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Thread: round bottom spokeshave recommendations please

  1. #1
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    round bottom spokeshave recommendations please

    Hi, I'd like to purchase a round bottom spokeshave for working on concave surfaces. I'd appreciate recommendations and/or thoughts. Thanks. -Howard

  2. #2
    Howard, while there are "vintage" and other options, you cannot go wrong with the LN Boggs. It is out of stock presently, but after trying other options I bit the bullet and got one a couple years ago and do not regret it. They crop up on eBay, but not at anywhere near reasonable prices. Get on the mailing list at LN!

    Left click my name for homepage link.

  3. #3
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    What kind or maybe more important what size concave surfaces will you be working?

    Also important is are you looking for something current or will you be looking in the vintage market?

    My population of round bottom spokeshaves was increased recently by the purchase of a Millers Falls #1 "cigar shave"

    Making Shavings.jpg

    This is the story on it > https://sawmillcreek.org/showthread.php?294984 < As Rob Luter mentions in that thread, it can be a bit finicky.

    There are a couple of modern models from Lee Valley:

    Ogee W:Spokeshave.jpg

    This is a reproduction of a Preston spokeshave. It is pretty good for light work. Mine was purchased when these were a promotion of the new (at the time) PMv11 blades. It required a little bit of fettling to get it tuned up. There is also a Veritas round bottom spokeshave. My only experience with the Veritas spokeshaves is having purchased a concave sole model. It worked fantastically right out of the box. I suspect their round bottom spoke shave would work just as well.

    My other round bottom shave is a Stanley #63. It is the black spokeshave on the bench in the image with the Lee Valley spokeshave above.

    The #63 is possibly the most versatile of my three.

    The Veritas Round Bottom Spokeshave (click this) is currently out of stock as is the Cast Round Spokeshave (click this).

    Good luck,

    jtk
    Last edited by Jim Koepke; 12-29-2021 at 3:17 PM. Reason: words
    "A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."
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  4. #4
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    Got my first Boggs (flat) earlier this year and it changed my perspective about spokeshaves. If thereís such a thing as a perfect tool, itís the Boggs. Iíve got a stable of Stanley shaves and got them to work well after considerable fettling, but the Boggs was ready to go out of the box. Itís unbelievably well-balanced and instantly improved my work. I have no experience with Lee Valley shaves.

    Now as Jim notes, it depends on the type of work youíre doing. Do you need a shave with a more pronounced radius? The Boggs is 1 1/2 degrees while the LN Small Bronze is 3+. There are also wood shaves with an even greater radius and the aforementioned MF Cigar Shave for super tight curves. If you want a shave that will hog off a lot of wood, then the Boggs and LN shaves are not for you.

  5. #5
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    I have standard LN Boggs, the small Veritas, and HNT Gordon. The HNT Gordon spokeshaves are beautiful to look at as well as use. Look up the website (as the ones I have are early models).

    The round bottom spokeshave to avoid is the Stanley. It was designed by the Maquis de Sade.

    The other factor is the curviture - shallow curves can be planed with flat bottomed shaves. The tightest curves may respond better to a rasp as they are challenging for spokeshaves.

    Regards from Perth

    Derek

  6. #6
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    hmmm...didn't Stanley make some good ones? As well as Seymour Smith & Son?
    The July Box, needs a rack made.JPG
    Not sure whether Millers Falls made any...
    A Planer? I'm the Planer, and this is what I use

  7. #7
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    Another thought might be circular planes. Stanley made three models, #13, #20 and the #113.

    My only circular plane is a #113:

    #113 Circle Plane.jpg

    The flexible sole can be adjusted to be convex or concave. It is generally for bigger work than what one would do with a spokeshave.

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

  8. #8
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    When considering a tool that may have a bit of a learning curve, I go for the best I can afford that has a reputation of working right out of the box. As already mentioned, Iíd get a Boggs or HNT. I find with learning a new tool, itís just better knowing that if things arenít working well, itís me, not the tool.

  9. #9
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    Thanks everyone.

    I've not yet decided what to do, but thanks for the information. -Howard

  10. #10
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    I just got the Veritas round bottom spokeshave. I'm taking a class on Boggs chairs in April and the instructor recommended the Lie Nielsen Boggs model, but it has been out of stock for weeks. I must have ordered the last Veritas one since the date is several weeks out now to get one. I cleaned it up and tried it out yesterday. It seems to work well. The mouth is very tight, so there's a very small sweet spot to getting the blade adjusted properly. I'm working on a Irish stick chair with curved arms and backrest, so it's going to get a workout today.

  11. #11
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    The mouth is very tight, so there's a very small sweet spot to getting the blade adjusted properly.
    Having a "small sweet spot" seems to be a characteristic of round bottom shaves, at least with the three of mine.

    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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    Here's the Veritas at work smoothing a crest rail. It's 3 1/2" thick ash and some of the hardest ash I've ever worked. It did a good job, considering the task.


    IMG_0116.jpg

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Koepke View Post
    Having a "small sweet spot" seems to be a characteristic of round bottom shaves, at least with the three of mine.

    jtk
    The reason for the small sweet spot likely lies in the position of the mouth. Most flat spokeshaves have a small toe area, and a round bottomed spokeshave will have even less registration owing to the curve. This is the reason why they are more difficult to use - one is essentially learning to ride the bevel as there is minimal support from a sole.

    HNT Gordon vs Stanley …



    The greater the curviture of the sole, the less registration, and the higher the level of difficulty. But, dial it in, and it is a new world!

    Regards from Perth

    Derek

  14. #14
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    Just to be sure, I understand you to be saying that the HNT Gordon round bottom spokeshave is much easier to use than one with a more narrow toe. Is that correct? Thanks. -Howard

  15. #15
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    Howard, the HNT Gordon rounds are indeed easier to use.

    Read: http://www.inthewoodshop.com/ToolRev...OKESHAVES.html

    Note I have the earlier versions.

    Regards from Perth

    Derek

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