Monthly Archives: July 2013

Build an Heirloom Rocking Horse – revised

Horse book images 6  1

I have been a pretty busy fellow this month. Over the past few weeks I have revised and updated my book, Build an Heirloom Rocking Horse. This means more pictures, more color and updated content, though its still the same horse as before. Hopefully the changes make the project easier for all the builders out there. Also, for the first time, there is a downloadable pdf version of the book for viewing, printing and sharing as well as the usual html version on my website. Many of you asked for a printed book on the workbench as you build the horse; now its much easier to print your own. Look for the download link on the Title page of the online book. Its 37 pages of step by step horse building ideas with dozens of pictures showing each step along the way plus a bit of woodworking history and quotes about wood, craftsmanship and trees.

If you are willing would you help to make this a better book? While I have made hundreds of horses over the decades, describing the process in print is a challenge. Please send me your ideas, questions or comments describing where my instructions are unclear to you. I will use them to make the book easier to follow. And if you have discovered other methods you favor, send them as well. I hope to never stop learning.

Feel free to share this book with anyone, in fact please do. Though protected by copyright it is free. I wrote the book to make it easy for anyone to give an heirloom to their child or grandchild. My library has dozens of plans for rocking horses and some of my techniques can make construction stronger and easier. If someone wants to build my design as pictured above I offer full size plans for $12.00 as described near the end of the book.

The redesign of is moving forward though this involves far more time than the book. My current site is still in the 90’s design wise and I hope to skip the whole first decade of this century and come up with a simpler yet much improved presentation. It is a challenge. As always it will continue to be found at Look for changes to appear online this Autumn.

Best Summer to you,
and thanks for liking my toys. john

Acts of creation are ordinarily reserved for gods and poets. 
To plant a pine, one need only own a shovel.

Aldo Leopold


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Fascinating Wood and Resin Table

Fascinating Wood and Resin Table

I found these folks on the wonderful site Core77. They come from British Columbia and gather their wood on Vancouver Island, one of my favorite places on earth. See more of their work at

One who works with their hands is a laborer; one who works with hands and brain is a craftsperson; but one who works with hands and brain and heart is an artist.

paraphrasing Louis Nizer (1902 – 1994)

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July 8, 2013 · 4:59 pm

7 Old-Timey Summer Past Times With Kids


Check out Eve Vawter’s post on Eve and I could have grown up on the same block. I don’t remember pin ball, but all her other ideas sound so familiar. Maybe to you too.

Most of my favorite childhood memories have to do with summer, and when I think about ALL OF THE BEST times I had I realize that my own kids have done none of the things I did when I was young that were totally amazing and awesome and beyond fun.

And most of her ideas happen outside. Richard Louv, author of “Last child in the woods, saving our children from nature-deficit disorder”, would approve.

If you pay attention, kids will teach you how to laugh loudly, how to love deeply and how to live fully. They will also ruin all your stuff.

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