spokeshave question (how to drill a square hole)


I recently picked up a very old spokeshave at an auction (basically similar to LV's "contour plane", but shaped more like their "low angle spokeshave"). What a treat - it works beautifully! It was quite sharp and adjusted well when I got it, and it already helped me smooth the inside of a curve on my bed project. What more can I ask for $5? Anyway, the body is partly cracked, and although I might be able to glue/screw it back together, I don't really consider that a permanent solution. It's not cracked all the way through, and I can sort of hold it together while I'm using it for now, but I don't want to have to always worry about that either. So I'm thinking it would be possible to fashion a new wooden body, and use the old blade. However, the blade is held in place with square "tangs" that friction-fit into square holes in the body. How would I drill a small (maybe 1/8"? I haven't measured) square hole? Or would a (smaller) round hole work? -OR- Am I being way too cheap with this old mostly-broken spokeshave, and I should just get one of LV's "contour planes" for $13, or if I'm carving a body anyway, one of LV's spokeshave hardware kits for $30? Their spiffy new spokeshaves (low angle or the $75 one) sure look nice, but I'd rather save my plane money for something else that says LV or LN... So, how do I drill a square hole, or would it not be worth my time? Any advice? Thanks, Andy
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Andy wrote:
<snip>
> Anyway, the body is partly cracked, and although I might be able to > glue/screw it back together, I don't really consider that a permanent > solution. It's not cracked all the way through, and I can sort of hold > it together while I'm using it for now, but I don't want to have to > always worry about that either.
<snip>
> Any advice?
Epoxy.
It will still be there long after the wooden parts have returned to compost.
Lew
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Square holes like those in your old spokeshave are made by drilling a round hole and then forcing the square tang into it. The hard part is getting the angle EXACTLY correct. Lew has good advise above; if the crack is not too bad epoxy may be the best bet. Dave

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Andy wrote:

Practicing on scrap first, drill a slightly under sized hole then square it with a small needle file http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/displayitem.taf?ItemnumberF14 or equivalent. You can mark the corners you need to square with the tang of the blade then use the file to open the hole a little more. File a little, test repeat. Maybe even count the strokes for the real piece. Joe
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Get the aluminum-bodied LV low-angle shave, though it looks like they beat the adjustment problem pretty well on their wood-bodied kit as well. The black beauties - I have two - set for concave or straight/convex are a treat to use, and with the dual adjustable throat, you can hog so fast you'll wonder why you risk your fingers to a drawknife, or take a shaving you can see through.
As to square holes - mortising chisels will do. Or bore and pare by hand. Not like it'll take forever, after all.
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I would guess that forcing the square tang into a suitably sized round hole will produce a square hole, and is probably how the original square hole was made. Try it out with a piece of scrap of the wood you're planning to use.

The quality of old blades is often well above what you can get today, so I'd say you should try to either save the old body or put the old blade in a new body. Well worth saving the blade, one way or another.
John
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Drilling square holes?!?!? Easy as 3.14217938271203938277384595948378373283939......
http://upper.us.edu/faculty/smith/reuleaux.htm
-Zz

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Drill smaller round holes, heat the tips of the tangs up to a dull red hot, getting as little else of the tang or blade hot, and then force the hot tang in the round hole slightly shy of full depth. Once it cools a bit tap it the rest of the way on.
John
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I won't try to answer your other questions, but as far as drilling a square hole, here's a method I've used for small (1/4") square holes. I first saw this in aa magazine article that suggested using it for making holes for decorative "plugs" in Craftsman style furniture.
Drill a hole of diameter equal to the width of the square, say 1/8" in your case. Get a piece of 1/8" square keystock, and grind a taper on one end so that it can enter the hole, then simply drive it through to square the hole. I can't picture exactly what you are trying to do, so I don't know if the geometry of your spokeshave will work with this method, and it would be a good idea to experiment first on a scrap and make sure the drilled hole is a good working size so the key stock doesn't case a split, etc. Good luck!
--

Larry Wasserman Baltimore, Maryland
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snipped-for-privacy@fellspt.charm.net () wrote in

That's basically how a mortising bit works.
Puckdropper
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Wise is the man who attempts to answer his question before asking it.

To email me directly, send a message to puckdropper (at) fastmail.fm
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