Saturday, December 23, 2017

Dad's Rocking Horse

While I was in Nevada I got to see this old rocking horse at my sister's place.
This one was built for my nephew, who now himself is a grown adult. My sister keeps it as a memento of his childhood, and as a keepsake of something my dad made.
I can't say for sure, but I think this project was the one that sparked my interest in woodworking. I remember helping my dad build a few of these when I was a young teenager.
Dad's method was to use the parts of a disassembled one as a pattern. He would cut it out of 1x6s or 1x8s with a jig saw, and use lots of sandpaper and Elmer's wood glue.

In fact, I think he built another group of these recently, one for his great-grandson.
I think it probably was painted with exterior house paint, and the details were painted on by my mom.
Looking at it now, with a bit more knowledge of how wood works in a project like this, I am impressed with the simplicity of the design. Likely the horse is attached to the rockers with screws, and the rockers themselves were just traced onto a board and cut out. I found a repair on one of the rockers - the rocker had split and cracked along the grain, and someone had glued it back in place and reinforced it with dowels. A nice repair.
Maybe someday I will build my own version of this rocking horse. It looks like a fun project. If anyone else would like to build it for their own family's use, I would love to see a picture.
Enjoy, and have a Merry Christmas!


  1. Awesome
    These are the projects that lives on forever, in our heart and as cherished objects to pass on in the family.

    Wherever this find you, Brian, have a great holiday with your love ones

    Bob and Rudy wagging his tail

    1. Hey Bob!

      I must apologize, as I responded to your post while I was traveling, and it must have been lost in the black hole of Blogger.

      Thanks for the reply. I agree, that this project, in particular, has always meant a lot to me.

      I hope your holidays were as nice as mine were!

  2. I remember my dad making a similar one for my sister who is 9 years younger than me. it too seemed to be an introduction to the cool things that could be made from wood. I wonder what ever happened to that, I'm sure it was passed on to other cousins, but I wonder where/if it resides today. Thanks for sharing an interesting bit of history.

    1. My Dad has probably made 20 of these over the years and given them to friends and relatives. This is the only one that I know of {besides the ones he just made}, that still survives.