Making a tool to finish a tool

by Lambdafarm on April 28, 2011

I enjoy using hand tools.  I am building a shaving horse to use in cleaning the bark off oak poles.  They will become fence posts, furniture, and other things.  When building the shaving horse, the legs are set at a slight angle so they are more sturdy.  They are also tapered so that the weight of the occupant pushes the seat down into the legs and makes that sturdier, as well.

I managed to make the angled pilot holes for the legs, only to realize I had no way to make the tapered holes.  I looked for the taper tool online, and found one picture of it and one place that sells a reproduction of one for $60.  Wow.  From the picture, I realized it is a cone of wood with a dowel running perpendicular to the cone.  That is used to turn it into the hole.  A blade or scraper is embedded in the tool with just a bit sticking out.

The wood needs to be hard, preferably harder than the wood you are using for the chair, seat, or whatever.  Well, that meant oak was out, as that was what I would be reaming with the taper.  I cut a small osage orange tree, or bois d’arc as we call them around here.  The wood is very hard and it has thorns.  Settlers in the area made hedgerows of them to keep in cattle.  The heartwood has an orange tint, and oxydizes to the bright yellow of a smily face.  It also stains everything it touches when wet.

I am still working on this tool, and hope to have pictures of the finished product soon.  Cutting a two inch by one foot cone out of a 2.5 inch by one foot sapling with a bow saw is interesting.  I have one dimension cut and have the other to go.  I also have a hacksaw blade to use as a scraper.

Stay tuned for the further adventures of making the taper.

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