Friday, June 5, 2015

A peg board for rugs (for horses)

The local horse club have arranged an event. It is in essence a competition, but with the small difference is that it will be possible to discuss the result with the judges after the class, so you can get an idea of what could be improved upon, and most importantly how you should improve on it yourself.
At normal events you get a critique, but you can't discuss it with the judges to get some tips to help you move on.

I have told my wife that I would like to sponsor a prize. Due to the time restraint (the event will take place Saturday), I have decided to make a peg board for rugs.

Organizing rugs is a well known challenge for people with horses in climates such as ours. A horse is expected to have the same amount of rugs as a modern city woman has got pairs of shoes..
A couple of years ago I made two peg boards for our rugs, and it is by far the most efficient solution I have seen. If the peg board is placed high enough on the wall, the rug can just hang like a normal persons coat without touching the floor. It makes it easy to see the different rugs and find the one you need.

The pegs were turned on the lathe from ash. Each peg is around 7" long and ends in a turned tenon of 1" in diameter.
A kerf is sawn in the tenon to accommodate a wedge.

The board itself is a 5" board with a thickness of 1.25". I have used one of my newly rehabbed moulding planes on the edge to make it look nice.
First I start by planing the moulding on the ends. To avoid the grain from tearing out, I mount a piece of scrap board of the same height behind the area I am planing. That way the plane starts in the actual board, and ends in a sacrificial board and tear out is avoided.
There is still a bit of tear out, since the plane is not designed to cut across the grain. But looks OK.

6 holes were drilled in the board to receive the tenons of the pegs.
The pegs were glued in and secured with a wedge.

I didn't make any holes in the board for mounting it, because those will need to be established on site.

Peg board for horse rugs.

Moulding on the end and close up of a peg.

Length 6' 


  1. Nice! That moulding looks perfect on that piece. I bet you are glad you got it working again.

    Will you finish the piece? I suppose it looks appropriate in a horse barn. Maybe it needs some red stain.

    Nice work!

    1. Hi Brian.

      My first idea was to finish it using some of my home made paste wax.
      But Mette was going over to the club to practise, and she wanted to bring it with her straight away. So I never got around to do any finishing.

      The plane is rally nice to use now, but I can see why people choose pretty clear wood for mouldings.


  2. That's a heck of a moulding for a large board! I love ash, it is such a nice wood to work. I hear some woodworkers say that is a "boring" wood with little character, but I don't see it that way. I prefer clear wood over highly figured stuff any day of the week.
    I have to say that I love your rustic work, and I say "rustic" as a very big compliment. Rustic work is my favorite, it just unfortunately does not work in my house. If you ever get a chance, check out the documentary "Alone in the Wilderness" It's about a man named Richard Proenneke who moved to the Alaskan wilderness and built a cabin and it's furniture with just an axe and some hand tools. They unfortunately do not focus as much time on the furniture as I would have liked, but it's still really interesting, and you can imagine that he builds "rustic" pieces. His story is probably the main reason I got into woodworking.

    1. Hi Bill

      Thanks for the nice comment.
      I'll try to check out the documentary, if I can find it on the Internet.
      I think that something rustic like the peg board would look would OK in our house, but I think generally we haven't really got one single "style". The kitchen is Shaker, and the living room is 50/50 with classic Scandinavian furniture and a veneered dining room set that once belonged to my aunt's mother.
      Something in the rustic style would normally be for the stable. As a side note, I am very pleased with the looks of the board after making a moulding. It looks much more complete compared to just a bevelled edge in my opinion.

      The ash wood was partly something that was left over from the chair building event of last year, and partly some that I had milled on the saw mill.
      I like ash, but I think that it is not the easiest wood for turning. it tends to tear out a bit when there is a long straight cylindrical portion. But it could also just be me that isn't very good at turning.
      The turned handles I made for the chisels were made out of hornbeam. That stuff was so forgiving to turn. It just looked nice no matter how I did it. I would love to get my hand on some more of that for turning purposes.

  3. I believe you can watch the documentary on youtube for free.

  4. Looking good!
    Glad to see you wedged your pegs. A detail often overlooked but it really make them that much stronger. Especially in your application. Now I'm curious as to what is a horse rug??
    Bob, the city boy

    1. Hi Bob.

      Thanks for the comment.
      Wedging the pegs is really important in my opinion. If they are not wedged they will soon become loose, and in that case people would have been better of using a normal heavy duty metal "peg".

      A horse rug is like a coat to put on a horse.
      Other names are "stable sheet", or "horse sheet". I suspect there might be even more names that I am not aware of.
      I think "horse rug" is the British word for it, so "stable sheet" might be the American one. I have no idea what the name is in Canada - it could be either one of them.

      The idea of a horse rug is to keep the horse warm in cold weather. most warm blood breeds are meant for slightly warmer climates. So they will benefit from a rug.
      If you don't put on a rug, the horse will grow a coat of fur itself to deal with the cold. But this will insulate the horse so much that if you ride it in the winter time, it will start to sweat. And then it will freeze when you stop riding it. And because it is the fur itself that is soaked in sweat you can not dry it easily.
      If you place a rug on the horse. The fur will not grow that much. some people (my wife included) will often trim the furs of the horse in the winter time to be even shorter. That way you can ride the horse and let it sweat, and when you stop riding, you dry it a bit with a towel and then you put the rug back on.
      Another benefit of the rug is that the horse will be a lot cleaner. They like to roll in the mud, and if they have a long fur, the mud will be kneaded into the fur. Then you will have to spend a lot of time to remove the caked mud before you can put the saddle on and go riding.
      In the summer some horses have "coolers" on. That is like a summer jacket to prevent them from cooling down too fast after heavy exercising.
      There are also some special very thin rugs designed to help kep fleis and mosquitoes away.

      We have three horses. I estimate that each of them has got maybe 6 or 7 different rugs. So a working system for organizing them is paramount.


  5. Wow, thanks for the clear explanation, like I said, I'm a city boy, now living in the country :-) Here these are simply called horse blankets by my friend who has horses, but I supposed the word rug is also used since like you said it is a British word.

    I learn something every day :-)

    1. Hi Bob.

      Glad to be able to help :-)

      Besides the peg boards for our own stable, I have made some holders for saddles, halters, tack etc.
      A thing that has also been a fine addition to the stable are some mushroom shaped pegs that are screwed to the front of each box. These hold the halters when the horses are in the box (it is larger than a stall). The fine thing about the mushroom shape is that no one will get hurt if the horse accidentally bumps into it, or pushes someone else into it for that matter. We try to avoid pointy object to minimize the risk of anyone getting hurt.