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Thread: Spokeshave learning curve

  1. #1
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    Spokeshave learning curve

    My technique is getting better as I take on the advice from the community from last week. (LN Boggs curved bottom) The iron is newly sharp. My stroke is more confident, and I occasionally draw off a 4 or 5-inch shaving as I move along the concave curve on my cabinet rails.

    Still, after every few good shavings I get a buildup in the throat that will not come out with the brush. I try a pencil. Works one time out of five. Then I take out the iron, brush everything off, and start over. See photo. (I hope it comes through; this is my first attempt at including a photo. I guess that has a learning curve, too.)
    Last edited by Bob Jones 5443; 11-02-2019 at 2:15 AM.

  2. #2
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    I took the photo with my phone. Can't seem to make the file size small enough to post here. Oh well.

  3. #3
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    Then I found this comment on another forum site:

    "The lie spokeshave is nice but probably not the best one all around. That spoke shave has a very narrow throat and makes fine cuts very well. The reason I do not care for that much is you really can not take band saw blade marks of with that spoke shave because of the fine cut it takes. I prefer the ones from veritas that look like the old stanleys. They have adjustment screws at the top that holds the blade in places can take a heavier cut. Also, if I remember correctly they include shims so you can move the blade out and make the opening in the throat small, like the boggs, to make fine cuts. You could open the the throat on the boggs but the way the blade is held in place does not allow you to take a heavier cut the blade just slides."

    Did I buy a tool meant for extremely fine work?

  4. #4
    Bob, I have the Bogg shaves. They have tight mouths and are preferred for finishing/fine shavings. I have other shaves for the heavier work. One of the best is a vintage Stanley #53. This has an adjustable mouth, which may be opened/closed with the turn of a knob. Or I would use a Stanley #51, which is similar to the #53 insofar as it does not have a mechanical adjuster. (My preference is a spokeshave without an adjuster as they just feel less top heavy). The #51 has a wide mouth, and can take thick shavings without getting jammed up.

    Regards from Perth

    Derek

  5. #5
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    I donít have a Boggs shave, but I do have a Stanley #53 and #54 and agree with Derek. The only difference is the 53 has gullwing handles while the 54 has straight handles. I tend to use the 54 more because I find itís better balanced (probably what Derek refers to as top heavy), but there are a lot more 53s in the wild than 54s. I have a 151 and like the adjusting system, but Iím sure the Veritas is a big improvement. I also have a number of Woodjoy wooden shaves which are my favorites but no longer available new. The owner of Woodjoy recently retired so they will be hard to come by on the used market. The good news is that if youíre really dissatisfied with the Boggs, you can sell it and get most, if not all your money back.

  6. #6
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    Stephen, when I bought my first plane in 2008 I was hopeless with it. "The plane didn't work!" It's a L-N 4-1/2. Needless to say, it works. The problem was the idiot behind the wheel.

    Well, those days are gone, and I suspect I might be entering one of those phases with spokeshaves. True to form, my first one ever was the Boggs curved bottom. I bought it from Anne of All Trades at a L-N hands tool event near me in California after seeing it work wonders easing edges and rounding square sticks. But back at home, trying to smooth out band saw marks on long concave edges on 4/4 cherry has tested my mettle.

    It's getting better, and today I declared my curved face edges acceptable. After all, they are on the bottom of the bottom rails, so who's going to get on the floor and feel them?

    So, I suppose the Boggs spokeshave really "does work," and I'll just have to to through the learning curve.

    Still, I've got the spokeshave bug and I'm intrigued by an adjustable mouth. The trouble is, I wanted this one for a concave edge. Are there curved-bottom shaves with adjustable mouths?

  7. #7
    Bob,

    Broken record here but take another look at Dave's Shaves. His shaves are a copy of a classic chair makers shave. Anyway take a look and read about how they were developed.

    ken

  8. #8
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  9. #9
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    Hi Bob,

    My wooden spokeshaves are not as new or nice as yours, but they do their job. Here is the story including how one of them was 'adjusted' do not clog:

    https://sawmillcreek.org/showthread.php?269044

    My wooden spoke shaves excell at light cuts. Not my choice for removing saw marks. For heavier work a Stanley #113 plane or a curved bottom metal shave is used.

    jtk
    "A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."
    - Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965)

  10. #10
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    Bob,

    I meant to mention about the learning curve with spokeshaves. Definitely takes some practice, especially with a curved bottom shave. Iím sure youíll grow to really appreciate your Boggs shave - theyíre universally praised. Because I have so many Stanley shaves, I decided to branch out and buy a wooden shave, the aforementioned Woodjoy. After using it for awhile I bought a few more because I feel they do a much better job. You wonít hog off a lot of wood with them, but in my opinion the control and surface finish cannot be matched with a metal shave. As Ken says, a good alternative may be Daveís Shaves now that Woodjoy is no longer available. Iím not aware of any adjustable mouth curved bottom shaves. For really tight curves I use a Millers Falls #1 round spokeshave, but talk about a learning curve, oh my! As Jim notes, a #113 Stanley plane (or #20, which is what I have) can be used for heavier work. Btw, I usually go to the LN tool event in Oakland that you went to, but was out of town and missed it this year.

  11. #11
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    Stephen, the latest LN hand tool event in Oakland featured LN and no one else. No guest presenters, and no other vendors. I bought the Boggs at the earlier event this year in Santa Rosa. That event had Ron Hock and his partner, several young reps from the Krenov School, Anne as mentioned earlier, and the maker of those nice little marking gauges with the cutting wheels (the name escapes me). compared with that event, you didnít miss anything in Oakland.

  12. #12
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    maker of those nice little marking gauges with the cutting wheels (the name escapes me). compared with that event, you didn’t miss anything in Oakland.
    Is there a chance you mean Tite-Markģ?

    jtk
    "A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."
    - Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965)

  13. #13
    I, too, attended the LN event in Oakland recently. I, too, purchased a Bogg flat spoke shave, after have viewed a demonstration by LN staff.
    I LOVE IT!
    Yes, you must frequently clean the mouth [a soft, natural fiber 1" paint brush does wonders]. After a few hours of use, I have become reasonably adept at using it in making my fly-fishing nets.
    I also have the Veritas, but am not comfortable or as successful in using it as I am with the LN/Boggs.
    Ira, in Modesto
    Last edited by Ira Matheny; 11-03-2019 at 10:56 AM. Reason: added

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Koepke View Post
    Is there a chance you mean Tite-Markģ?

    jtk
    Jim,

    I expect he is, Glen Drake is normally a fixture at LN Tool Events. I bought a totally unnecessary feeler gauge set from him at the last one I went to. It's no better than the gauge set from the local Auto Zone but it sure was pretty.

    ken

  15. #15
    I have the LN spoke shaves and the concave Boggs I bought from Brian prior to LN getting involved with him. I love the tools and find that my pleasure and success in using them is directly proportional to the amount of time I use them. If I have been away from them for a while it is frustrating and takes me a while to get my hand back.

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