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The Millers Falls No. 1 Cigar Shave

by Smitty_Cabinetshop
posted 09-08-2016 12:15 PM


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57 replies

57 replies so far

View Combo Prof's profile

Combo Prof

3916 posts in 1782 days


#1 posted 09-08-2016 01:27 PM

Excellent idea to post this. Now the information won’t be lost when an LJ (probably me) finally acquires a cigar shave.

-- Don K, (Holland, Michigan)

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AnthonyReed

10105 posts in 2945 days


#2 posted 09-08-2016 01:31 PM

methodologiea” :-)

-- ~Tony

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theoldfart

10903 posts in 2956 days


#3 posted 09-08-2016 02:30 PM

Good idea posting this Smitty.

-- "With every tool obtained, there is another that is needed" DonW ( Kevin )

View KelleyCrafts's profile

KelleyCrafts

3922 posts in 1244 days


#4 posted 09-08-2016 03:16 PM

Awesome!

-- Dave - http://kelleycrafts.com/ - pen blanks - knife scales - turning tools

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Johnny7

472 posts in 1595 days


#5 posted 09-08-2016 04:48 PM

Thanks Smitty!

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Smitty_Cabinetshop

16190 posts in 3123 days


#6 posted 09-08-2016 06:07 PM

Re-posting OldTools Archive content put on the Epic Thread yesterday:


I followed this discussion with great interest
last month on the problems with tuning a Millers
Falls number 1 spokeshave. I have one that I
had sharpened, and I’d made some shavings with
it, but never really used it. Today I was
working on a frame saw, and I thought that MF #1
would do the trick on some curvy bits.
Well, the only way I’d gotten this thing to take
shavings before was by opening the mouth about
3/8”. I took heed of some of the advice I’d
overheard on the Porch, here, and started grinding
the bevel of the blade. I removed metal from the
heel of the blade so that there would be a more
acute angle at the edge. I tried to avoid taking
away any metal right at the edge, just trying
to grind a sharper bevel so the heel of the blade
would sit lower. The more acute I made the angle,
the more I could close up the mouth and still take
a shaving. Once I got it to about 1/16”, I left
it. Works MUCH better now.

I can understand how uneducated users of these would
grind steeper bevels on them if they didn’t know
any better. It takes some work to grind it correctly.
This is probably why there are lots of old ones out
there that “don’t work very well.”

By the way, mine has a patent date of Feb 19, 1884.
It has four screw holes, a shallow bevel about 1/16”
wide inside the mouth, and both handles screw on
clockwise.

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. -- OldTools Archive --

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Don W

19329 posts in 3072 days


#7 posted 09-08-2016 06:08 PM

Don’t have one, don’t need one
Don’t have one, don’t need one
Don’t have one, don’t need one
Don’t have one, don’t need one

-- http://timetestedtools.net - Collecting is an investment in the past, and the future.

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile

Smitty_Cabinetshop

16190 posts in 3123 days


#8 posted 09-08-2016 06:11 PM

^ Who are you, and what have you done with Don W?

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. -- OldTools Archive --

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Don W

19329 posts in 3072 days


#9 posted 09-08-2016 06:41 PM

See, I can now say I’ve limited my collecting!

-- http://timetestedtools.net - Collecting is an investment in the past, and the future.

View theoldfart's profile

theoldfart

10903 posts in 2956 days


#10 posted 09-08-2016 06:53 PM

Sure! Right! Uhhhh!

-- "With every tool obtained, there is another that is needed" DonW ( Kevin )

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Smitty_Cabinetshop

16190 posts in 3123 days


#11 posted 09-08-2016 06:58 PM

This would be a user, Don. Think of it that way and it’s not collecting.

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. -- OldTools Archive --

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JayT

6292 posts in 2716 days


#12 posted 09-08-2016 07:04 PM

Don, I thought you had moved from collector to hoarder. Hoarders don’t have a ceiling (at least most can’t see it because of all the stuff) so if you don’t want a cigar shave, you’ll have to change your sig line.

-- https://www.jtplaneworks.com - In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice, there is.

View Brit's profile

Brit

7798 posts in 3347 days


#13 posted 09-08-2016 07:07 PM

I’ve bid on a few over the years. Haven’t been successful yet. Good ones are not that common over here. Moore and Wright made one too.

I would guess any info applies to both makes.

-- Andy - Old Chinese proverb says: "If you think something can't be done, don't interrupt man who is doing it."

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Smitty_Cabinetshop

16190 posts in 3123 days


#14 posted 09-08-2016 07:08 PM

By the looks of that cutter, I’d agree with your guess. Good looking tool, that is!

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. -- OldTools Archive --

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Boatman53

1062 posts in 2701 days


#15 posted 09-08-2016 10:12 PM

Hey Don if you make it to the show I’ve got an extra one I can let go pretty reasonably. The handles don’t match so I thought I’d have time to turn one or two out of some exotic wood. Instead I found one in good condition and don’t have to do a thing.
Jim

-- Jim, Mid coast, Maine Ancorayachtservice.com home of the chain leg vise

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Don W

19329 posts in 3072 days


#16 posted 09-08-2016 10:35 PM

Life decided I had more important things to do Jim. Maybe next time. Ugghh

-- http://timetestedtools.net - Collecting is an investment in the past, and the future.

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile

Smitty_Cabinetshop

16190 posts in 3123 days


#17 posted 09-09-2016 12:02 AM

Added Kelly Tool Works instruction above. And this snipped from a discussion board around 2009:


The cutter is very difficult to hold while honing and requires a main and back bevel to cut properly. I double stick tape the cutter to a section of dowel and use sandpaper on a granite plate as the sharpening medium.

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. -- OldTools Archive --

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TheFridge

10859 posts in 1991 days


#18 posted 09-09-2016 12:11 AM

Filthy enablers I tell you.

4” cabriole legs do sound pretty awesome though.

-- Shooting down the walls of heartache. Bang bang. I am. The warrior.

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runswithscissors

3071 posts in 2530 days


#19 posted 09-09-2016 03:18 AM

The cigar shave is good for peeling carrots and spuds, too.

-- I admit to being an adrenaline junky; fortunately, I'm very easily frightened

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Aidan1211

198 posts in 1331 days


#20 posted 09-12-2016 03:52 AM

But you know YOU WANT ONE! I’ll let you borrow one of mine sometime…..... When I’m not using it. Wait never mind I’m always using them. Pain in the butt to tune and sharpen, once done it’s awesome.


Don t have one, don t need one
Don t have one, don t need one
Don t have one, don t need one
Don t have one, don t need one

- Don W

-- its better to plan on the task at hand than actually doing it........ You look smarter.

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waho6o9

8767 posts in 3082 days


#21 posted 09-12-2016 04:01 AM

Good stuff, thanks Smitty!

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BrentParkin

140 posts in 1440 days


#22 posted 09-20-2016 04:44 PM

Looked for one of these for ages. Then discovered the brand new Kelly Tool Works one in the 90’s. Bought the KTW and then found a real MF one the following week. I have never bothered to clean up the MF one. It’s in a drawer somewhere…. LOL.

-- Regards,

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mafe

12104 posts in 3594 days


#23 posted 09-27-2016 05:06 PM

Sexy!
And I miss one in my workshop…
Always found them beautiful and would love one day to run into one.
Thanks for the info.
Best thoughts,
Mads

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

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smance

5 posts in 1558 days


#24 posted 10-01-2016 09:54 PM

Can’t wait to find one myself. Thanks for the info.

View Ocelot's profile

Ocelot

2347 posts in 3143 days


#25 posted 05-05-2017 10:59 AM

Found it. When it arrives, I’ll know what I’ve really bought. This thread is helpful already.

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Ocelot

2347 posts in 3143 days


#26 posted 05-08-2017 10:09 PM

The MF No 1 arrived. I’m fearing that somebody filed the mouth. I don’t know if that’ll ruin it or even if it happened. I haven’t had time to look at it closely yet. It just came at lunch time and I’m still at work (and will be for awhile).

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile

Smitty_Cabinetshop

16190 posts in 3123 days


#27 posted 05-09-2017 12:14 AM

Not the end of the world (I filed mine too, to reshape a bunged former hack).

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. -- OldTools Archive --

View GlenintheNorth's profile

GlenintheNorth

244 posts in 1041 days


#28 posted 05-13-2017 10:40 PM

And I think I just joined the “atta boy” club. Wow this thing is super finicky.

It has a Kelley iron in it. The original is in really, really bad shape to where it’s not usable save as a reference for replacements. The diameter of the Kelley is too big by just a little bit though the original is spot on. I think that is why I have had so much trouble…the mouth can not close up enough.

I think that if I can grind the flat to a steeper angle I can match the angle of attack that gets me this shaving. Problem is, no one makes replacements if I should screw it up!

-- MFia-made man. But that doesn't mean I don't dig my 45. Minneapolis/St. Paul, burbs.

View Ocelot's profile

Ocelot

2347 posts in 3143 days


#29 posted 05-13-2017 11:25 PM

There’s a guy on ebay that makes these in his home machine shop, sells ‘em for $150.

View Brit's profile

Brit

7798 posts in 3347 days


#30 posted 05-14-2017 12:15 AM

I finally snagged one tonight. Looking forward to playing with it.

Seller’s pics:

-- Andy - Old Chinese proverb says: "If you think something can't be done, don't interrupt man who is doing it."

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Ocelot

2347 posts in 3143 days


#31 posted 05-14-2017 01:58 AM

Brit,

That’s a far nicer-looking one than mine.

I’m hoping mine doesn’t have to be pretty to work.

-Paul

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Smitty_Cabinetshop

16190 posts in 3123 days


#32 posted 05-14-2017 04:56 AM

Andy, that does look like a beauty!!

Congrats on the shaving, Glen. That original must be in really, really bad shape… Any chance of getting a pic of the train wreck that is the cutter?

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. -- OldTools Archive --

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TheFridge

10859 posts in 1991 days


#33 posted 05-14-2017 05:42 AM

Looks like I’m gonna have to try to tune up my real and fake one so I don’t feel left out. Peer pressure is a b.

-- Shooting down the walls of heartache. Bang bang. I am. The warrior.

View Brit's profile

Brit

7798 posts in 3347 days


#34 posted 05-17-2017 05:55 AM

So I’ve read all the material Smitty posted / linked to and I understand it all. So far though, the only photo I’ve seen of the No.1 producing decent shavings is the black and white photo that Smitty posted at the start of this thread. The other photos show shavings that look to me like they are leaning more towards scrapings than shavings.

Smitty – please would you take another photo showing the mouth of your No.1. The iron that came with mine looks like it was brand new. I polished the existing bevel and I’m getting the same scrapings/shavings that everyone except you seem to be getting. To me, the angle forming the cutting edge would benefit from being more acute. Can you share what you did to sharpen yours please?

-- Andy - Old Chinese proverb says: "If you think something can't be done, don't interrupt man who is doing it."

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Smitty_Cabinetshop

16190 posts in 3123 days


#35 posted 05-17-2017 11:12 AM

Andy – Yes, I can dive back into the MF #1 fettling pool. Shop time has been essentially NIL for several weeks but the brain housing group can be tapped and pictures taken. Stand by…

EDIT: This from above jives with your thought, Andy: “The more acute I made the angle, the more I could close up the mouth and still take a shaving. Once I got it to about 1/16”, I left it. Works MUCH better now.”

As I recall, I went the acute way but didn’t attain a closed mouth (1/16”) at all. So that (to me) was a bit of a red herring. Ended up re-shaping the mouth of the shave to 1) make it uniform, after a previous owner munged it up a bit; and 2) to create a mouth surface closer to be slightly off-set yet still parallel with the cutter’s bevel, kinda like a jointer. It was during this trial-and-error work I got the plane to perform.

Pictures to come that show the cutter and mouth.

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. -- OldTools Archive --

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Smitty_Cabinetshop

16190 posts in 3123 days


#36 posted 05-19-2017 03:10 AM

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. -- OldTools Archive --

View Brit's profile

Brit

7798 posts in 3347 days


#37 posted 05-19-2017 02:56 PM

Thanks very much Smitty. Do you have a mirobevel on the concave side?

-- Andy - Old Chinese proverb says: "If you think something can't be done, don't interrupt man who is doing it."

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Smitty_Cabinetshop

16190 posts in 3123 days


#38 posted 05-19-2017 03:49 PM

No, just one big ‘ole primary bevel.

It really is all about that gap created (and circled above) between the primary bevel and the workpiece. A microbevel on either side would adversely impact the end goal (inside = make it a scraper; outside = no worky).

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. -- OldTools Archive --

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Ocelot

2347 posts in 3143 days


#39 posted 05-19-2017 04:15 PM

hmmm. It might work better hollow ground on the outside.

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Brit

7798 posts in 3347 days


#40 posted 05-19-2017 09:40 PM

I got it purring like a cat by the fire now Smitty. Mouth is about 1/32”. I tried it on pine, sapele, white oak and hard maple. It will only get better now with successive sharpenings.

-- Andy - Old Chinese proverb says: "If you think something can't be done, don't interrupt man who is doing it."

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Ocelot

2347 posts in 3143 days


#41 posted 05-19-2017 10:19 PM

Gives one hope!

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Smitty_Cabinetshop

16190 posts in 3123 days


#42 posted 05-20-2017 01:54 AM

1/32” is an amazingly tight setup, Andy! Do tell! I’m guessing the mouth on yours has to be the key. Now I seek pics. :-)

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. -- OldTools Archive --

View Brit's profile

Brit

7798 posts in 3347 days


#43 posted 05-20-2017 08:45 AM

3 hours an a few thousand passes on the waterstones sorted out the iron Smitty. I made the mistake of cutting my fingernails beforehand though and now I have really sore thumbs from applying pressure. Like you, I also filed the mouth slightly too as I found the original machining wasn’t actually that good as the clearance on one side of the iron was less than the other side. Didn’t take much to put that right, but it works better for doing it. I’ll take some more photos today and post them tonight.

-- Andy - Old Chinese proverb says: "If you think something can't be done, don't interrupt man who is doing it."

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Smitty_Cabinetshop

16190 posts in 3123 days


#44 posted 05-20-2017 01:59 PM

Yep, you can see I still have a side that doesn’t align mouth with cutter’s edge.

3 hours is a very long time in today’s measure, and certainly was ‘back in the day,’ so if that’s what it took to (sometimes?) get these tools working properly, it’s no wonder they have a reputation.

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. -- OldTools Archive --

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Brit

7798 posts in 3347 days


#45 posted 05-20-2017 07:50 PM

Here is a photo of the mouth as it currently stands. I am still going to refine it a bit more because I feel it could be better. Once I’m happy with it, I’ll take some more close up photos and try to take some measurements.

-- Andy - Old Chinese proverb says: "If you think something can't be done, don't interrupt man who is doing it."

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Smitty_Cabinetshop

16190 posts in 3123 days


#46 posted 05-20-2017 11:04 PM

Very nice. Tells me I have a ways to go as well. But then, is it ‘it works, it’s good’, like not flattening the soles of planes without cause?

Either way, yours is a beauty at this stage, Andy. Incredible, actually.

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. -- OldTools Archive --

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GlenintheNorth

244 posts in 1041 days


#47 posted 05-21-2017 02:40 AM

I forgot to favorite this. Oops…

I’ll get a pic of that iron and the setup on that shave as soon as I can, but it may be almost irrelevant soon.

For today I took possession of another one! (Special thanks to Mos for his 0%-interest banking skillz.) This new one has a mouth that is tiny, and the original iron is only dull.

Handling that one made me realize something. My original shave’s mouth is huge, and the bevel on the Kelly iron has a microbevel on it that I’ll never be able to remove. I think it was a used iron when I got it. The new one has only the long primary and the mouth is not filed, so it appears it might be far more awesome.

Detailed pics when I can get ‘em.

-- MFia-made man. But that doesn't mean I don't dig my 45. Minneapolis/St. Paul, burbs.

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Brit

7798 posts in 3347 days


#48 posted 05-21-2017 05:58 AM

Smitty I would agree. If you’re happy with how it cuts, leave it alone.

Glen – Sounds good. I look forward to seeing that one.

-- Andy - Old Chinese proverb says: "If you think something can't be done, don't interrupt man who is doing it."

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Mosquito

9844 posts in 2797 days


#49 posted 05-21-2017 03:00 PM


(Special thanks to Mos for his 0%-interest banking skillz.)

- GlenintheNorth

I can enable like the rest of ‘em :D

-- Mos - Twin Cities, MN - http://www.youtube.com/MosquitoMods - http://www.TheModsquito.com

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GlenintheNorth

244 posts in 1041 days


#50 posted 05-21-2017 07:16 PM

Two of the original iron:
.


.


.

The old shave above:

.

The newer shave:

The Kelly iron as received:

.

As you can see, I got it with a microbevel (and a big one, to boot) already on it. I am reading that and the wide open filed mouth are probably the reasons for the poor performance.

And the Kelly didn’t match the radius of the body of the shave so when tightened down it pulls the edge away from the mouth opening. That can’t be helping, either.

I do not have time to get the other iron into shape (and the original of the other is a lost cause) but when I do I’ll post back in here about it.

-- MFia-made man. But that doesn't mean I don't dig my 45. Minneapolis/St. Paul, burbs.

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