Dayl Gable's Rocking Horse

This carved rocking horse is an engineering breakthrough.

SHOP OWNER: Dayl Gable
LOCATION: Riegelsville, PA

    This rocking horse is a gift for my niece's new baby girl. I agreed to make it because I needed a break from my regular, smaller-scale, work. I attempted to stretch the horizons of rocking horse technology, by making a horse in galloping position with only one hind leg attached to the rockers. It probably has been done before, but I couldn't find anything on the Web.
Dayl Gable's Rocking Horse

    As a rule, horses' legs are rather spindly, but as a caricature I could beef them up. The horse's hind legs' minimum cross-sections measure about 1 3/4 in. by 2 in., which is a lot larger then a 30-caliber rifle pistol grip, and they are in 1-in. opposing-grain laminations.
    I tested the strength of this arrangement with the rockers clamped. When jerking the nose sideways there is some flex, but I think it would take at least a 100-lb. force to break it. Downward jerking, which is the direction it would encounter while in use, results in less flex. If they didn't feel comfortable, I could have reinforced them with steel rods.
Dayl Gable's Rocking Horse

    This project proved to be more work than I expected. Now I have a new respect for Michelangelo's Pieta, which I saw as a kid at the 1962 New York Worlds Fair.

...Dayl Gable

[EDITOR'S NOTE: Dayl Gable is an extremely accomplished carver whom I have known for over 20 years. His carvings are extremely original representational forms, such as bowls with inlaid butterflies or soaring hawks. He has work on display somewhere on the Web, and I'll post the URL here when I get it.]




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