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Thread: Question about spokeshave

  1. #1

    Question about spokeshave

    I don't use a spokeshave very often but it is the one tool that seems to give me trouble.

    The problem I'm having is chatter. I re-honed the blades and the shavings are quite thin, but I still frequently get chatter, even when I skew the tool.

    I know one time it was due to wrong grain direction but its usually happening when I don't expect it.

    I took a moment to analyze and I've concluded its either my technique or the way I've got it set up. I'm holding the handles with both thumbs behind the iron toward the top. I'm thinking maybe there isn't enough cap iron pressure toward the edge, but I'm not sure how tight to make the screw or thumb screw.

    Another huge frustration is the throat clogging with shavings. The throat gap be looks extremely narrow. I'm sure its not even .5mm.

    I am taking quite thin shavings, but it still clogs.

    If there is a question in all this mess you can answer, I'm all ears!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Location
    Silicon Valley, CA
    Posts
    674
    I'm a beginner too. If possible get some hands on training. 3 minutes with a guy at a L-N Handtool Event and I've never had the problems you describe. He set the shave, showed me, and then I used the shave. I knew any problems were me. Then he showed me how to adjust the shave and adjusted it to it's limits at both the heavy & light ends so I'd know how far it could go and still work. Then he helped me adjust it back to the sweet spot. Short & sweet (and then he moved on to the next potential customer.) The next day I could duplicate all of that with a completely different shave. (And I don't do much curved work, so I hope I've still got the feel the next time I try it.)

    PS- It sounds like you're taking too heavy a shaving. Which shave are you using? Some are notorious for being finicky about angle of attack, maybe it's not your setting so much as diving into the cut. (I'm assuming I didn't have any of those when I was experimenting.)
    Last edited by David Bassett; 07-01-2020 at 12:20 PM. Reason: Typo

  3. #3
    Are you pushing the shave instead of pulling it?

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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
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    twomiles from the "peak of Ohio
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    Watch how the grain is running....and follow it.
    June Project, curve clean up.JPG
    Seymour Smith & Sons......

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2019
    Location
    Madison, Wisconsin
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    You might want to check the bedding of the blade to make sure there’s good contact between bed and blade, especially near the cutting edge. With bedding defects such as a random bump you can get chatter even with light cuts. One way to check is to chalk the back of the blade and install, then remove it and look for an ideally uniform coating of chalk on the bed.

    You might also need to check the mating between the cap iron and blade—the leading edge of the cap should be flat and in good contact all the way across.

  6. #6
    What kind of shave do you have? The thumbs behind the iron sounds like you are pushing the shave.

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  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
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    Longview WA
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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Bulatowicz View Post
    You might want to check the bedding of the blade to make sure there’s good contact between bed and blade, especially near the cutting edge. With bedding defects such as a random bump you can get chatter even with light cuts. One way to check is to chalk the back of the blade and install, then remove it and look for an ideally uniform coating of chalk on the bed.

    You might also need to check the mating between the cap iron and blade—the leading edge of the cap should be flat and in good contact all the way across.
    +1 on this.

    Pictures of your shave could help. Knowing what shave is giving you problems could also help.

    Here are a couple of shaves that gave me problems > https://sawmillcreek.org/showthread.php?153938

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

  8. #8
    I am using it both ways but mainly pushing it. It is a Veritas.

    One thing I didn’t mention is the board is 3 1/2” wide so I’m taking a full width shaving.

  9. #9
    Pushing a shave takes a deft touch. Which Veritas? Is it the low angle?

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  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Clarks Summit PA
    Posts
    784
    Robert, check out this thread I followed the good advice offered. Because the spokeshave is low mass compared to a hand plane, chatter will be a challenge when the width of the board widens. 1/8 inch edge is a dream to shave, 1 inch OK. 3 1/2 inches is more challenging. With practice, is becomes easier, but in no way is as easy as a hand plane.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Location
    Northern Illinois
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    581
    I just started using a spokeshave several years ago when I needed to make a slight curve on a table top. The tool I purchased isn't anything high end. It is a Pinnacle which I bought at Woodcraft for about $100. I found that taking light shaving is the best technique, assuming that your blade is truly sharp. Taking too heavy a shaving will cause problems, like tearout and chattering. It will also make using the spokeshave a chore rather than "fun".

    It's my understanding that the spokeshave sold by Lie-Nielsen and designed by Brian Boggs for $135 is a great tool. One of its strong points is the way it is oriented to the wood preventing chatter. I wish I had bought it instead of the one I own (which is a fairly good tool also).

    Practicing on scrap taking a light shaving is the best way to improve its performance and results. If you continue to have problems, I'd suggest doing some research on sharpening. I always thought I had sharp tools until I researched sharpening techniques and found that my sharp wasn't really all that sharp. I continue to improve my sharpening as time goes on.

  12. #12
    I've used spoke shave only for precise ,light cuts. For any cutting heavier than that ,I prefer a draw knife.

  13. #13
    Thanks, guys.

    The issue is the full width shaving, and the throat clogging is still very aggravating. Could be the tool, but a little more pressure and going slower and I’m getting better results, but still a challenge. Really have to watch the grain orientation.

    I’ll go to a card scraper to clean it up.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Keeton View Post
    ..... Which Veritas? Is it the low angle?
    Enquiring minds want to know.

    Regards from Perth

    Derek

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jul 2019
    Location
    Westfield IN
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    23
    I eliminated chatter on my older English Stanley Shave by replacing with a heavier Hock blade. The performance went way up. I had to open the throat a bit with files, and I worked on the bedding of the iron to be sure it was flat.

    Shaves like a dream now. Full width shavings are rare - maybe with some Pine or Poplar.
    I want to stay as close to the edge as I can without going over. Out on the edge you see all kinds of things you can't see from the center.
    - Kurt Vonnegut

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