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Thread: Hock spokeshave blades

  1. #1
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    Hock spokeshave blades

    Iím considering replacing the blades on four of my Stanley spokeshaves - #53, 54, 63, 64 - with Hock blades. Before I spend the money, Iíd like some real world opinions from any of you who have done so. What do you like or dislike? Has it made a noticeable difference in their performance? Have you had to make any adjustments to any of the spokeshave because of the difference in thickness? The original blades are not at the end of their useful life, but Iím curious as to whether the Hock blades would improve their performance to a significant degree.

  2. #2
    I don't think it will make a lot of difference. If you keep the original blades sharp I think they will work as well as replacement blades.

    One off subject comment. I used a variety of spokeshaves (in the past - don't use them much now) and the biggest improvement was when I bought a Lie Nielsen Boggs spokeshave. It's for fine work but it really is a good spokeshave.

    Mike

    [What you could do to test things out is purchase one Hock blade for one of your spokeshaves and see what you think.]

    [One other comment: I have a BUNCH of spokeshaves.]
    Last edited by Mike Henderson; 10-08-2020 at 1:18 AM.
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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stephen Rosenthal View Post
    I’m considering replacing the blades on four of my Stanley spokeshaves - #53, 54, 63, 64 - with Hock blades. Before I spend the money, I’d like some real world opinions from any of you who have done so. What do you like or dislike? Has it made a noticeable difference in their performance? Have you had to make any adjustments to any of the spokeshave because of the difference in thickness? The original blades are not at the end of their useful life, but I’m curious as to whether the Hock blades would improve their performance to a significant degree.
    Hi Stephen

    I have a #53, with a pretty decent original blade, and thought that I might see it it could be improved with a blade made of better steel. I contacted Ray Iles in the UK, who offered a blade made specifically for the Stanley #53. It arrived in due course, and indeed looked nicely made. However, fitting it was impossible. The blade was too thick for this spokeshave which, for those who do not know it, has an adjustable mouth. That requires that the blade be a specific thickness, otherwise it loses its ability to open up. The beauty of this spokeshave is that it can switch between wide- and closed mouth. I contacted Ray Iles in this regard, and did not receive an answer. I emailed them very recently again (about a year later), and still have not received a reply.

    I do not think that it is possible to modify the spokeshave to fit a slightly thicker blade .... if anyone knows how to do so, contact me! The #53 continues with the original blade.

    You need to check whether the Hock blade is going to end up the same way - good/better steel but too thick to work. Let me know if a Hock will fit.

    Regards from Perth

    Derek

  4. #4
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    I have a #53 and #54 and concur regarding the blade thickness being critical. I went with replacement cutters from Kunz, sourced at Highland Woodworking. For $6.99 they were worth a roll of the dice. They're a little thicker than stock, but still preserve the adjustable throat functionality. Both required lapping to get them perfectly flat, but otherwise sharpened up just fine. They work just as well as the stock cutters.

    https://www.highlandwoodworking.com/...entcutter.aspx
    Last edited by Rob Luter; 10-08-2020 at 9:30 AM. Reason: Typo. Damn Autocorrect!
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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stephen Rosenthal View Post
    I’m considering replacing the blades on four of my Stanley spokeshaves - #53, 54, 63, 64 - with Hock blades. Before I spend the money, I’d like some real world opinions from any of you who have done so. What do you like or dislike? Has it made a noticeable difference in their performance? Have you had to make any adjustments to any of the spokeshave because of the difference in thickness? The original blades are not at the end of their useful life, but I’m curious as to whether the Hock blades would improve their performance to a significant degree.
    I used a Hock 01 cutter in a Record 07 for a little while. It stayed sharper a little longer than the original square-topped 'cast steel' cutter that came with the plane. Actual planing performance between both cutters when sharp was no different. I have an 08 with the later tungsten cutter and it planes just as well as the other two irons when sharp. Edge life is a little shorter, who cares though, that's what honing stones are for.

    Other than installing a HSS cutter for timbers with a lot of silica and other nastiness, the rest of it's much ado about nothing IMO certainly so if you work North American hardwoods and softwoods on a nearly exclusive basis.

    In other words, save your money and time.
    Last edited by Charles Guest; 10-08-2020 at 10:39 AM.

  6. #6
    I guess I will be the lone voice. I have used both Hock and more recently Veritas PM-11 blades in my 151 and my 52 and I think both are an improvement over the original blades. I realize much of this is subjective, but I noticed better stability and less chatter. Unlike many, I view sharpening as a necessity, but also as time lost from the task at hand. I donít dislike the process, but neither do I enjoy it. The PM-11 blades hold an edge very well and IMO are worth the price. I liked the Hock blades for similar reasons, but believe the Veritas blades hold an edge longer.

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  7. #7
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    Glad to see this discussion come up. I have a 151 and 151R (convex sole), each with its original Stanley blade. I bought these tools after I slid backwards down the steep learning curve with using my first shave, the L-N Boggs (mine is convex, probably making it that much trickier to get right). John's right; it's a precision tool, maybe too precise for me just yet. I'm getting a little better with time, but I digress.

    When the 151 and then the 151R arrived, the difference in their throats from the Boggs's throat was enormous. That meant it was like training wheels to use them. So then I thought, why not treat these tools to Ron Hock's excellent steel? Guess what? Like Derek, I don't think they fit in the Stanley shaves, at least I haven't been able to cram them in yet. Not sure what to do about it.

    I'm loath to file the mouths even more, but that is the suggestion Ron made to me. (The man is remarkable in the way he engages with his customers, even small-time guys like me.) So after Ron's suggestion I returned here to SMC to ask about the kind of file I need for the task, and I got some answers, but I have still not taken the step to move ahead with it. Maybe I'll raise the question in my local woodworkers club to see if anyone can guide me through the filing process hands-on.

    So for now, I just reach for the two Stanleys, but the lovely Boggs (which I'm sure is a delight in the right hands) and the two new and super-sharp Hock blades mostly just sit in their holders. It's frustrating, and I hope someday to advance my primitive spokeshave skills.
    Last edited by Bob Jones 5443; 10-08-2020 at 5:24 PM.

  8. #8
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    If you're just cleaning up sawn curves, then the spokeshave really should not be asked to remove a lot of bulk - that's a job for a saw. The issue may be incompletely developed sawing skills that are leaving you too far from the line. If you have to work and work with a shave to get to the line, then it's the sawing out that needs work rather than the shave needing a new cutter or other tweaking.
    Last edited by Charles Guest; 10-09-2020 at 11:21 AM.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Charles Guest View Post
    If you're just cleaning up sawn curves, then the spokeshave really should not be asked to remove a lot of bulk. The issue may be incompletely developed sawing skills that are leaving you too far from the line. If you have to work and work with a shave to get to the line, then it's the sawing out that needs work rather than the shave needing a new cutter or other tweaking.
    Charles,

    My sawing skills are just fine. I was just curious as to whether a Hock blade would improve the performance of the shave, not my technique. I think some of the other comments have answered my queries.

    While Iíve often considered purchasing the flat and round sole Boggs shaves, Iím pretty heavily invested in my collection of Stanleys. I also have two wooden shaves, a Woodjoy and a no-name, and a Millers Falls No. 1 cigar shave. Thus I havenít been able to justify the $$ for the 2 Boggs.

    Derek, I agree with you. The #53 & #54 are the two shaves I reach for most
    often, the 54 being my favorite. Iím quite sure the Hock blades would work well in the 63 and 64, but I, too, am concerned about the thickness of the blade compromising the functionality of the 53 & 54.

  10. #10
    I have Hock irons in several Stanley shaves, and I like them. They are just about perfect for the non-adjustable shaves. But Ron makes a different, thinner blade for the adjustable mouth variants. I have two adjustable Stanley shaves. The specific Hock iron works perfectly in one of them, but is still slightly too thick for the other one. It works, barely, but it's not ideal. Seems there's some variation in the shaves themselves but I don't feel like wasting the time to investigate.

    Hock's web page is quite specific. So if you haven't read his web page carefully and ordered the the "normal" iron, it will never work. Don't blame Ron. He's a straight-up guy, and he'll probably take it back if you pay the return shipping and haven't messed with it.

    Now the LN Boggs shave? Everyone needs one. It's virtually perfect for it's intended purpose. But it's not designed to hog off thick shavings.

    dp

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stephen Rosenthal View Post
    Charles,

    My sawing skills are just fine. I was just curious as to whether a Hock blade would improve the performance of the shave, not my technique. I think some of the other comments have answered my queries.

    While I’ve often considered purchasing the flat and round sole Boggs shaves, I’m pretty heavily invested in my collection of Stanleys. I also have two wooden shaves, a Woodjoy and a no-name, and a Millers Falls No. 1 cigar shave. Thus I haven’t been able to justify the $$ for the 2 Boggs.

    Derek, I agree with you. The #53 & #54 are the two shaves I reach for most
    often, the 54 being my favorite. I’m quite sure the Hock blades would work well in the 63 and 64, but I, too, am concerned about the thickness of the blade compromising the functionality of the 53 & 54.
    Preston and other classic English brands all have thin blades too. They seem to work well. The first rule of marketing is to create the perception of a problem and then offer a solution to it.

    Anyway, good luck.

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