I had a great email exchange with Brian Boggs (who designed the shavehorse in my last post) about the suggestions and issues that I had regarding the design. I knew setting out that some of the intended advantages of the horse were based on the type of work that it was meant for, but I was surprised to hear some of his response. With Brian's consent, here is a portion of his response.
"Pete...Funny to see my horse design so many places. I don't know if you have seen the article I wrote about it in FWW years ago. It's available on line if you are a member of the online forum thingy. There are a lot of things I mention in the article about how to build the horse to fit your body. Most folks don't do that, but follow the given numbers instead. That extension of the lower jaw in front of the upper jaw is an important part of how I use a horse. I do a fair bit of end grain finishing on the horse and the downward pressure I give it requires that extension. If it is in the way by all means lop it off, but I find that man people have changed the design without understanding why it is made the way it is and often don't understand what they are doing.
For various work demands I have envisioned a few different interchangeable lower jaws. They pull right out in a second so you could have a few different models with different angles or whatever your needs demand. I have wanted one that has an adjustable stop in the front so I can shave short stuff. With this design the top jaw pushes the pin against
the front stop much like a bench dog system holds work. This allows full exposure of short stuff, nothing hidden under the jaw.
I was not expecting schools to have them, but in this case adjustable foot bars would be a great addition to the adjustable seat. I personally like the horse to be as tall as I can mount to increase the leverage with a longer pivot.
I always like hearing new ideas about tool design, especially from fresh perspectives like yours. You made some good suggestions. Too often the ideas come out of being stuck in one mindset and unwilling to open up to something one isn't used to."
I wanted to share this because I was pleased to hear that my ideas weren't too cranky, and to offer an example of a craftsman with an open and inquisitive mindset.
I initially hesitated to write the original post for the simple reason that it's uncomfortable to speak to another's design, but Brian's gracious response put it all in the right order.