Elastic Cord

Country Workshops

There's a special home for woodworkers nestled in the mountains of Western North Carolina. Here, in a secluded hardwood cove just off the AppalachianTrail, master craftsman Drew Langsner has offered intimate classes on working green wood at his school, Country Workshops, since 1978. It's an inspiring environment for woodworkers of all levels.

At Country Workshops, you'll find yourself splitting out project parts from a recently felled oak log, sitting at a shaving horse learning to use a drawknife and spokeshave, or crouching in front of a hot steambox ready to pull out parts for bending. Typical classes include ladderback chairmaking, making a post-and-rung rocking chair (see the class photo, below, with instruc-torTom Donahey), carving bowls and spoons, American Windsor chairmaking, Japanese woodworking, and woodworking for women. For more information about class schedules and tuition fees, visit www.countryworkshops.org.

Windsor Chairmaking Workshops Usa

that passes through all three pieces of the back-up.

8. Rout a 5/16-in.-wide chamfer on all the exposed edges of the rails and legs.

Begin Assembly

9. Support the rails with boxes or blocks and assemble the rear end of the horse. Install the backup (Photo 8). Note that it's not glued, so you may remove it later for modifications, if necessary.

10. Make the pivot (K and Fig. E). It should be 1/8-in. thinner than the front leg and rear spacer, so it may swing freely. Drill its hole using the drill press. The pivot is spring-loaded with an elastic shock or bungee cord so that it will automatically tip forward into the ratchets (Photo 9). Attach a 6-in.-long cord halfway up the pivot's front face using a large electrician's staple. Place the pivot between the rails and pound in the dowel on which it rotates. Clamp the pivot in a horizontal position. Grip the free end of the cord and stretch it back underneath the pivot an extra inch or so to some point on the underside of one rail. Mark the point, then release the cord and remove the dowel and pivot. Fasten the other end of the cord to the rail, then re-install the pivot. Make sure the pivot rotates easily; you may have to sand the middle of its dowel to achieve the proper fit.

Make the Lever Arms

11. Drill holes in the levers (D) and notch their bottom ends to receive the treadle support (N). Chamfer all four sides of both levers. Note that the distance between the levers is about 1 /4-in. greater than the width of the horse's body, so the levers are free to swing without binding. In addition, note that the length of the rotating jaw is about 1/4-in. shorter than the distance between the levers, so it, too, is free to swing. Glue a piece of thick leather to one side of the rotating jaw to help it grip a workpiece. The rotating jaw may be placed in one of three positions; install it in the upper position for now. You may move it later, as needed, without taking the horse apart. The treadle (S) slides in between the treadle support (N) and the treadle cleats (T). To fasten the treadle in place, just use a loose-fitting duplex head nail in a pre-drilled hole or a screw (Fig. A). This arrangement makes the treadle easy to remove.

12. Bolt together the lever arm assembly. There are two washers that act as spacers between the lever arms and the backup. To install these washers, tape them to the inside faces of the lever arm assembly. Slide the assembly over the horse's front end (Photo 10). Install the bolt through the levers and backup, then remove the tape. Bolt on the horse's front leg.

Build the Work Support

13. Glue together the ratchet bar (E) and ratchet (F). Plane them 1/16 to 1/8-in. thinner than the space between the horse's rails. Test the fit of this assembly between the horse's rails. It should easily slide up and down. Lay out the ratchets (Fig. G) and cut them on the bandsaw (Photo 11).

14. Screw and glue the ratchet cheeks (G) to the ratchet bar. Glue and screw the lower part of the work support to this assembly. Saw a v-shaped notch in the upper half of the work support, then glue and screw it to the lower half. The notch will help hold rounded workpieces.

15. To install the work support, tilt the lever arm assembly forward. Push down on the pivot's back end and slide the support down between die horse's rails (Photo 12). When you release the pivot, it will spring into one of die ratchets and secure the work support in position.

Add the Seat

16. Build the seat using plywood, foam rubber and leather or other durable upholstery material. Make the cleat (P) 1/16-in. thinner than the distance between the rails, so the seat is free to slide back and forth. You're ready to make shavings!

Design Alternatives

These plans are easy to modify to suit your needs or style of work. The seat is about 20-in. high, so you may want to change the length of the legs if you're tall or short.

Tom Donahey uses bolts and dowels to fasten togedier the major parts of the horse, which allows die user to take it apart for storage, transportation, modification or maintenance. Alternatively, you could glue the parts together for a classier look, but that would limit your options for making modifications.

lorr lever-arm assembly. It swings on a bolt that passes through the backup piece. There's a washer between each lever arm and the backup, so the arms will swing free. Tape these washers in place before-

nSaw ratchets on the column that holds the work support. It's made from two pieces glued together. Use a hardwood that's hard to split, such as sycamore or hard maple, for the piece that receives the ratchets.

1 O Assemble _L the work support, then install it by tipping back the spring-loaded pivot piece.

1 Q When all is -L assembled, add the seat. It's not fastened down, but slides between the horse's rails.This way, you can easily adjust the seat's position to a comfortable distance from your work-piece.

Wooden Truss Top Concrete

Figure C Front Leg Figure D Back Leg

Figure E Pivot

Figure F Backup

Figure J Treadle Figure K Seat

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Figure L Cutting Diagram

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Wood Working 101

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