LumberJocks

The Millers Falls No. 1 Cigar Shave

  • Advertise with us

« back to Hand Tools forum

Forum topic by Smitty_Cabinetshop posted 09-08-2016 12:15 PM 10428 views 3 times favorited 62 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile

Smitty_Cabinetshop

17671 posts in 3952 days


09-08-2016 12:15 PM

Topic tags/keywords: cigar shave sharpening

Millers Falls No. 1

A recent addition to the shop, the MF “Cigar Shave” is a unique tool with a mixed reputation when it comes to performing well. This forum is for future reference; a place to index sites, sources and methodologiea that help owners of the tool get the most out of it. Here is an extract of text from a now-defunct site regarding sharpening the No. 1:

”The Millers Falls ‘cigar’ shave is probably one of my favorite tools but it used to drive me bonkers! Sharpened and set right, it’s one of the most versatile tools ever and can do things absolutely no other can. It shaves very tight radius internal curves…yet runs true on the flat… turning to external curves with ease.

But, and it’s a huge BUT, most are left on the shelf unused because they are either not razor sharp or the user can’t get the setting right or both. [It’s important to] sharpen the strange cutter, then when that variable is removed, set it to cut efficiently and with ease. Once these two simple tips are followed you will have a tool you simply won’t want to put down.

[T]he first thing which MUST be done is to have a razor sharp cutter. The shave relies on this but it’s not immediately apparent how to do this. It really is quite simple and you will normally only need a range of sharpening “stones” but I highly recommend diamond plates because of the flatness. That is a key to the sharpening.

The cutter looks complicated but in actual fact..it’s just a plane iron. Laid next to a standard iron, you can see it is just curled back on itself. It has a very tiny “primary” bevel you can just see. If this has not been touched before LEAVE IT that way!

The cutter also has two wide bevels on either end of the “tube”...these rest under and between the large countersunk head screws you see in this picture. Tightening these screws wedges the cutter tight…it’s as simple as that. You can loosen these off a bit and rotate the cutter by pushing the blunt end…and this is how you set the edge to the mouth.

Be sure you have the cutter the right way around… Many are not!
Following the idea that this is just a curled plane iron, flip it over and you will find a wide area. THIS IS NOT A BEVEL!! It is a face – as the face on the ordinary iron next to it. They are both the same and should be treated as such.”

Jeff52Pickup did a great sharpening video here:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R1PWaDA-lIs

Then, an introductory artictle posted by Lee Valley with patent details:
http://www.leevalley.com/newsletters/Woodworking/2/2/patents.htm

A robust discussion on the old tools archive:
http://swingleydev.com/ot/get/117460/thread/

A blog post with pics and a slight discussion of sharpening:
https://workingbyhand.wordpress.com/2015/10/23/the-millers-falls-no-1-spokeshave/

Boatman53 (Jim) created a jig for use with the venerable Eclipse:
http://lumberjocks.com/replies/2842250

Michael Brady described such a jig in 2011 on Wood Central:

Actually, you can put the cutter from a MF #1 shave into an Eclipse jig, but you need to make a simple fixture to do it. This is my original design: I used a scrap of oak 1/2” thick and 3”x4”, with the 3” wide end grain rounded over so that it is similar to the metal section of the shave in profile. I placed two flat head screws in the rounded section of the wood at the same spacing as the screws that hold the cutter in the shave. What you have now is a way to hold the cutter on the rounded-over end of the wood block much the way it is held in the shave. This wood block is then inserted into the upper jaws of the Elipse jig. You can adjust the block or the cutter until the flat of the bevel aligns with the sharpening stone. Go through your regular schedule of grits. I went all the way through 8000 grit on mine. As said in this thread, you have to sharpen the whole bevel…no microbevel…or the shave will not stay in the cut due to its very small radius.

I would say that my #1 shave is as easy to use as any small radiused shave I have used. The steel in that cutter is very nice quality.

Here’s a discussion on WoodCentral where David Charlesworth cautions against entirely removing the interior bevel:

http://www.woodcentral.com/woodworking/forum/archives_handtools.pl/bid/3001/md/read/id/155924/sbj/cigar-spokeshave/

Kelly Tool Works produced a cigar shave in the 1990s (?) and offered the following sharpening instructions with their tool (thanks to the Wayback Machine for this):

Have a cigar shave? How’s it working? How did you tune it? Share pics and stories below!

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


62 replies so far

View Combo Prof's profile

Combo Prof

4902 posts in 2611 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)

View AnthonyReed's profile

AnthonyReed

10185 posts in 3774 days


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

methodologiea” :-)

-- ~Tony

View theoldfart's profile

theoldfart

12999 posts in 3785 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

4786 posts in 2073 days


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

Awesome!

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

View Johnny7's profile

Johnny7

736 posts in 2424 days


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

Thanks Smitty!

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile

Smitty_Cabinetshop

17671 posts in 3952 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 -

View Don W's profile

Don W

20277 posts in 3901 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

17671 posts in 3952 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 -

View Don W's profile

Don W

20277 posts in 3901 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

12999 posts in 3785 days


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

Sure! Right! Uhhhh!

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

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile

Smitty_Cabinetshop

17671 posts in 3952 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 -

View JayT's profile

JayT

6444 posts in 3544 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

8461 posts in 4176 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."

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile

Smitty_Cabinetshop

17671 posts in 3952 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 -

View Boatman53's profile

Boatman53

1086 posts in 3530 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

showing 1 through 15 of 62 replies

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

HomeRefurbers.com