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I acquired some tools that need rehab. Not too much work is needed but the blades are in bad shape.

How do you sharpen the blade of a spokeshave? Its so short I can't use it in my honing guide.

Thanks
Spaids
 

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Freehand on waterstones. Substitute any other flat sharpening media as you see fit (sandpaper, oilstones, diamond stones).

Flat back and clean bevel on the front. Try 25 (approximately) degrees for the angle. If the edge crumbles too easily on the next use, bump up the angle to 30. You can also put a tiny microbevel (Charlesworth ruler trick) on the 51/151 style blades. I've also put a VERY slight camber on my 51 blade so the corners are less likely to dig in should I work a large piece. On my low angle blade (Veritas), I keep it as square as possible.

This is a good reason to learn to sharpen freehand. :)

If this is the long, narrow style (low-angle, woodie) with either studs or posts on the sides, you will be working the bevel the long direction on just the edge of the "stone". If this is a blade from a 51/53/151 etc then you deal with it the same as a plane blade. If you really, really feel you can't hold such a blade freehand, there are honing jigs that can handle the short blades. Even the Eclipse style can handle a 51/151 blade if it hasn't been ground too short.

If this is a concave blade, you just flatten the back and then either use round hones or make a hone by wrapping sandpaper on dowels or shaped forms to match the curve. I've had better luck gluing on some 400/600 paper to a large diameter dowel, clamping that in a vice at and angle and then drawing the blade across the hone.

YMMV.
 

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This same issue is what prompted me to learn the skill of freehand sharpening. Its like anything else, just try it and keep trying it. This is a skill that can only make your life easier in the long run. I can now keep a chisel and plane sharp and don't have to get set-up to do it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Free hand huh? This blade is such bade shape that it even needs a new primary bevel. I just don't have the skill to free hand this thing. I guess I'll have to check out the honing guide options for a short blade. Its a shame because I have a Veritas honing guide that works very well for me.

Thanks for the help.
 

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Not sure exactly which kind of blade you have, but if it is like a Stanley spoke shave, you can ducttape the blade to a plane blade and then mount the plane blade into your guide. It may take a little tweaking to get the angle you want.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
YES! Of course I feel so STUPID! DUCT TAPE DUCT TAPE DUCT TAPE.

It should have been the FIRST thing I turned to when I found my self at a road block. It fixes EVERY other problem in life so why not this one.

I'm gonna try it.
 

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You can put a primary bevel on very quickly with either a coarse stone or just some 100 grit paper stuck down to glass, stone or table-saw wing. And I mean VERY FAST. If you need help getting that primary angle established, make yourself a cheater block at the angle you need and use it to help position the blade in your hands for the first stroke or two. Obviously it will loose size (height) to the sandpaper or stone but think of it as another way to use up your scrap AND as training wheels for free-hand.

That said, I will use an Eclipse jig for roughing a bevel in just because it lets me square a blade quickly. I have no problem gripping a 51 blade in the lower half of my Eclipse clone. After that initial work, I revert back to freehand and unless I really screw it up, I touch up the edge freehand. Just faster than fooling around with a jig.

What jig are you using?
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I have the veritas Mk II that works very well. I am able to free hand a little and I have done some free hand sharpening on this spoke shave and I was able to shave with it but it really needs to be ground down pretty far and started over in my opinion. It wasn't and still isn't square and free handing a primary bevel is slow going for me. I have some norton stones and the 220 just seems to rub away pretty fast. If I made some kind of jig that would let me keep the proper angle while grinding on the side of my little wheel grinder then I might be able to go from hand on my stones from there.

ps The edges on my stuff that fit in my honing guide are just so perfect, I feel like I'm not done until everything is at that same level.
 

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take a block of wood cut a 25angle in one end and at the other end 20 or 30 angle
depending on wich angle you want and wich honning angle you want
then you just mount it with a screw on the ends of the jiig
simple and easy ( it looks little like the chieselplane from L-N)

Dennis
 

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Forgot to add that a squirt of WD-40 will remove the duct tape residue when you are done. Lately I have been using a couple of really small c-clamps (3/4" max opening) to clamp my Stanley 151 to an old plane blade. It's a little more precise than the duct tape but the same effect if you happen to have the mini c-clamps.
 

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Peter Seller's jig for freehand spokeshave sharpening is pretty cleaver yet pretty simple. He uses the lever cap from the spoke shave to attach it to the jig.

If you have a 4 to 6" belt sander that has a table/tool rest that can be locked at 90 degrees you can use as a rest, you could make a wedge that you can use to rest the iron or jig on to hold it at the proper angle as you grind the primary bevel. Of course if the rest can be adjusted to the proper angle, you don't need the wedge.
 
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