Build An Heirloom Rocking Horse

For Your Child or Grandchild



While you can build this horse using only hand tools, I hope you can use a power band saw at least. I also recommend a router, a drill press, a table or radial arm saw and an electric sander or two. A complete shop will speed construction, but you can build this horse with very few tools. Here is a list of the tools I use.


My Tool List for Horses



Power tools


Bench mounted belt sander

Inflatable drum sander

Table saw

Band saw

Electric hand circular saw

Drill press

Table-mounted router

Hand tools


2 bar clamps

2 large C-clamps


Shallow sweep gouge


Minimum Tool List

These will get you a horse, but with more work.



Power tools


Table mounted router

Saber saw or band saw

Drill press or electric hand drill

Hand tools


2 bar clamps

2 large C-clamps


Spoke shave and hand plane


Nearly any woodworking project can be accomplished with only a sharp knife. As generations of toolmakers and craftspeople have added refinements and fixtures to hold various cutting edges, our work has gotten much easier. The point at which you start along this tool evolutionary line determines how long a project will take, not the quality of your finished work. Whether you have a dream shop or just a space in the basement with a few tools you can take pride in your work. Quality work comes from many differently equipped craftspeople.










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The cabinetmaker's first task was to see that all his tools were in excellent working order and that he had every tool he would possibly need. Each of the many tools in his shop had its own special function, and the cabinetmaker had to know just how, where, and when to employ each one.

The Cabinetmakers

Leonard Everett Fisher



There were a few tools in a corner of the cellar–a vise, files, a hammer, chisels, etc. that father had brought from Scotland, but no saw excepting a coarse crooked one that was unfit for sawing dry hickory or oak. So I made a fine–tooth saw suitable for my work out of a strip of steel that had formed part of an old–fashioned corset, that cut the hardest wood smoothly. I also made my own bradawls, punches, and a pair of compasses, out of wire and old files.

John Muir – 1912



...and it was after long searching that I found a carpenter's chest, which was indeed a very useful prize to me, and much more valuable than a ship loading of gold.

Robinson Crusoe, 1719

Daniel Defoe


This horse was made using my plans.

wood rocking horse

John Michael Linck - Toymaker

2618 Van Hise Avenue - Madison, Wisconsin 53705

Web site catalog at -

Telephone 608-231-2808

email -


Click to see all of John's toys