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Thread: Recommissioned 1943 Spokeshaves

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    GTA Ontario Canada

    Recommissioned 1943 Spokeshaves

    Well i guess spring is in the air, a couple of doves arrived today in the freezing cold. Guess they know something i dont.

    But besides that hockey sons hockey is over so i get some shop time.

    After some excellent life saving advice and tip from Glenn Bradley, yesterday i bought a packet of grub screws ( you might call them allen screws with out a head or socket screws ) size 8 - 32 1/4 inch long.
    Attachment 54314

    Then i proceeded to drill and tap the holesAttachment 54311 for said grub screws into the old beech wood spokeshaves. These two were part of the tools been passed down from my Dad ex Royal Navy issue with stamp 1943.Attachment 54310. Not in bad condition condsidering they at least 67 years old.

    After having sharpened the blades in my recent sharpening frenzy I now wanted to set these up to be used.

    So these pics show the mods.

    1) Screw location under blade

    Attachment 54312Attachment 54313

    2) You get an idea of the blade on these shaves if you aint seen them before. They pretty crude but work.

    Attachment 54317

    Problem is as you sharpen the blade which in one was a little beaten up and needed quite some tlc and grinding at the time of sharpening, what happens is the blade wears thinner.

    This results in a gap between the brass sole and the blade.

    Attachment 54319

    3) To fix this i removed the sole and fortunately in my scrouging at metal suppliers i had bought an almost exact size piece of brass suitable to be remodeled to fit with closing up the mouth of the shave.

    Attachment 54315 Attachment 54316

    After a little tweeking while shaving some hardwood, (which you do by the way by tapping the tang up and down on either side) it was finally set. At that time i turned the screws in to touch the blade and give it a fixed stop. Note the tangs can be quiet tight when tapped in at times so i would not recommend using the grub screw to push them out. I doubt the fine thread in the beech would hold or at least that was my concern.

    So here are the recommissioned spokeshaves, I know my Dad is more than delighted that they are back in use.

    Attachment 54318

    Couple of things here. These are now my best spokeshaves and i have a Lee Valley spokeshave. Here is why. With the stops set, blade sharpened and sole tuned up and polished, these things work each time i pick em up. There is no setting they are set. Now the real great thing which i can trully understand making them a favorite back in the day is the fact that when they get clogged you just tap the tang on something hard, shake the shave and tap the blade back down to the stop.

    I cannot imagine why they did not do this back in the day.

    Then one other thing came to mined while i was working on these. It was good ole Chuck Thoits words echoing in my head. I cannot quote the exact words but a long time ago Chuck said something to the effect that if one never uses something then you wont run out or wear it out, then why do you have it? Well along the same lines in a similar vain i was very hesitant to file the sole and change its shape slightly. But these are now my tools. After all the learning and practice i have had from the sharpening of planes, i knew that the sole on these as it was did not suite the operation. So i set about filing a curve on the new sole and it better matches the blade which on some of these planes back in the day had a curve on it. So once again i think the point taken from Chucks words to me is get stuck in you never will know what you have if you dont have the courage to mod it and make it work. Now they are wonderful to use.

    Thanks Glenn and Chuck for the tips.

    So if you can get your hands on these at a fleamarket dont even wait a second pick them up do the mod, touch up the blade and you will be just as delighted and i bet you pick them up for a bargain because few have worked out how to use them.

    Oh and if anyone has any lying around collecting dust they dont want, send them to me i will give them a good home.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Nice post Rob! Very interesting refurbishment of two old tools. Just one question, why do you have this posted under Turning Tool Questions and Show & Tell? Surely, you are not using them on a lathe???
    “When love and skill work together, expect a masterpiece.” - John Ruskin
    “Nowadays people know the price of everything and the value of nothing.” - Oscar Wilde

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Amherst, New Hampshire
    Nice Rob
    Faith, Hope & Charity

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    ABQ NM
    Looks great, Rob. I'd like to add a spokeshave or three to my meager handtool collection, and a fixer-upper would probably be an economical way to get started..

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Satko View Post
    ... Just one question, why do you have this posted under Turning Tool Questions and Show & Tell? Surely, you are not using them on a lathe???
    Thanks for pointing it out...I've moved it now. Even though this is a Neander tool, I figured it'd also be of more general interest, so I dropped it off here for now.
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    No, not all of SoCal is Los Angeles!
    Those look great Rob. I'm sure they will serve you well. A deceptively simple and extremely usable tool, eh?
    Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.
    - Arthur C. Clarke

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Spokeshaves are one my favourite tools, they are a joy to use and you can achieve great shapes in almost no time. They are unrivaled at cutting end grain.

    Good for you Rob! Now those can last another 50 years more.
    Best regards,

    __________________________________________________ __________________________________________________ _________________
    web site:
    I also dream of a shop with north light where my hands can be busy, my soul rest and my mind wander...

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