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Thread: Spokeshave chatter

  1. #1
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    Spokeshave chatter

    I have a few shaves & recently added the LN Boggs convex shave. They were a joy to use on the edges of 1/8 inch cherry. When I had to use them on the 1 inch wide face of cherry, they worked but chattered. When I used them on 4 inch wide cherry they chattered even more. It was difficult to get a smooth ready to finish surface from the shave - I had to resort to sandpaper. The piece was concave with a radius of about 4 inches. Thoughts?

  2. #2
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    It's probably not the tool's fault- the LN's usually have very good blade bedding. So it comes down to sharpness, depth of cut, and technique. A 1" wide cut requires much more force than an 1/8" cut and there is almost no bearing surface to keep the tool steady. The main way to reduce the force required is to take as thin a shaving as possible. This also means that you need to have the tool as sharp as possible. Skewing the tool also helps but is not always possible on a tight concave cut.

    Wax on the sole can also help a little.

    Getting a perfect cut- meaning a continuous unbroken shaving from one end to the other- on a curve with a spokeshave is one of the more challenging things to do IMO.

  3. #3
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    Nov 2015
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    agree on above. I also find that when I get chatter in the first place, it often gets worse. Changing the skew direction or angle helps then, presenting the edge at another angle than the chatter "waves" or "ridges" present.

  4. #4
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    I strive for translucent shavings when using a spoke shave.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Rainey View Post
    I have a few shaves & recently added the LN Boggs convex shave. They were a joy to use on the edges of 1/8 inch cherry. When I had to use them on the 1 inch wide face of cherry, they worked but chattered. When I used them on 4 inch wide cherry they chattered even more. It was difficult to get a smooth ready to finish surface from the shave - I had to resort to sandpaper. The piece was concave with a radius of about 4 inches. Thoughts?
    Depth of cut, angle of attack, skew or not to skew, on, and did I say sharp? Super fine cuts can leave an absolute glassy surface on Ash - Good luck

  6. #6
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    Thanks for the advice gentlemen!

  7. #7
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    At least for myself convex shaves are hard to handle. I think you have so many things to consider. Grain changes all over. Very short bearing surface. Blade angle changes with a slight twist of the wrists. I always try to warm up a bit on end grain. This is what I have found by experimenting. It takes more pressure for a round shave, it’s all in the wrists going along the cut, sharp is very good, straight mouth, blade set even, reading the grain well, and lots of luck. Even with everything right it reminds me of that saying about wild cats, hot awls, and butter. Card scrapers are your friends. Sand paper not so much. If you have to go back to the shave that grit will work wonders on that beautifully sharpened iron. Not that good at it yet. Lots of practice over the years. Getting better at chasing down wild cats however. The rest of it needs much improvement.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Rainey View Post
    I have a few shaves & recently added the LN Boggs convex shave. They were a joy to use on the edges of 1/8 inch cherry. When I had to use them on the 1 inch wide face of cherry, they worked but chattered. When I used them on 4 inch wide cherry they chattered even more. It was difficult to get a smooth ready to finish surface from the shave - I had to resort to sandpaper. The piece was concave with a radius of about 4 inches. Thoughts?
    Try a convex spokeshave - this one is different than the Boggs shave you have. Kunz is the only current manufacturer of this style I believe. It'll need some tuning, but it's worth having in your arsenal for curved work. It's a bit of an acquired taste, like Scotch:

    https://www.highlandwoodworking.com/kunzconvexspokeshave.aspx


    Last edited by Charles Guest; 02-13-2020 at 10:57 AM.

  9. #9
    On wider boards I take a little off the left side, then a little off the right side, and then take down the hump in the middle. So three cuts to take one perfectly even cut across the wide width. Works every time. Sometimes I will also skew the shave, which is easier to do on flat or convex cuts, but you can often do it on concave cuts if they aren't to tight.

  10. #10
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    Convex shaves are tough to use. Mine is a Stanley 63x as opposed to the LN Boggs, but I believe the issues are similar. Like other people mentioned, sharp really helps. I go way out of my way to be sure that I've honed the cutter as sharp as I can possibly get it. This fixes a lot. I've also found that using a lot of care when setting the cutter depth is necessary, and you have to present the blade to the wood at the right angle. When i get frustrated with chatter I'll grab a piece of scrap and take practice cuts until i find the sweet spot, and then do my damndest to replicate it on the workpiece. Sometimes win, sometimes lose lol
    I havent learned to use one well enough yet for it to be a finishing tool, just a shaping tool. I still go to a card scraper after the shave most times.
    ---Trudging the Road of Happy Destiny---

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by James Pallas View Post
    At least for myself convex shaves are hard to handle. I think you have so many things to consider. Grain changes all over. Very short bearing surface. Blade angle changes with a slight twist of the wrists. I always try to warm up a bit on end grain. This is what I have found by experimenting. It takes more pressure for a round shave, it’s all in the wrists going along the cut, sharp is very good, straight mouth, blade set even, reading the grain well, and lots of luck. Even with everything right it reminds me of that saying about wild cats, hot awls, and butter. Card scrapers are your friends. Sand paper not so much. If you have to go back to the shave that grit will work wonders on that beautifully sharpened iron. Not that good at it yet. Lots of practice over the years. Getting better at chasing down wild cats however. The rest of it needs much improvement.
    Thanks for the advice James

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Charles Guest View Post
    Try a convex spokeshave - this one is different than the Boggs shave you have. Kunz is the only current manufacturer of this style I believe. It'll need some tuning, but it's worth having in your arsenal for curved work. It's a bit of an acquired taste, like Scotch:

    https://www.highlandwoodworking.com/kunzconvexspokeshave.aspx
    Thanks for the link Charles.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by chris carter View Post
    On wider boards I take a little off the left side, then a little off the right side, and then take down the hump in the middle. So three cuts to take one perfectly even cut across the wide width. Works every time. Sometimes I will also skew the shave, which is easier to do on flat or convex cuts, but you can often do it on concave cuts if they aren't to tight.
    Thanks Chris, interesting approach, I will try it.

  14. #14
    The terminology used in this thread has been interesting! The OP refers to the Boggs “convex” spokeshave that I assume is the one LN refers to as “curved.” Brian also speaks of convex shaves in referring to his Stanley 63X that Stanley referred to as a round bottom. Charles mentions a convex shave and links to a Kunz (Clifton also makes one with a similar configuration.). Interestingly, LN sells a Boggs “concave” shave in direct contrast to the shape of the Kunz and Clifton shaves.

    Kinda reminds me of the old Shakespeare quote - “What’s in a name?”

    Left click my name for homepage link.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by brian zawatsky View Post
    Convex shaves are tough to use. Mine is a Stanley 63x as opposed to the LN Boggs, but I believe the issues are similar. Like other people mentioned, sharp really helps. I go way out of my way to be sure that I've honed the cutter as sharp as I can possibly get it. This fixes a lot. I've also found that using a lot of care when setting the cutter depth is necessary, and you have to present the blade to the wood at the right angle. When i get frustrated with chatter I'll grab a piece of scrap and take practice cuts until i find the sweet spot, and then do my damndest to replicate it on the workpiece. Sometimes win, sometimes lose lol
    I havent learned to use one well enough yet for it to be a finishing tool, just a shaping tool. I still go to a card scraper after the shave most times.
    Brian, thanks for the input. I will try to get the blade razor sharp.

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