Thursday, 19 July 2012

My kingdom for a horse: Part Deux

As I continue on the sharp learning curve that is making rocking horses I'm in awe of everyone at Tetbury Rocking Horse Works. This is no production line - we all have to know the skills required for every step of the process.

Step 1: Multiple shoulders cut out with the bandsaw
Step 2: My 'bodies' (hollowed and made from 3 rectangular wood pieces with square 'ends' attached to the legs) have been glued together, the heads attached. Having successfully created the basic angular bodies for several 'steeds'we make sure the shoulders fit exactly - we don’t want to have to ‘fill’ and any pockets of air will weaken the horse. Shoulders are glued onto the body.
Step 3: A pile of rocking horses waiting for me to glue the shoulders in position.
Step 4: Shoulders clamped firmly in place. These will be left to ‘set’ overnight.
Step 5: I now start cutting out muscles with the jigsaw for forequarters and hindquarters which, with their overlap of the leg/body join, will help make the horses stronger.
Step 6  These are then carefully glued into place (making sure the right muscles are at the front and back!) and clamps applied to ensure there's no air left between joints and the pieces are in exactly the right positions.

My next lesson will be in 'turning' to make the beautiful carved posts that the safety rockers are supported on. Fingers crossed (if I still have them) that I don't muck it up! Watch this space....

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