What’s a rocking horse without rockers? Deviating from the plans again, I always “fit” the rockers to the horse. Back “in the day” when we lived on Gabriel Drive, I remembered a technique Dad taught me in the basement work-shop, on how to cut an equal semi-circle. What was I? Eight or ten years old? Cutting the rockers “free-hand” is way beyond my ability!
In my 59 years on earth, I am finally getting the hang of the rockers actually matching! I DO cheat a little, clamping them together in the vise and belt sanding them in the same shape! And yes, they too are from solid oak…
Prior to “fitting” Rusty has already had two coats of sanding sealer, both coats steel-wooled with #000 wool… When I was a kid, Dad would leave notes for me on the dinning room table: “There are six parts on the work bench that I have cut out. They need sanding for tomorrow…” Man how I dreaded that job!
Dad and I agreed, THIS was the worst part of these projects! The angle of the hoofs, lining up with the angle of the rockers AND centering the horse on the rockers so that he’s not too heavy on one end or the other! I learn new curse words every time I get to this point!
Rustys’ rockers are satisfactorily fitted. He seems a bit “tall” for little people, so he is going to get “a leg up” for the little ones…. (see below)… The steps are wood I “salvaged” from a solid wood ceiling job I did some time ago…
Content with the steps, the balance of the horse on the rockers and overall appearance I am finally starting to feel some satisfaction and can see the finish line (though be it waaayyyy out there!)
Everything get disassembled so that the stairs and rockers get a coat of stain and sanding sealer. Yep, each coat gets hand sanded… Often times Dad would leave another note: “With regard to the sanding. The pieces are still on the work bench. You can do better!”
And so EVERYTHING gets another coat of sanding sealer, another steel wool rub down.
Now comes the fun. First coat of polyurethane varnish. Dad always said, “That is where most guys quit…” which when translated meant, “Sand it and do it again!”
Perhaps by the next posting, we will have this job completed. I hope so. Actual work on Rusty began back in September!!
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