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Yet another "which spokeshave should l buy" question!

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Forum topic by Picklehead posted 03-23-2014 11:03 PM 3973 views 0 times favorited 18 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Picklehead

1053 posts in 2262 days


03-23-2014 11:03 PM

Topic tags/keywords: spokeshave spoon tool question

I’m planning on buying a spokeshave to use mainly (at first, anyway) for making wooden spoons, which my daughter is suddenly keen on. I could schlepp down to the big box and get a POS $17 deal, tune it up, and call it good. I’m somewhat reluctant to go to the other end of the spectrum and get a Veritas low angle, as I’m not sure what else I might use this for in the future. I’ve looked at Ebay, where there’s the usual array of choices. I’d like to go kind of “middle of the road”, unless yous guyses think I might use it for other things in the future (chamfering edges or peeling potatoes maybe?). It’s not much money either way, and I think she (11 year old) will probably use it more than I will. I’ll probably be responsible for sharpening and adjusting it, mostly. Seems like a fun little tool to diddle with, and I don’t want to hand her a complete POS, I’m mainly a power tool user. Thanks for any thoughts on the matter.

-- Quote from ebay tool listing: " Has nicks and dings wear and tear dust and dirt rust and pitting but in good working condition"


18 replies so far

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Tim

3812 posts in 2294 days


#1 posted 03-23-2014 11:27 PM

I don’t know of many middle of the road options besides the Kunz ones that are sold at toolsforworkingwood and a variety of other places. They’re not that great and I’d probably avoid them. I have one I haven’t bothered to take out of the package after I read bad reviews. I bought it because I wasn’t having any luck finding a vintage one, and then found one before the Kunz arrived. They are cheap though, about $25, and probably way better than anything the big box stores would have. If you wanted to spend some time fettling one to save a few bucks, it’s an option.

Lee Valley also has these old school wooden spokeshaves that you adjust with a mallet on the tangs. This type works pretty sweet but I haven’t tried these exact ones. They’re cheap enough to try at $17 and $19 or so. http://www.leevalley.com/en/wood/page.aspx?p=46321&cat=1,230,41182,46334

In the end if you can afford it, the Veritas low angle spokeshave or they’re regular ones would probably be worth it. I bet they’d get enough use to justify or you could sell them and recoup a decent amount. Their low angle model is only $70.

Edit: Did mention the option of vintage above but forgot to recommend it. May take some time hunting, or pay extra on ebay, but the Stanley 151 is a good adjustable starter model. Skip the new Stanley stuff for the most part. I’m sure other’s will be along with better Vintage model recommendations.

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AandCstyle

3202 posts in 2590 days


#2 posted 03-24-2014 01:36 AM

I have a flat Veritas and have used it more than I ever thought I would. I use it to fair the curves on corbels whenever I make them. I have also used it to smooth out the bumps I created on the legs of the chairs I made. I prefer it to using a router and template because I find it more controllable than the router. FWIW

-- Art

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Andre

2550 posts in 2139 days


#3 posted 03-24-2014 01:47 AM

Look at the little brass ones from LN, buy both flat and concave.
Andre of Alberta.

-- Lifting one end of the plank.

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JohnChung

417 posts in 2407 days


#4 posted 03-24-2014 08:29 AM

It is nice that you want to support your daughter in woodworking. But to buy such a good spoke shave it kind of expensive when she drops it….... I would fix up an old spokeshave for her. It can be tune beautifully for the task.

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Picklehead

1053 posts in 2262 days


#5 posted 03-24-2014 01:14 PM

Thanks for the advice. I’ve never even held one of these things, so it’s nice to get info from people who use them. Tim, those inexpensive Veritas woodies might just be the ticket. Tim and John: Stanley 151 is good, any other models to look at, or any particular models/types/mfrs to stay away from? Tim says the newer Stanley stuff is crap. Not trying to beat the subject to death, but when I look on Ebay, of course, there’s a whole pile of crap. IF you have any more specific info, feel free to share. As always, thanks for the info. I’ll post a “project” if/when she finds a spoon inside a tree.

Tim: thanks for the new word: “fettle”

-- Quote from ebay tool listing: " Has nicks and dings wear and tear dust and dirt rust and pitting but in good working condition"

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Tim

3812 posts in 2294 days


#6 posted 03-24-2014 01:51 PM

You’re welcome. Old tool guys are full of words like that and I know a couple. Wish I could help you more on model suggestions. The 151 is nice because of the easy blade adjustment and that might be good for a beginner. The one I use is a Stanley 51 knockoff and you have to either set the iron just right or carefully adjust it for depth of cut by tightening the cap screw just enough then tapping the iron. Similar to the wooden ones Lee Valley sells, but the wooden ones are really nice to use since they glide along the wood. The blade on my wooden one is so used up that the mouth is rather wide open and it doesn’t work as well as it would.

One nice trick for certain work is to set one side of the iron for a slightly deeper cut so you can use one side for finer finishing cuts and one side for more aggressive cuts without resetting the iron.

Here’s a couple sites on spokeshaves. The first one is on tuning one up (fettling):
http://www.highlandwoodworking.com/woodworking-tips-1206jun/spokeshave.html
http://www.cs.cmu.edu/~alf/en/leach-spoke.txt

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JohnChung

417 posts in 2407 days


#7 posted 03-24-2014 01:59 PM

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JohnChung

417 posts in 2407 days


#8 posted 03-24-2014 02:06 PM

@Picklehead. Here is a tutorial on spoon making by Paul seller. still puzzled what is the spoke shave for :) It can shape the handle and the outer spoon itself. The inner curve would need a gouge.

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Picklehead

1053 posts in 2262 days


#9 posted 03-24-2014 04:59 PM

Tim and John and all: Thanks for the info. I had already watched the Paul Sellers spoon video, and I plan on watching it again with my daughter. I really like his style, nice and relaxed, good communicator, and he usually gets around to answering the questions running through my head (I love how he, out of the middle of nowhere, casually mentions that the gouge is a #7, 35mm). Love how his son made the spokeshave at age fourteen, and here I am at 3x that age plus x years without even enough knowledge to guy buy one! So I’m planning on a spokeshave and a gouge, which means I’ll need a slipstone or two to sharpen it, and I guess my daughter and I ought to build a proper mallet to use the thing, and….................

-- Quote from ebay tool listing: " Has nicks and dings wear and tear dust and dirt rust and pitting but in good working condition"

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Spokeshave1

11 posts in 12 days


#10 posted 04-14-2019 07:33 PM

Hi Picklehead

Kids whims come and go. It seems to me that you are talking about investing considerable $ in what may be just a passing whim. There is a much less expensive solution which will also teach that you don’t have to be a tool junkie to make useful things. When I was a kid, every boy owned a penknife because they were a very useful universal tool to carry on your person. Recent press paranoia about sociopathic kids (who have always existed) with knives aside, a knife is the most basic carving tool a person can own. I carved/whittled many things as a kid and it was also the seed which grew to become a love of woodworking. Among the more useful and lasting thing that I made was a wooden spoon which I still own and use 55 years later! As a FYI, there was and still is a manual skills movement (of Finnish/Swedish/ Norwegian origin) promoting the teaching of Slöyd (hand crafts) to kids. Check the Internet Archive for many books on this subject.

Using a penknife with a locking blade, or just a simple carving knife, will teach many valuable lessons about tool use techniques and about wood qualities and characteristics. Knives are also a straight blade that only needs a stone to sharpen. As a kid, I owned a single pocket whetstone which was small and required additional manual skills to use properly. Learning hand sharpening of knife blades is also a first step in learning how to sharpen other tools later in life.

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Spokeshave1

11 posts in 12 days


#11 posted 04-15-2019 02:12 AM

Picklehead

I forgot to mention that finer work on the spoon bowl can be done using a crooked knife (sometimes called a hook knife http://www.leevalley.com/en/wood/page.aspx?p=76785&cat=1,130,43332,43393 ). However, more skill is needed to sharpen a crooked knife blade because it is bent into a crook shape. This will require a slip stone, or some very fine grit wet/dry sandpaper wrapped around a suitably sized piece of dowel.

View Sylvain's profile

Sylvain

818 posts in 2832 days


#12 posted 04-15-2019 07:48 PM

You know Paul Sellers, but have you seen his site common woodworking

To start, you only need the flat one. Paul sellers says he very rarely use the convex one.

Important tip: start with the iron retracted and advance it slowly until it makes shavings. It really doesn’t work if you try to take tick bites.

Paul Sellers made an extender for the iron sharpening. I just use a vise-grip to hold the iron while sharpening.

-- Sylvain, Brussels, Belgium, Europe - The more I learn, the more there is to learn

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OleGrump

216 posts in 677 days


#13 posted 04-15-2019 08:02 PM

If you can get a traditional styled wooden bodied spokeshave with the blade mounted on tangs reasonably, go for it. these will have less chatter than iron bodied shaves. While I have both and use both, the wooden bodied jobs are my favorites.

-- OleGrump

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Ocelot

2148 posts in 2971 days


#14 posted 04-16-2019 03:37 AM

If you go with the 151, you might look for a Stanley 151M or a Record A151. These both are made of maliable iron, which is much less likely to break when dropped on a concrete floor.

Also, the 152 has straight handles rather than raised handles. Some people find the straight handles easier to use. Unless you are working on the middle of a wide thing, you won’t get any advantage from raised handles.

View woodcox's profile

woodcox

2269 posts in 2345 days


#15 posted 04-16-2019 04:29 AM

It’s been five years! Pick one already;)

-- "My god has more wood than your god" ... G. Carlin.

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