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
I have never worked with a spokeshave before. Can anyone tell me what I
am doing wrong?
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
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
Let us know how it goes. While you're at it, post pics of your homemade
shave in ABPW.
Be well, work wood,
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.
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,
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