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Thread: Millers Falls Cigar Shave

  1. #1
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    Millers Falls Cigar Shave

    One of my more recent habits is checking the SMC Classifieds often. Many times desired treasures have been seen at decent prices only to see someone else has already arranged to purchase the item. Many times items sell within an hour or less of being listed.

    Recently my luck changed on one item, though a couple of books later got by me by a few minutes.

    The treasured item was a Millers Falls Cigar Shave. It arrived Saturday. The seller mentioned they were never able to get it to work. From having read a previous post on these my suspicion was there was an insufficient relief angle on the blade. This turned out to be part of the cause of not working:

    No Relief.jpg

    This indicates the back of the bevel was preventing the cutting edge from contacting the surface of the work.

    The blade is almost impossible to hold by hand to regrind the bevel. Making a holder seemed like the thing to do:

    Half of Blade Holdeer.jpg

    This was done with a couple hollow molding planes. This worked well for preliminary grinding:

    Grinding Cigar Shave Blade.jpg

    Notice the blade is being held at a slight angle. The bevel was in line with the face of the holder.

    Learning from mistakes has made me among the most learned of men.

    For anyone who finds themselves in this situation, it would have been helpful for me to make a mark on the blade for where the bevel should stop. Mine got to the point of almost being over ground.

    The holder worked well on the grinder. It wasn’t too good for final honing on a stone. The other side of the piece of scrap used to make a blade holder was shaped with a round molding plane:

    Other Side of Blade Holder.jpg

    Note: this was a different size than the hollows used for the inside curve.

    This worked well for working the relief bevel:

    Honing Outside Bevel.jpg

    It also worked for honing the inside bevel:

    Honing Inside Bevel.jpg

    It was necessary to prop the stone up on the side of the box for the inside bevel.

    It was a bit fidgety getting this shave to work.

    No matter how the blade was set, it was still below the very short sole of the shave. A fine toothed file was used to realign the sole a few thousandths of an inch.

    Making Shavings.jpg

    This will likely take a few more uses to get used to, just like my other curved shaves.

    jtk
    Last edited by Jim Koepke; 11-29-2021 at 10:28 PM.
    "A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."
    - Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965)

  2. #2
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    Nice solution. I had one of those and only got it sharpened properly one time. Too fussy for me.
    Sharp solves all manner of problems.

  3. #3
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    Is that the No. 1, or the No.2 Cigar size....?
    A Planer? I'm the Planer, and this is what I use

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by steven c newman View Post
    Is that the No. 1, or the No.2 Cigar size....?
    To the best of my knowledge it is a #1 spokeshave.

    The #2, also to the best of my knowledge, has an adjustable sole that can be flat or curved. It also has a flat blade.

    Here is an image of the #2 shave from Jim Bode Tools:

    MF #2 shave from Jim Bode Tools.jpg

    Interesting the site for Millers Falls tools > https://oldtoolheaven.com > doesn't have anything on Millers Falls spokeshaves.

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

  5. #5
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    I made a holder very similar to yours for sharpening the blade but I made it long enough to be held in an Eclipse style blade holder. I then drew lines in the holder so it could be replace to the same spot the next time I needed it.
    Jim
    Ancora Yacht Service

  6. #6
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    I have always wanted to try one.
    Anyways, here is another link https://workingbyhand.wordpress.com/...-1-spokeshave/

    PCG

  7. #7
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    Dear Jim, many thanks for this thread.

    I really like working with the MF #2 as seen here, but I could never make MF #1 work.
    I always suspected the causes you are explaining and my tool seem to be in the exact same case as yours.

    I wonder if the angle was correct from the factory as it looks like machine marks on the longer bevel of mine:
    IMG_0063.jpg

    Jim, would you be kind enough and please post the exact same picture as your first picture now that the blade is reground?

    It would be easier for me to understand what is the correct geometry.
    Many thanks

  8. #8
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    Jim, would you be kind enough and please post the exact same picture as your first picture now that the blade is reground?
    It will likely be much later today before being able to post an image due to an appointment in town.

    Also remember my comment:

    For anyone who finds themselves in this situation, it would have been helpful for me to make a mark on the blade for where the bevel should stop. Mine got to the point of almost being over ground.
    In other words, don't do it as much as I did.

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

  9. #9
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    I appreciate Jim keeping my identity secret but Iím the fellow who sold Jim the cigar shave. Yep, like many, many others I never could get it to work, and after a few years of intermittent frustration finally decided to sell it. Frankly I was nervous about doing so because I was fearful that the tool had an unfixable defect and didnít want to anyone to feel I was ripping them off. But I described it accurately and included a number of photos, so felt anyone who bought it would be aware of the issues. Iím very glad Jim was able to resurrect this unique shave and shared the process. I hope it will help others who may have difficulties with this shave.

    Axel: itís hard to be certain from your photo, but it looks like you have the wrong side of the blade mounted at the sole. If it is mounted correctly then the blade is really mangled and will require a lot of work to fix it.

  10. #10
    I knew you'd figure it out, when I saw you'd bought that item. Good post. Thanks Jim!
    "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing."
    - Sir Edmund Burke

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Axel de Pugey View Post
    Dear Jim, many thanks for this thread.

    I really like working with the MF #2 as seen here, but I could never make MF #1 work.
    I always suspected the causes you are explaining and my tool seem to be in the exact same case as yours.

    I wonder if the angle was correct from the factory as it looks like machine marks on the longer bevel of mine:
    IMG_0063.jpg

    Jim, would you be kind enough and please post the exact same picture as your first picture now that the blade is reground?

    It would be easier for me to understand what is the correct geometry.
    Many thanks
    Axel, here is the best image taken this evening:

    Millers Falls Cigar Shave - #1 Spokeshave.jpg

    The piece of wood is on the bevel. The short sole of shave is lower than the blade. If the bevel is too steep, the front of the sole and the top of the bevel leave the edge floating above the work surface.

    Yours does look like the top of the bevel hits the wood before the edge can make contact.

    Mine, on the other hand, has almost too much of a bevel. That will come down over time and sharpening.

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

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stephen Rosenthal View Post
    Axel: it’s hard to be certain from your photo, but it looks like you have the wrong side of the blade mounted at the sole. If it is mounted correctly then the blade is really mangled and will require a lot of work to fix it.
    Thank you Stephen. In fact the blade has got a bevel only on one end, so I would guess "then the blade is really mangled"


    And Thank you Jim for the extra picture

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Koepke View Post
    (...) The short sole of shave is lower than the blade. If the bevel is too steep, the front of the sole and the top of the bevel leave the edge floating above the work surface.(...)
    For me to achieve this, I need to rotate the blade to the point it is passed the mouth, hence closing it completely!





    It looks like the previous owners did a totally different angle than the original one





    I suppose I should lower the bump between the actual bevel and the flat from the machine marks.
    It is clear that from your picture and one from the link provided by Philip Glover (thanks), the bevel is going as far as the machine marks on my blade.



    Furthermore, I would not want to highjack Jim’s topic on the sharpening of this tool, but mine has got four holes in the body instead of two.
    They looks absolutely identical so I guess they are original. I am 100% sure to have seen others like this on eBay, but it is really seldom.

    1. Is there a type study for these tools?
    2. I cannot figure out the point of these 2 extra holes, if I move the blade there, the mouth is 1cm wide! Can somebody shed light on these holes?



    Many thanks for your help
    Last edited by Axel de Pugey; 12-02-2021 at 10:18 AM.

  13. #13
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    ď1. Is there a type study for these tools?
    2. I cannot figure out the point of these 2 extra holes, if I move the blade there, the mouth is 1cm wide! Can somebody shed light on these holes?Ē

    Axel et al,

    Check out this YouTube link: https://youtu.be/R2eqct-UU7o

    Itís almost 2 hours long, but delves into almost everything about the MF cigar shave, including the 4 hole version. Didnít resolve my difficulties, but interesting. Btw, for those of you unfamiliar with it, this is a fantastic YouTube channel.

  14. #14
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    1. Is there a type study for these tools?
    2. I cannot figure out the point of these 2 extra holes, if I move the blade there, the mouth is 1cm wide! Can somebody shed light on these holes?
    You are welcome for the image Axel. Before and after images are always helpful, it should have been included in the first post. I must have gotten lucky with the before shot. The after shot took me at least a half a dozen tries to get something usable.

    Your blade looks like it has a secondary bevel. That doesn't work so well on a bevel down blade with a very small relief angle. This blade has a micro bevel on the inside of the curve.

    To my knowledge there isn't a type study. Mine has a patent date of Feb 19, 1884 > https://www.datamp.org/patents/displ...651&typeCode=0 < One site says it disappeared from the market around 1910. That is a pretty short time period for type study.

    The extra holes may be from the factory or they may have been added by a previous owner. While looking around for more information one (Jim Bode) site selling this shave said it could be set up with the blade reversed to use the round part of the shave for the sole. Though his pictures do not show extra holes. Reversing the blade on mine didn't seem to work that way. You might try reversing the blade to see if yours can be used in such a fashion.

    jtk
    Last edited by Jim Koepke; 12-02-2021 at 11:58 AM.
    "A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."
    - Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965)

  15. #15
    Hey Phil, call me before the next guild or hand tools meeting and I'll bring a couple. I think I have 3 and they all work.
    Dave Anderson
    Chester Toolworks LLC
    Chester, NH

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