Thursday, 22 November 2007

Varnishing the hoof rails

End of the sanding in sight!

I finished sanding the hoof rails and varnished them to make me feel I was getting somewhere. After advice on Rocking Horse Elite's eBay group I decided to use a shellac varnish as this is what would have been on there originally.

I used Rustin's French Polish, but painted it on instead of doing the whole French polishing bit with a rubber and linseed oil. Then I reduced the shine a little with 0000 grade wire wool. The varnish gives the wood a lovely mellow amber colour.

Saturday, 10 November 2007

Tum te tum te tum...

Trying to think of something interesting to say about sanding...
The photo shows the left hoof rail, worn down by the feet of Zaphod's riders. It's much more worn than the right rail, as rocking horses, like real ones, are traditionally mounted from the left. It's why rocking horses' manes fall to the right, so they don't get in the way.

I believe most of the wear was done in Zaphod's early years, when he wasn't called Zaphod and had his original head. Children had fewer toys at the end of the nineteenth century, and no television or computers. Any child lucky enough to own a rocking horse probably played with it a lot.

Strange to think of those long-ago Victorian children.

(You can see there's still traces of the red paint. Grrr.)