For more information on spokeshaves, see our beginner site Common Woodworking.
A few years ago, ten or more if I remember rightly, I ordered some spokeshave parts from Veritas in Canada. I think it was about 16 sets actually. The order was based on my previously ordering a kit of parts to make my own, to see how well it would work. I ended up ordering the large version too. I am used to blade-sole spokeshaves and I know that they are more effective than almost any modern spokeshave out there, especially the ones bedded like planes. Now that doesn’t mean that bedded spokeshaves don’t work and work well, just that they work with a different dynamic and at a lesser level. On the other hand, if blade-sole spokeshaves do go wrong, that is, they hit the rising grain in alignment with the bevel angle of the grain. So, once you understand this and can read the grain beforehand, I think these spokeshave types are, in general, unparalleled by any and all bedded bevel-down spokeshaves. As I said, spokeshave types have different dynamics because of the physics. You just have to pick your offensive strategy.
We made a new video series and concluded this week. It entails the use of the two key types of spokeshave, bevel-up, blade-sole and bevel-down inclined bed. I ran the two alongside one another today with no intention to compare one to the other but using each to address different issues in the use of spokeshaves. This led me to write this blog post. I never really like to post a recommendation on a tool until thoroughly tested out. Tool makers and suppliers often supply tools to what they call “product leaders” for them to try, test, use and hopefully show others that they are using the tools or equipment and if things really are going well, recommend the product. That basically is anyone who will lead people, viewers, readers, to see them using or wearing their products.
My point here is that there have been many well proven bevel-up spokeshaves engineered for woodworkers to use over the decades and they look very like the one made by Veritas. In this case, Veritas came up with a kit for you to make using your own and skills and I have been using mine for over a decade now. Today, in concluding making a video series, I was reminded of how easy this spokeshave moves into and through the wood and how easy it is to sharpen, reinstall the cutting iron to the exact same setting after sharpening and get right back to task.
This Veritas spokeshave kit is top notch. The link shows a schematic of how it comes together. It cuts to the chase and in say an afternoon you will have a working model and I think it’s one I would refer to as a lifetime tool. It’s also an enjoyable project and you can build one with your kids too.
Oh, what was I making? A new-to-woodworking and children’s project in oak.
More on this shortly.