Please help with Veritas spokeshave

A while ago, I purchased a "make your own" spokeshave kit from Lee Valley. I worked for quite some time building the body and fitting everything according to directions. I have the blade set to about the thickness of a business card and sticking out of the body a bit. To my great dismay, it works like a dull hatchet. I know the blade is of the usual great Veritas quality and is razor honed. It just digs into the wood instead of slicing thin shavings. I have tried pushing and pulling it.
I have never worked with a spokeshave before. Can anyone tell me what I am doing wrong?
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One problem is you seem to have set it for too aggressive a cut. A business card is about 1/100 of an inch thick. That's a pretty thick shaving. Average piece of paper is about 4/1000th. I set my shave for about half that, 2/1000th.
Also, if it's digging in, be sure you're pushing (or pulling for that matter) with the grain. You didn't mention what kind of wood you're testing it on.
Let us know how it goes. While you're at it, post pics of your homemade shave in ABPW.
Be well, work wood,
JC

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I agree, you're trying to hack off wood like you are using a hatchet. Set it to make a much thinner shaving. That should make it work better.
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Thank you for the suggestions. When I try to set it to a thinner shaving, it just goes flat. The adjustable screws dont seem to have a fine enough range. The blade either sticks way out or retreats flat with the brass strip. The problem is, I guess, that I did not make it good enough, though I dont know what I did wrong.
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Bob,
Without knowing the design of your spokeshave, it's hard to tell what could be going wrong, but here's a guess based on what you've written. When you adjust the screws to extend the blade, you should be doing it by over-extending the blade and then backing down to the depth you want/need. This way, you remove any possible slop in the screw mechanism (they all have *some*). If, instead, you are extending the blade from the body, then trying to back it off a hair, the first thing you're doing by moving the screw is removing the slop, before the blade starts to move, then start backing the blade off. As a result, when you try to use it, the blade will be shoved back into the body by the same amount of slop in the screw mechanism, which could easily be 1/100th (or more).
Hope this helps,
Joe C.

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