) (N).

Note that the distance between the levers is about 1/4-in.

In addition, note that the length of the rotating jaw is about 1/4-in.

Glue a piece of thick leather to one side of the rotating jaw to help it grip a workpiece.

You may move it later, as needed, without taking the horse apart.

To fasten the treadle in place, just use a loose-fitting duplex head nail in a pre-drilled hole or a screw (Fig.


Bolt together the lever arm assembly.

To install these washers, tape them to the inside faces of the lever arm assembly.

Install the bolt through the levers and backup, then remove the tape.

Build the Work Support 11.

It’s made from two pieces glued together.

Glue together the ratchet bar (E) and ratchet (F) (F).

thinner than the space between the horse’s rails.

G) and cut them on the bandsaw (Photo11) (Photo11).

Check the fit of this assembly between the horse’s rails to ensure that it is snug.

Attach the lower portion of the work support to this assembly with glue and screws.

The notch will assist in holding rounded workpieces in place.

Tilt the lever arm assembly forward to begin installing the work support system.

The pivot will spring into one of the ratchets when you release it, securing the work support in its current position.


It is not tied to the horse’s rails, but rather glides between them.

Seat construction should include plywood, foam rubber, and leather or other long-lasting upholstery material.

You are now prepared to manufacture shavings (Photo 13)!

Because the seat is around 20 inches high, you may wish to adjust the length of the legs if you are very tall or short.

Alternatively, you might glue the pieces together for a more elegant appearance, but this would restrict your ability to make alterations.

It has since been updated.

Here are some products and tools that we consider to be vital in our day-to-day operations at the store. We may gain a commission on sales linked by our links; nevertheless, we have carefully picked these items based on their usefulness and quality before including them on our website.

  • JigFixture Bar
  • 1/8″ Roundover Bit
  • Titebond Hide Glue
  • JigFixture Bar
  • Jig

How to Make a Shaving Horse

Having used shaving horses for maybe thirty years or more, the time had come to completely rethink their appearance and use. I had usually used a 1.2 metre (4ft) length of log with a diameter of around 30cm (1ft) as the foundation for my shaving horses, but I was well aware that this was not the sort of item that most people had laying around the workshop. For a long time, I had hoped to create a design that would be easy to construct from of readily available materials – for individuals who did not have access to wooded areas.

Also that summer, I had spent a couple of hours conversing with Owen Jones, who worked as a swill-basketmaker, as he sat astride his shaving horse, which was built to hold small slivers of wood in its jaws.

Although it has been my lifelong ambition to educate people of the benefits of cleft, unseasoned hardwoods, I have ended up with a design that is composed entirely of sawn soft-wood beams.

Shaving horse plans

It is made up mostly of four 2.4 metre (8ft) pieces of sawn, seasoned 100mm × 40mm (4 x 2in) softwood that have been cut to size. A 50cm (20in) piece of roofing batten, a 40cm (16in) length of hazel rod, and 35 M6 turbo coach screws, each 90mm long, are the only additional materials needed to complete this project (although ordinary screws or nails would be possible but far less fun). Almost anyone can make there in less than a couple of hours if they put their mind to it. In the future, I aim to utilize locally produced Western Red Cedar, which should be just as good as, if not better than, the stock from the wood yard in terms of durability and performance.

There is no need for exact joints, and the only woodworking skills required are the ability to use a handsaw and a drill to complete the project.

He is the author ofLiving Wood, a book that explains several of his enhanced wood-working equipment and projects, as well as the more current book, Woodworking in the Modern World.

Both titles are available from the publisher. If you want to see more photographs, illustrations, and step-by-step directions, you may download the original pdf version of this article. Champion the Lumber Horse may be downloaded for free.

My $15 Shaving Horse

The thought of owning a shaving horse has always appealed to me. Recently, I constructed a set of Windsor dining chairs and used my draw knife and spokeshaves to smooth up the spindles of the chairs. Because I didn’t have a shaving horse at the time, I had to make do using my woodworking vise to complete the project. However, even though the vise was functional, I knew that utilizing a shaving horse would be far more comfortable and much more enjoyable. While looking on several websites, I came many shaving horses for sale, but the problem was that they were all over $500 a piece.

  1. Then one day I came across an essay written by Brian Boggs for Fine Woodworking magazine.
  2. I knew right then that I was going to make my plans.
  3. Rather than spend a lot of money on 2′′ thick ash or maple, I chose to create my own out of good ol’ southern yellow pine instead.
  4. The whole amount came to $14.73.
  5. So I basically eyeballed where I thought the boundaries should be and created the horse to be as near as feasible to Brian’s design as possible.
  6. I milled out the torso, contoured the back legs, and added an additional long front leg to make it look more realistic.
  7. The rear legs were leveled and the feet were fashioned so that they would sit flat on the floor once they were fitted using a compass and a level.

Using 1 1/2′′ stock instead of complete 2′′ stock has one disadvantage: the head gets smaller as a result of the reduced width.

Because three 1 1/2′′ pieces of wood were bonded together, my bench head could only be 4 1/4′′ broad.

In contrast to the design, the only thing I did differently was that Brian utilized a bicycle tire tube to function as a spring for the key.

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While it is functional, I am confident that the tire tube would perform far better because it would have more spring to it.

Brian has covered his horse in leather, which gives him a really attractive appearance.

Overall, I’m pleased with how the horse ended out, and I’m able to dismantle it for storage or transportation purposes if necessary.

Now all I have to do is go out and get some freshly cut logs to create a chair out of. Check out this post by Tim Manney for a complete set of blueprints for building a shaving horse out of affordable wood. More information about shaving horses may be found at

  • Shaping Wood by Hand
  • Riding a Shaving Horse
  • Carving/Shaving Benches
  • Shaping Wood by Machine

Sign up for Fine Woodworking’s e-newsletters now to receive the newest methods and how-to information, as well as special deals. The shaving horse’s body is made from one of the 2 x 10’s that were used for the frame. It is possible to cut both rear legs out of a single piece that is 21″ long. It was necessary to trace around each of the rear legs in order for the leg to sit flat on the ground. I then leveled the horse and measured the length of the front leg. It’s because I was using 1 1/2″ stock that my head is 1 1/2 inches narrower than Brian’s head.

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A shave horse, my kingdom for a shave horse!

According to Adrian Dennett, a seller of traditional bodgers’ and woodworkers’ equipment, “traditional bodgers and woodworkers would have spent the first day in a new woods creating their equipment such as a shaving horse.” These are stools in which the craftsman (or woman) sits at one end of the’horse’and utilizes a foot-controlled lever to hold their work in place while working on another. Amazingly, this equipment maintains the wood’s position and allows the operator to securely shave down a piece of wood without moving the instrument.

  1. It is common for them to be used to hold rougher pieces of wood while they are being shaped into shape using a two-handed drawing knife.
  2. Although you may create your own shave horse, this ready-made shave horse, which costs £49, is a low-cost option.
  3. In other words, you may work on a large chunk of wood or change the shaving horse to handle a smaller object, such as a little spoon, without sacrificing stability.
  4. There are more rustic variants of workbenches available from Adrian, whose website is.
  5. Adrian sold all seven of his shaving horses – all of his stock – at the Bushcraft event in Derbyshire, but he’s already planning to make more of them.

Here is a photo of Dick’s’horse ‘ as mentioned in his comment below:

The most recent update was made on Friday, January 7, 2022|Adirondack Tom Donahey, an expert woodworker, presents his designs for a tool that is vital for working with green wood. written by Tom Caspar Working with wood that has just been split from a freshly felled tree is one of the most rewarding woodworking experiences. The shape of green wood is significantly easier to achieve with hand tools than the shape of dried wood. This plant has an invigorating scent and a delicate texture, which makes it even more pleasant to handle.

  1. A few simple tools and one important piece of equipment for holding the job are all you require: a working horse.
  2. If you’re interested in finding out how to create one, I recommend that you contact Drew Langsner, who is a specialist in green woodworking (that’s Drew on the left).
  3. He currently operates Country Workshops, a school in North Carolina (see Country Workshops, page 66).
  4. Tom Donahey, who crafts shaving horses for pupils at the school as well as for sale on the school’s website.
  5. As Tom explained, “I already had a shaving horse when I decided to go into green woodworking.” “It was the traditional style, which was large and clumsy.
  6. It was far better than mine.
  7. Drew proposed a more effective modification: instead of the standard cross bar for delivering foot pressure, a treadle should be used.

Tom has created more than 100 horses throughout the course of his career, streamlining their manufacture in the process. Tom has generously agreed to enable us to publish his artwork.

How This Shaving Horse Works

Sharing horses serve as workbenches, risers, and chairs all in one convenient package. When working with young wood, a drawknife, which cuts on the pull stroke, or a spokeshave, which may be used either pushing or pulling, is typically employed. The design of this shaving horse is a little out of the ordinary, combining classic components with cutting-edge innovation. This is how it works: 1 lere’s how it works: To set up the horse, first place your workpiece on the work support and secure it in place.

  1. The work support may be adjusted to one of eight various height settings to handle thick or thin pieces of work, as needed.
  2. In order to clamp your workpiece, step forward on the treadle with your foot.
  3. All of this appears to be rather difficult, however operating this sharing horse is as simple as pressing the stop pedal in your automobile.
  4. Construction timber from southern yellow pine may be used to make the majority of the pieces for this shaving horse.
  5. 2 Make both of the rear legs from a single long blank.
  6. Cut the centre of the piece by sliding it over, and then cut the left end by sliding it over.
  7. 4 Turn the legs over and cut them with a bandsaw.
  8. Because the end of the leg is a compound miter, it appears weird when viewed from this perspective.

Choose Your Wood

It is possible to construct this shaving horse out of any sturdy wood, such as oak, ash, hard maple, or Douglas fir, as long as the wood is not too heavy. Donahey employs southern yellow pine construction material because it is cost-effective, robust, and light-weight in comparison to other types of wood. From a single 10 foot-long 2×10, he’s found out how to make practically all of the components of a shaving horse (Photo 1, left, and Fig. L, page 69). Tom chooses timber that is clear and straight-grained in order to achieve optimum strength.

Due of the high stress placed on these parts, he chooses strong maple for the pivot piece (K) and sycamore for the ratchet (R) (F).

When it comes to the revolving jaw (L), which clamps down on a workpiece, hardwoods that are difficult to dent, such as maple or white oak, are preferred.

You’ll just need a little piece of 3/4-in. thick wood. Baltic birch plywood was used for the work support (Q), the seat (R), the treadle (S), and the treadle cleat (T) of the chair (T).

Start With the Back Legs

1. If you’re creating the horse out of a 2×10, cut it into three sections that are four feet long, four feet long, and two feet long (Fig. L). Parts are easier to grind and assemble when the wood is flat and straight, as is the case with any job. If you’re working with southern yellow pine construction lumber, odds are it won’t be perfectly level or perfectly straight. Before making any more cuts, run these parts through a planer or drum sander to smooth them out. Providing they are of the same thickness, it is OK if they are less than 1-1/2 inches thick, as stipulated in the cutting list (page 69).

Lay out all of the solid-wood pieces and cut them to the appropriate sizes.

Practicing on a few pieces of paper initially can help you get the swing of things.

On your Glue the offcut to the other side of the leg from where it was cut, and you’re done!

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