Select Page

I spent a few days with full time professional green woodworker Neill Mapes in the West of England, where he very kindly allowed me to document his entire process for building a ‘Bodgers’ style Shave Horse entirely from scratch using a freshly felled piece of Ash from a local woodland, using a combination of hand and power tools

Yes this is a very long video but this is literally three days worth of process condensed as much as possible into video form so as not to miss out any and all essential information. Also Neill was eager to cover as many techniques as possible so as to give you options when building your very own Shave Horse

To connect with Neill Mapes:

Facebook –

Instagram –

To find out more about the Small Wood organisation:

Website –

Below is a detailed timeline of every single component of this tutorial should you wish to skip to that particular segment:

00h 00m 00s – Intro

00h 03m 31s – Example of a Bodgers style shave horse

00h 07m 31s – Assessing the piece of Ash and making a score line

00h 10m 28s – Splitting the Ash with metal wedges

00h 15m 25s – Severing the straps (fibres) with an axe

00h 18m 48s – Securing the split Ash with Timber Dogs

00h 22m 17s – Making a straight line on the split Ash using a chalk line

00h 23m 07s – Neill discussing how he is going to level the face of the split piece of Ash

00h 25m 26s – Levelling the face of the split Ash with a small forest axe

00h 27m 50s – Making some stop cuts on the face of the split Ash with a chainsaw

00h 30m 47s – Levelling the face of the split Ash with a broad axe

00h 33m 08s – Type of woods you can use to make a shave horse

00h 34m 46s – Marking the length of the shave horse

00h 36m 15s – Laying the Ash on its front and marking the central line / outline

00h 43m 10s – Shaping the saddle with an adze

00h 49m 08s – Shaping the saddle with an in-shave

00h 53m 54s – Shaping the saddle & surface with a travisher

01h 04m 10s – Milling a plank using an Alaskan chainsaw mill

01h 08m 26s – Cleaving the legs

01h 12m 38s – Shaping the legs with an axe

01h 18m 32s – Shaping the legs with a draw knife

01h 23m 54s – Shaping a round tenon on the leg using a rounder plane

01h 28m 25s – Drilling the holes for the legs using a scotch eyed auger

01h 34m 20s – Inserting the leg into the body

01h 37m 13s – All legs fitted and testing stability of the shave horse

01h 38m 11s – Cutting the side arms from the plank using a saw

01h 45m 16s – Cutting the ramp from the plank using a saw

01h 47m 25s – Discussing and making the wedge / block that goes underneath the ramp

01h 50m 12s – Discussing the side arms and the round pieces that go into it

01h 54m 48s – Cleaving the round components

01h 57m 17s – Shaping the round pieces with an axe

02h 01m 12s – Shaping the round pieces with a draw knife

02h 04m 31s – An introduction to Pole Lathe

02h 07m 23s – Turning the round foot piece that attaches to the bottom of the side arms

02h 17m 21s – Turning the round clamp piece that attaches to the top of the side arms

02h 26m 25s – Turning the round pivot piece that attaches to the middle of the side arms

02h 33m 24s – Turning the round peg piece that locks the ramp in place

02h 38m 35s – Techniques for cutting a Tenon if you don’t have a Rounder Plane

02h 43m 30s – Looking at all four round pieces that were turned

02h 45m 12s – Measurements for the holes on the side arms

02h 46m 33s – Tweaking the top round clamp piece so it grips wood better

02h 48m 48s – Drilling the holes in the side arms using a Brace & Bit

02h 53m 02s – Using a steel wire on the pole lathe to add an effect to one of the round pieces

02h 54m 17s – Doing a dry run to check that all the round pieces fit into the side arms ok

02h 55m 16s – Drilling the holes into the main body using a brace & bit

03h 01m 34s – Drilling the hole into the ramp using a brace & bit

03h 05m 30s – Carving oak pegs with a straight edge knife and drilling holes the holes for it

03h 07m 58s – Conclusion

As always I appreciate you watching

Take care