Those who are associated with woodworking know the hassle of finessing a crooked end or an undulated shrunken area. There are several tools out there for smoothing flat wide surfaces but when it comes to a twisted and small section, a subtle and apt tool is what you need.
The spokeshave can be a profoundly useful tool for solving this issue. There are different types and qualities. You can get the proper spokeshave regarding your requirement through some research. Needless to say, it demands a lot of time and hard work.
This article is made to make your task easier. You can find out some best spokeshave and their feature from here.
What is Spokeshave
It is a portable hand tool which is two handled with a blade engraved on it. The handles are wing-like and made of wood or metal and the blade is bevel edged and is metallic.
It is basically used for shaping, patterning and getting a glossy texture for wooden materials. Specifically, it is used for complicated, curved objects like cabriole legs or a kayak. A friendly warning, this tool can prove to be addictive once you start using it.
Different Types of Spokeshave
The different types of spokeshave stem from the difference between the blade and sole. Three different kinds of blades and four kinds of soles are available. The reason is that one of the blades is usable in two spokeshaves.
The blades are flat, convex and concave.
The soles are flat, round, convex and concave
Both the blade and sole are flat. These are normally used on efferent curves or for flat surfaces.
Its sole is rounded and the blade is flat. These are usually used for afferent curves.
Both the blade and sole is convex. For abdominous surface like a barrel, a convex spokeshave is ideal.
both the blade and sole are concave. This type of spokeshave is needed for hollowed surfaces like a wooden tub.
A good workman would prefer keeping each of them in their collection however, the flat and round spokeshave are the most popular ones.
Best Spokeshave Buying Guide
There are several things you should keep in mind while buying a spokeshave as there are so many of them predominating the market. They have differences. To buy the best one, you should know what makes a tool reliable and what weakens its spot. Nevertheless, you would be able to find the best spokeshave according to your call for some assistance.
A good spokeshave will have a specialized iron cast body. Also, the cast body needs to be smooth and even. An iron body is technically impossible to crack. The ones made with A2 steel is a firm one and durable. The painting of the body will be fine finished.
Note the size of the blade. A big blade is convenient to work with. It reduces the annoying noise during shaving. It will also help to close up the mouth and decrease tear out of the wood. Also, the blade of some spokeshave is inserted upside down. They can be used in this way but a bevel-down is mostly preferred.
Proper Fitting of the Different Parts
The most important point is to consider the setting of the various parts of the spokeshave. More close and tight they sit together, more durable the tool is.
A poor quality is not sleek and the pieces rasp together. And this means they can not work accurately and will create chattering. A good spokeshave will have an even sole.
A spokeshave is adjusted for the depth of the cut. The one you buy may or may not have adjustment knob in it. Spokeshave with no adjustment knob may be adjusted with a hammer. But a beginner must try buying the ones with adjustment knobs. They are very helpful.
For the time being, spokeshaves do not need much tuning up. But what’s true is that whether you buy a new or a used spokeshave, some touch up is required anyway.
You have to start by apportioning the various parts. Put them in a rust removal bath and then flatten the sole. To decrease the noise and to stop the pieces of shaved wood being stuck in the cap iron, you need to flatten the iron cap in the same manner. The blade may need to be sharpened. And you are almost set to start working with your spokeshave.
It is always possible to replace a particular part to make a poor spokeshave a perfect one. But if you do not want the hassle to do so, it is suggested that you might buy a high-quality spokeshave in the first place. Never compromise with the quality of the tool, because certainly, you will not want to buy the same tool repeatedly.
Our Recommended Best Spokeshave
Here are some quality spokeshaves along with their feature:
1. Stanley 12-951 Spokeshave with Flatbase
This spokeshave weighs 13.6 ounces which makes it easy to use. It is used for fine tuning any kind of cranked wooden object. It has a flat base. Its cutters can be adjusted and blades can be replaced according to users demand.
It comes with a vinyl scrip for safety during piling up. The company also ensures limited lifetime warranty.
This particular spokeshave of Stanley’s is a good one. It is handy, easy to use and ergonomically quite feasible. The handles are ample once you understand how to hold it properly. It is firm and thick.
However, about the blade, it is not whetted enough when it arrives. The iron (blade) needs to be tuned and edged before using. Also, the bottom part needs to be leveled and polished because in some cases the painting is disparate and come off while working.
For beginners, it can be a useful spokeshave to get started with regarding the fact that it needs a bit touch up before use. Once it is set up properly, it is completely ready to run. It can last a long time if you use it with care.
2. Accessbuy Adjustable Wood Craft Cutting Edge
This one weighs 15.2 ounces and that makes it portable. You can carry it whenever and wherever necessary.
It has steel blade and a welded iron body. The blade is specially made. Overall it makes a stout figure. The firm structure will make you feel good to hold and operate. It is technically unbreakable.
It has double handles like most of them. It is particularly noticeable for its easily adjustable knobs. The spokeshave has two coordinating screws on this which will allow you to set the blade at an angle or simply straight.
It is easeful. Once you understand the techniques of using it, it can easily please you.
In some cases, the blade needs to be sharpened before starting to use and sharpen it often. Also, the bottom part being powder coated may need polishing and flattening a bit. It is ideal for spoon shaping, making a cane or walking sticks and such other rounded limbs.
3. Grizzly h8064 Straight Spokeshave
This spokeshave has molded iron body. The blade is high carbon heat treated which means it is durable. It is 14.4 ounce and carriageable.
The tool can be easily adjusted. The knobs are apt; which as mentioned earlier, makes it adjusted smoothly.
It often needs to be sharpened so that it works efficiently. Its sole is straight which makes it easy to work for flat surfaces, but usable for any other wooden body starting from guitars to spoons. In some cases, the sole may need a bit flattening job.
The mouth can seem wider for some users, but this is can be fixed by changing the blade and using a big one.
The tool works with a very slight attempt. So you can work less but have the best output.
It has a solid build. The firm figure makes it likable.
4. Kunz 151 Flat Spokeshave
This spokeshave is specially designed for flat or convex surfaces. Two adjusting screws hold the blade.
It is a rigid and workable tool. It is welded and holds a firm structure. The blade is steel made and thick. The tool is subtle and delicate which makes it work smoothly.
Adjusting and using this spokeshave is easeful. You may need to sharpen the blade a bit before using. Once sharpen lasts for a long time. The blades acuteness gives the wood a smooth finish and it also makes your work move up much quicker.
The tool is durable. It particularly works for a spar, mast piece, retrenchment, or shaping the musical instrument like a guitar. Works well on oak.
Though the mouth opening is a bit wider than it needs to be, it is useful otherwise.
5. WoodRiver Adjustable Spokeshave
This spokeshave is mechanically skillful. It is designed advertently and it also comes with a wooden storage box for safety during piling up.
The special feature is that it can be operated with one or two hands; which is in most other spokeshaves need to be operated with two hands compulsorily.
The body is iron cast. It is robust and certain. The blade can be easily honed.
It has a removable blade, which controls the depth of the cut. It works smoothly without any noise.
Most of the time, it is usable straight out of the box. Even though you need a touch up, it is easy to sharpen the blade. One of the best and helpful spokeshaves you can find.
How to Use Spokeshave
As you know a spokeshave is a hand tool. It has two handles by the two sides and a blade in the middle. It needs to be operated with two hands evenly.
Firstly it is important to understand how to hold it. A beginner may intend to hold the handles out at the edges. Nevertheless, this type of clasping will not allow you to rule the cutting. Rather you have to put your thumb and index as close as possible and the rest of the fingers can stay on the remaining part of the handle. Remember to rest the spokeshave demure and balance over speed.
You can both push and pull the spokeshave. This requires practice and concentration. Mastering both techniques help you not to change your and your wood piece’s position time and again but stay flexible. After holding it properly, you have to jab the shave by applying power through the thumb and while drawing it back, the index finger will deliver the power.
If it creates noise in the starting, you can hold the spokeshave diagonally which lowers the blade angle and works in a fairer cut. This is normal. Even the finest spokeshave can cause to chatter.
A flat-bottom shave is needed to cut convex surface and a round-bottom shave for a concave surface. It is important to remember that a concave radius cannot be cut with a smaller radius spokeshave. You will only have to work downwards.
It may seem tricky in the beginning, but you yourself will accustom the other techniques as well once you start using one.
Do You Need Extra Adjuster?
In a spokeshave, an adjuster is used to control the thickness of the grain you want in a single blow. This helps you when you are precise about your demand.
For instance, if you want to shave more wood, you will have to adjust the blade in a certain way. And also if the necessity is to shave thin or less wood, the blade needs to be placed in a certain position. It assures the accuracy of the work.
Some spokeshave has a built-in adjuster and some do not. The ones with no adjustment knobs can be adjusted by using a hammer. Needless to say, that can be quite painful for a beginner.
The ones that have adjuster are adjusted by spinning the thumbscrew straightway. The coeval adjusters have two knobs. Though earlier, there used to be one knob which was harder to set.
The two knobbed adjusters are great. They allow you to set the blade parallelly or divergently. The blade rests completely on your control. This is handy for tricky works. It could be of a great help for a beginner.
How to Sharpen Spokeshave Blade
You may need to sharpen the spokeshave blade quite often for your work to be flawless. Often the spokeshave arrives in a shape that it needs to sharpen even before your first use. You can always sharpen it freehand, but that is quite a skill to perform and not everyone is an expert. So honing guide, whetstone, bench stone can help. They have to be equipped applied as instructed. A jig can be used to hold the blade to make it easier.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. My spokeshave is not cooperating, what can I do?
Answer: It can take time. Often most experienced woodworker may pass a hard time to tame it. You have to be patient to learn how to adjust and use a spokeshave. Make sure the blade to be acute. It will definitely work.
Q. Why does my spokeshave make a deep cut in the center than at the sides?
Answer: It can cause if you have tightened the thumbscrews too much. Loosen up one or both thumbscrews slightly and hopefully, it would work.
Q. Why is my spokeshave chattering while working?
Answer: An edgeless blade can cause this problem. Sharpen it, and it will work all right.
Q. Why is my spokeshave skipping whenever I try to make a cut?
Answer: That is because you need to sharpen the blade. Give it a try.
Q. My spokeshaving is leaving scratches on the plane despite a nice cut. Why is this happening?
Answer: The back edge of the blade can cause this problem especially on a concave surface. To solve this, you have to round the back edge of the blade with a sandpaper or a sharpening stone.
A spokeshave is a great tool if you can buy according to your working nature. The same brand can prove to be helpful for you but not for another person and vice versa. Therefore it is wise to choose all by yourself and scrutinize them carefully earlier than buying it. In this way, you can buy the best spokeshave amidst many.