Nowadays, most households have a workshop with all sorts of hand tools for DIY projects. In these workshops, you’re sure to find a claw hammer, tape measure, utility knife, moisture meter, chisel, lever, and a nail set. But your working tool won’t be complete without a spokeshave. It’s a bladed tool used to shape curve surfaces when doing woodcraft.
If you are looking into getting this hand tool, this article will equip you with the things you need to know, such as how to set up a spokeshave and a couple of other information that will help you learn more about this useful tool.
What are the Different Parts of a Spokeshave
Before we get to the details on how to set up a spokeshave, you need to know its parts, which are as follows:
- Sole (with the handles)
- Cap Iron
- Cap Iron Screw
- Cap Iron Angle Adjustment Screw
- Blade (Iron)
- Blade Adjustment Knobs
A spokeshave is a tool with a bladed base and has two round handles for the user to grip on. Originally, they were used to shape spokes; hence, their name. But modern-day usage includes trimming and smoothing round surfaces.
Setting a spokeshave might be confusing and scary at first because you will be handling a blade. But practicing and using it more often would make you a pro in no time.
Different Forms of Spokeshave
A travisher is a special form of spokeshave which has a convex blade. This form of spokeshave is the one used in forming the saddle on a chair. You can picture out that this form is perfect for various shaping projects. This tool is the best thing to use to shape and smooth woods in different woodworking projects such as chair legs, paddles, cartwheels, bows, and arrows.
A spokeshaves’ sole is made of a combination of metal and wood. They’re produced in various shapes and sizes. They also come in different forms, such as a flat-bottom, concave, or convex.
Steps in Setting Up a Spokeshave
Learning how to set up a spokeshave is easy, whether you are starting with a brand new spokeshave or putting an old one together. Like any other bladed woodworking tool, it is essential to sharpen the iron blade for ease of use. Here’s how to set up a spokeshave.
- Remove the blade from the sole carefully.
- Sharpen the blade with the use of a guide, two grit oil stones, a leather strop, and a bench hook. When whetting sharps, make sure the presentation angle is correct to create a slight arch on the bevel.
- To sharpen the blade, put an ultra-keen edge on it.
- Set the cutting iron depth using two adjusters, to lower or retract the blade for alignment. Operate adjusters one at a time. With the cutting edge as your viewpoint, continue adjusting the alignment until it’s parallel to the spokeshave’s sole at the front side.
- Test out the depth by using a long thin piece of wood. Make a shaving from both sides of the blade, one side at a time, with the same pressure.
- The front edge of the cap iron should then be enhanced by putting it on a residual wood and place it, so it hangs a little bit over the edge. Flatten the sole of the spokeshave using the diamond stones to refine it even more.
- Put the blade back in the tool and make sure to allow the cutting edge to protrude. See to it that the blade extends evenly across the opening.
How to Use a Spokeshave
After following through the process of how to set up a spokeshave, you can now get pieces of scrap wood and start making different cuts of your preference.
If you would like to create thicker shavings on one side and a cleaner cut on the other, tilt the blade as you cut. Be reminded that the more you make the blade visible, the deeper the cut will be.
Work with caution and grace as shaved wood can no longer be undone. If you keep making this mistake, you’ll unnecessarily thin out the wood. Be mindful in adjusting the depth of the cut when needed.
A spokeshave is a perfect tool if you are looking into flush trimming hardwood edging on plywood or chamfering edges. This tool can also help you form spindles and shape edges on the hardwood.
Most woodworkers use spokeshaves by pulling it towards them as they cut, although this tool is designed for outward operation. It’s ok to be flexible with this tool.
Another thing that you have to take note of when using this device is the wood grain. If the wood tears, you might be going against the grain of the wood which can cause unnecessary flaking and chipping. To prevent damaging the lumber, you need to turn the tool or the wood 180 degrees. Some woodworkers also find it easier to cut with the spokeshave a bit skewed.
With this simple guide on how to set up a spokeshave, working with this tool will now be a lot easier. So when you get the chance to visit a hardware store, you are no longer clueless about how it works. This affordable and useful carpentry tool is definitely a pleasure to own and use in your workshop. Find out more about spokeshaves.