Thomas C. Donahey | Southern Highland Craft Guild Skip to content

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Tom Donahey, who makes shaving horses for students at the school and also sells them on the school’s website. Tom has created an elegant design. “When I got into green woodworking, I already had a shaving horse,” Tom said. “It was the old style, big and clunky. I took a class from Brian Boggs, the well-known chairmaker from Berea, Kentucky, and he had brought along his own shaving horse. It was much better than mine. With Brian’s permission, I took photos of that horse, went home, and studied its construction.” Brian had developed a new feature: an adjustable, ratcheting work support (see photo below). Drew suggested a futher change: use a treadle instead of the traditional cross bar for applying foot pressure. “It’s much more comfortable,” he said. Tom built a few horses, with Brian’s permission, and started refining the design. Over the years, Tom has built more than 100 horses and streamlined their production. Tom has graciously allowed us to publish his design.

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