I was a little surprised that the Stanley 151, red and black version, could still be had new. I’m not sure why but Stanley upped the anti with their most basic spokeshave. Following the poor work of Draper spokeshave I asked Izzy to buy in a new Stanley. People new to woodworking need a good quality affordable model and this one will do everything I want of a flat bottomed spokeshave without faltering. Cost? £17 via Amazon with Prime for free next day delivery. I read the revues on Amazon and they were silly. One suggested paying a higher price and possibly being ripped off not knowing whether it was some kind of knock-off. It’s an authentic Stanley spokeshave.
I didn’t need to do anything to make it feel like my own except sharpen it. That said, it did cut straight from the bubblewrap which surprised me. Following a decent sharpen the spokeshave cut very finely and nothing dug in at all. In times past I have found the leading edge at the forepart of the spokeshaves usually are quite angular and dig in ahead of the blade, tripping into the work before the cutter can cut. This one didn’t using it on oak, pine and walnut. I continued using it on my project, a tray for woodworkingmasterclasses and YouTube. I felt that the knurled adjusters work very nicely and with ease. there was little play in them so little whiplash between forward and backward adjusting. The knurling was neatly done. The setscrew centred in the spokeshave body wiggled only a tiny bit (as I found it does in premium models too) and felt solid when the cap iron was in place and tightened down.
The mouth was ground out accurately too and I liked that it was just the right amount as I don’t find tight mouths of any real value in a spokeshave as you can’t take the heavy cuts you often rely on to get into the work rapidly.
All in all I am glad we went this route and I can recommend this tool for anyone new to woodworking and then the well seasoned and critical woodworkers too. There is no point spending more than you have to unless you simply want to. This is the result of me playing around in some oak.
So in my view this spokeshave is equal to any task I pit it to. I shaved some mesquite, twice as hard as oak, and it had some wildish grain in there too, no problem.
I know that it is not a pretty spokeshave but it is a good working model and I will be using it as much as I can just to make sure.