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Spokeshaves

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marcros

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Is my life lacking because I don't have much of an arsenal with regards to spoke shaves?

I have a new spokeshave knocking around somewhere, bought from Screwfix and of zero quality. I struggled to get it to work when I needed it last and found an alternative method. It would probably have been a mix of user error and a poor quality tool.

Assuming that I can overcome the user error and spend enough to get something capable of working properly, what shaves are most widely used for general furniture making? I see flat, convex and concave versions available. What uses do each have?
 

John15

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I have a Stanley 151 for flat or gentle curves and a Stanley convex shape 152(?) for concave curves (I think I have that correct). My success varies. It all seems to rely on sharpness and protrusion of the blade to me anyway. Hopefully the experts on here will give better advise.

John
 

Jacob

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Stanley 151 or Record 0151 both good, Record slightly better made though I had to extra countersink the lever cap on a Record because it kept slipping
Best way to get familiar with how they cut is to practice on the edge of a thin board in the vice, say 1/4" - it'll still probably work even if badly set up and you can see how/why - see how different parts of the blade cut differently (if they do) - watch the shavings coming out
Best way to sharpen is to hold the blade in a saw kerf in the end of a bit of 2" x 1/2" say 6" long and freehand at 30º approx . Don't oeuf about with primary/secondary/tertiary bevels, or honing jigs or it can get really tedious!

PS just googled for a YT demo. Hit on this daft yank. Ignore everything he says and does. Not least his dangerous use of TS with his fingers only inches away. A SS blade shouldn't go anywhere near a grindstone they are too thin. Hone only.
It's a bit of a shocker that there is so much bad information out there.
 
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Just4Fun

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I own precisely 1 spokeshave, which ISTR is a Stanley 151. I bought it for a specific project, based on advice I received on this forum. It worked for that job. I have rarely used it apart from that but when it does get a workout it is a joy to use. Not sure why, but it is a very satisfying process. The sharper it is the easier it is to use so don't skimp on the sharpening.
 

yetloh

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I must admit I have never found a metal shave that I liked.. I then bought the flat and convex versions of the Woodjoy shaves , I think from Classic Hand Tools. I have done loads of complex curved work with these and they are brilliant. Push pull Allen screw adjustment is great, extremely fine and precise and it means the blades have no tang of any sort so are very easy to sharpen and hold an excellent edge. Expensive but, in my book, worth every penny.

Jim
 

Sean Hellman

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Best spokeshave is the long handled Veritas one. Well made and designed works a treat. Everyone who uses it loves it, nice wide toe on it so it does not tip forward like the record metal ones, which are meant to be used on the push with the thumbs on the purpose made thumb plates. Sometimes I use a wooden one as that works better on some woods.
 

pe2dave

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Use: For curves, I doubt any other plane can compare in these cases (E.g. spokes?)
To sharpen, look out Paul Sellers video, youtube. 6x2x1/2, but mount pins as per the body, then (I used) an insert to screw
down the blade. That way it sharpens just like a #4 plane. There you are
 

Jacob

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Use: For curves, I doubt any other plane can compare in these cases (E.g. spokes?)
To sharpen, look out Paul Sellers video, youtube. 6x2x1/2, but mount pins as per the body, then (I used) an insert to screw
down the blade. That way it sharpens just like a #4 plane. There you are
I do exactly as his first demo - just a saw kerf. His problem is that he skews the blade so it gets pushed sideways. If you push it straight it stays in place even if loose - somebody should tell him to skew his sharpening plates instead so he can do a straight push!
It's not just for beginners - a primitive holder means more pressure/control and faster work.
If you scale it up (say 12" long) and make a holder for plane blades it makes freehand grinding viable on the coarse side of a Norton stone - you can put a lot of effort into it and don't risk blueing on the bench grindstone.
 
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pe2dave

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I do exactly as his first demo - just a saw kerf. His problem is that he skews the blade so it gets pushed sideways. If you push it straight it stays in place even if loose - somebody should tell him to skew his sharpening plates instead so he can do a straight push!
Not having his 50+ years as a professional I wouldn't advise him of anything :) I made one along this design (in fact sharpened a blade yesterday) and I'm quite happy with the result.
Paul hones his plane blades in a figure of eight (not something I've achieved) to balance edge to edge honing.
 

Jacob

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Not having his 50+ years as a professional I wouldn't advise him of anything :) I made one along this design (in fact sharpened a blade yesterday) and I'm quite happy with the result.
Paul hones his plane blades in a figure of eight (not something I've achieved) to balance edge to edge honing.
Doesn't have to be literally a figure of eight more just a varied pattern of movement to spread the load. To and fro, round and round etc.
Come to think I've been a "professional" for 50 years too - but proper trad woodwork didn't start for me until 1982. Before that was doing a variety of craft work including simple wood stuff. Being a late starter seems to mean feeling like a permanent beginner somehow.
 

Tuna808

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Spokeshaves are my favourite of the hand tools by far.It is tactile and once the technique is acquired the uses are infinite.
Needless to say like all tools they must be super sharp and SET properly,which if not done can result in frustration.
To sharpen I simply have a piece of wood about 100 x width of blade x12 mms with a slot cut for the blade to fit snugly.I do also round the corner of the blade very slightly .
Have both stanley and record they’re both great.
A47CF538-0CDC-41A3-AF2F-129964233C4E.jpeg

Downloaded is a photo( couldn’t download the video file is too big) of the spokeshave in use on a double winded staircase which I started just before the first lockdown and had to be super creative with the materials in hand to make a temporary handrail to make it safe.
 

yetloh

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Spokeshaves (and drawknives) are wondeful for working in the round and will teach you more about coping with changes in grain direction in a few hours than years of working with square stuff. A good shave gives loads of feedback through the tool and into the fingers about what is going on at the cuting edge.
 

segovia

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I use the Veritas for carving guitar necks, I could do with a smaller one and would pull the trigger on the small brass Lei Neilson if they were to come available again. There is something brewing with LN I am sure, can't get any of their products at the mo. I know COVID is a factor but most places have manged to keep supply going
 

shed9

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I have several spoke shaves from old Stanley's and Preston's to some LN and Veritas versions. My favourites are the LN Boggs flat and the LN bronze flat model along with the low angle Veritas one. Obviously and as already pointed out, they need setting up right and need to be sharp but apart from that they just work. The Veritas low angle shave takes some getting used to but that is user experience more than a tool issue.

My work requires using shaves a fair bit so I spent some time trying many models. The Stanley's are good and work but I find the LN and Veritas models nicer to work with. If I had to I would use older Stanleys and / or Records without complaint, I just enjoy using the newer models is all.

Of course as already noted, getting hold of Lie Nielsen tools right now is a hard task although I'm not sure I subscribe to there being any issue beyond the pandemic affecting supply. Lie Nielsen has a very sustainable business model and that in itself is impacting that supply chain.
 
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