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Help with a spokeshave please

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richarddownunder

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Hi All

I've used spokeshaves from time to time, mostly on things like guitar necks, and have a couple of older Stanley flat-soled spokeshaves that work fairly well, one with the 2 adjusters and one without...actually the one without is probably the better tool. But I'm far from proficient with them, so need a bit of help please.

I was recently given a curved-sole stanley - a fairly modern example with a red pained cap. I spent an hour or two last night sharpening and adjusting, all to no avail. It seems to have a few issues that I'm not entirely sure how to solve:

1 The blade is pretty rubbish. It's not as hard and doesn't take anywhere need as good an edge as my old spokeshaves - fails the screwdriver test i.e. scratches deeply at the pointy end. The slots for the adjusters bound on the adjusters so I filed them a bit (yes filed with a needle file) which has helped adjustment a little. I could try buying a decent replacement blade but is it worth it for such a horrible tool?
2 The painted cap seems to just bunch up any shavings that I manage to get - and there are few of those as it mostly just chatters over the surface - it seems the cap is too far forward and prevents shavings from exiting.

I guess the question is, has anyone else had joy with these - can they be made to work well and what does that involve. I wondered about removing the paint from the cap and grinding it back 2 or 3 mm to help shaving removal, surely, like a plane cap iron, it needs to seat well on the blade? Also wondered about re-hardening the blade. I'd have thought blade bedding would also be important but the blade beds on paint. Should I try flattening that? Is it all worth the effort - can a silk purse be made from a sow's ear??

How much better are decent spokeshaves to use and are they worth the investment - I'm thinking Veritas or Clifton- I'm assuming both will be in a completely different league?

Thanks
Richard
 

El Barto

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One of the best spokeshaves I've used is this one, a Chinese copy of the Lie Nielsen Boggs pattern spokeshave.

https://www.workshopheaven.com/quangshe ... F8QAvD_BwE

I have the Lie Nielsen too and there's barely anything to distinguish them. In fact if this curved sole version had been around a year or two ago I probably wouldn't have bought the Lie Nielsen.
 

Cordy

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El Barto,
is your QUANGSHENG a Curved Sole ?

edit
ooops just seen that it is :oops: :oops:
 

El Barto

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Cordy":1saz1ogj said:
El Barto,
is your QUANGSHENG a Curved Sole ?

edit
ooops just seen that it is :oops: :oops:
Hi, no it's not, it's flat. The curved sole wasn't available when I bought it. I have the curved sole Lie Nielsen.
 

thetyreman

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sounds like a rubbish tool, the new ones aren't well made, vintage stanley 151's are good, not had a problem with my 151, and it has the original blade, really good steel, might be worth trying again with yours, are you sure the blade is sharp enough?

I recon you couldn't go wrong with veritas, clifton or lie neilsen if you did go for a more high end one, all of them good.
 

Trevanion

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I think some people like to pack underneath the blade occasionally on the Stanley type spokeshaves with something like packers made from tin cans to bring the blade up a couple of smidges so it doesn't have the tendency to snag in the cut as much due to the narrower mouth opening.
 

sunnybob

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I acquired a wooden handled spoke shave a while back. The blade is curved but the ends are upturned and tapered to fit into the wood. You just tap the blade to make the gap smaller and tap the points to make it wider.
The blade looks very agricultural, but the wooden handle is obviously machine turned.
Still waiting for a need to use it though :roll: :roll: :roll:
 

Woody2Shoes

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richarddownunder":1sniktao said:
Hi All

I've used spokeshaves from time to time, mostly on things like guitar necks, and have a couple of older Stanley flat-soled spokeshaves that work fairly well, one with the 2 adjusters and one without...actually the one without is probably the better tool. But I'm far from proficient with them, so need a bit of help please.

I was recently given a curved-sole stanley - a fairly modern example with a red pained cap. I spent an hour or two last night sharpening and adjusting, all to no avail. It seems to have a few issues that I'm not entirely sure how to solve:

1 The blade is pretty rubbish. It's not as hard and doesn't take anywhere need as good an edge as my old spokeshaves - fails the screwdriver test i.e. scratches deeply at the pointy end. The slots for the adjusters bound on the adjusters so I filed them a bit (yes filed with a needle file) which has helped adjustment a little. I could try buying a decent replacement blade but is it worth it for such a horrible tool?
2 The painted cap seems to just bunch up any shavings that I manage to get - and there are few of those as it mostly just chatters over the surface - it seems the cap is too far forward and prevents shavings from exiting.

I guess the question is, has anyone else had joy with these - can they be made to work well and what does that involve. I wondered about removing the paint from the cap and grinding it back 2 or 3 mm to help shaving removal, surely, like a plane cap iron, it needs to seat well on the blade? Also wondered about re-hardening the blade. I'd have thought blade bedding would also be important but the blade beds on paint. Should I try flattening that? Is it all worth the effort - can a silk purse be made from a sow's ear??

How much better are decent spokeshaves to use and are they worth the investment - I'm thinking Veritas or Clifton- I'm assuming both will be in a completely different league?

Thanks
Richard
I have Veritas, Quangsheng (Boggs/LN copy) and LN spokeshaves - they are like night and day compared with the modern cheap stanley 51/151 copies (I tried some and they were unuseable). I have a couple of vintage spokeshaves from a local car boot sale - an old stanley 53 with an adjustable mouth and a Rapier low angle one (upon which the Veritas LA design is based) - they are both excellent.

Conclusion: modern cheap spokeshave are almost without exception, garbage (ridiculous mouth geometry, poor quality blade steel, poor casting design/finishing etc. etc.). Modern, premium ones like I've mentioned are well worth the extra money.

Personally, I wouldn't bother with a wooden spokeshave - they're fiddly to adjust and the wood - unless there's a metal wear strip - wears unacceptably after a bit of heavy use. Their advantage, if they have one, is the low angle of blade presentation - but I have my trusty Rapier for that.
 

Hand Plane

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My spokeshaves, as shown, have been reduced to :-




Stanley 063 (curved); can't remember how I got it, no doubt for not a lot
Wooden (curved) (found in my father's workshop, very old)
Preston (flat) (also found in my father's workshop)

They are all good to use. I need a shim on the Stanley and the Preston get the blade parallel to the mouth. I have made jigs so that they can be sharpened or honed on my Tormek.

I have no problem setting up the wooden one. It's very low angle is very sharp and good for fine finishes. I have refurbished other wooden ones, and given them away when I was happy with them.

Some years ago I also acquired a pair of Faithful spokeshaves (one curved, one flat) - and despite spending a lot of time fettling them, they live in a drawer. A waste of time.

I haven't tried a LN or Veritas. I use a Veritas low angle block plane and well pleased with it - one of the better purchases I have made, and it has paid itself off many times over.

My view is go for the older tools if and when you come across them, but I wouldn't hesitate to splash the cash for LN or Veritas if I had the need.
 

richarddownunder

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Hi All

thanks for your comments. I might try a shim to reduce the mouth (although I doubt it will allow any shavings out then, but thanks for the idea). Overall, it sounds like it's not really worth spending much time on. Yes, I have the blade as sharp as it will get and it doesn't really seem to help much. I'll look out for an old one and might invest in a good new one at some stage. Has anyone tried the Clifton (being a bit of a fan of their planes)?

Cheers
Richard
 

sunnybob

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I have the same wooden one in the middle of the three. :shock: :lol:
 

AndyT

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sunnybob":7mu522jv said:
I acquired a wooden handled spoke shave a while back. The blade is curved but the ends are upturned and tapered to fit into the wood. You just tap the blade to make the gap smaller and tap the points to make it wider.
The blade looks very agricultural, but the wooden handle is obviously machine turned.
Still waiting for a need to use it though :roll: :roll: :roll:
Drifting off-topic a bit, but if your spokeshave is like the one shown by Hand Plane, it was entirely hand made. They used to be offered in a huge variety of sizes and variants. Put that alongside skilled workers who could switch from one style to another as the orders came in, and it was never worth gearing up to make them by machine.

Tools used included a bowsaw, drawknife, chisels, rasps, scraper and glasspaper. Oh, and another spokeshave. Plus a tapered drill and a tapered square drift.

Sheffield manufacturing of them ceased in about 1966.

Back on topic, there are apparently some spokeshave shaped objects on sale which even the most dedicated users of cheap tools cannot make work. Here's Rex Krueger giving up on a $6 dollar shave

https://youtu.be/5lDyTPctWOk
 

Woody2Shoes

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AndyT":2qfofql2 said:
.... Rex Krueger giving up on a $6 dollar shave

https://youtu.be/5lDyTPctWOk ....
I like his videos. My experience with a 'faithfull' one was spookily similar, except the adjustment rods were too small for the threaded holes in the casting and for the adjustment nuts. Unadjustable, but in a slightly different but equally sad way!
 

richarddownunder

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Well, I have spent a bit longer playing with shimming the blade and generally fiddling. I think I'll put it aside and do something more productive as I really cant get it to do anything useful unless there is a role for small corrugations on a wooden surface:unsure:. I guess all they say about modern Stanley tools is true (this is the first modern one I have had my hands on). They are not even that cheap new!

Cheers
Richard
 

richarddownunder

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Hi again

been thinking about this spokeshave and reading a few blogs. It can't be so complicated. I wonder if anyone had made (or bought) a thick (3mm) iron for theirs which would close the mouth? Would this reduce chatter? How about a Ray Iles one? Adjustable Spoke Shave Iron RI010A - Stanley No. 151, 151M, 151R, 152; and Record A151, A151R, 0151R


Or, is there something inherently wrong with the design of the new Stanleys that I am missing (mine looks similar to earlier models, just poorly finished)?

Cheers
Richard
 
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johnnyb

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spokeshaves especially curved sole ones can be difficult to master. a technique I always use is to rock it forward so its riding on the front bit and not taking a cut gradually lower until it's taking a small cut
 

TheTiddles

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I have the small LN ones and they are very finicky, they work nicely when set up right but are apparently only supposed to take thin shavings whereas wooden shaves I’ve used In the past were far more aggressive. Perhaps that’s the case with yours too?

Aidan
 
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