View Full Version : Hat's off to my spokeshave

Todd Burch
10-06-2003, 12:06 AM
I've had it for a long time, a Record A151 (I think). Red. Never been used. I don't even think the previous owner ever used it either. Anyway, I am making a shaker trestle table for my wife (OK, me too) and was working on the stretcher. It has a long sweeping concave curved arch on the edge that faces the floor. I cut it out on the band saw and it was a little wavy. Spindle sander helped some, but put more divets in it than it took out waves.

I thought to myself - "Self, I need a curved bottom plane." I have one, but I knew it would not get up close and tight to the ends. Then, I remembered - I have a few spokeshaves up on the rack. I thought it would work just fine, iffin' I could figure out how to use it...

I grabbed the Record and saw quickly that it was too dull. Disassemble - a few sideways strokes on some 320 wet-or-dry, first the bottom, then the bevel - and reassemble. Guess at proper adjustment - try. CHATTER, CHATTER, CHATTER. Blade out too far. Dink with blade a few times. Then, it happened. Nice neat little shavings start ejecting when run over the high spots. In a matter of a couple minutes, it was smooth enough to suit my taste. Mission accomplished. It was the right too for the job. Hoorah!


Lars Thomas
10-06-2003, 9:38 AM
In the type of work I do, I don't reach for the spoke shave too often. But when you need it, there's no other tool that comes close. Nice discovery. Lars

Alan Turner
10-06-2003, 10:08 AM
Congrats on your discovery. I too love to spokeshave. Quiet and clean. The traditional tool comes both with a flat bottom, like a mini-plane, and with a curved bottom, for inside curves such as you had. Also with the curve the other way, but I have never seen or used one of these. L-N sells the Boggs both flad and curved. My general preference is for the curved bottom, as I don't use it too much on flat stock. Platternmakers used a wide variety of shapes, and so they come with bottoms radiused in both planes also, frequently quite small (maybe about 4" total width, incl. handles.