Spokeshave (restore) blog

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Blog entry by mafe posted 09-03-2010 10:01 AM 7774 reads 3 times favorited 12 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Spokeshave restore, refurbish
This is what I do…

Ok, here is the old chap ready for some LJ love.

Take it apart. (I discovered a defect, but since it’s a manual tool, this is no problem).

Remove the rust from the cap iron.

Sand it flat, so you will have a good contact to the blade.

Here you see it after, the flat area will secure a good contact now.

I choose also to work a little on the top of the cap, to round it, and make a nice sharp edge so the shaves will run off easy.

Take a little file, and flatten the bed of the spokeshave so you will have a good contact with the blade from this side also.

Clean up the bolt, this will serve your eye…

Here you can see how the bed has become ‘tired’ with the years, and need now a loving hand.

Sand or grind of the deep scratches, I use a diamond stone for this.

On the side of my wet grinder I give it a next grind.

And then it’s time to flatten the sole.
I have mounted sandpaper on some 8mm glass plates to ensure flatness.
Use higher and higher grids (100-220-340-400-600-1200) in this way you don’t leave marks from previous grids, and get a wonderful mirror finish. (if you are lazy stop at 340).

Clean up the blade for rust.

Flatten the blade with same technique as the sole.

The back and the front.

Sharpen the blade.

Polish, to make that razor edge.

Now wax or oil it all, so you will stop the rust.

And ready to go!

Hope it can bring some old tools back to glory,

Best of thoughts,

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

12 comments so far

View helluvawreck's profile


30765 posts in 2832 days

#1 posted 09-03-2010 11:37 AM

This is another nice tutorial, Mafe. I really enjoyed it because it is very concise and to the point and the photography is also nice. Great work.

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View docholladay's profile


1287 posts in 3025 days

#2 posted 09-03-2010 01:30 PM

Mads, well done. There isn’t anything quite like taking a fine shaving with a spoke shave. Have 3 or 4 old Spoke shaves I need to return to usefulness. Maybe someday soon, I will have some shop time.

-- Hey, woodworking ain't brain surgery. Just do something and keep trying till you get it. Doc

View swirt's profile


2646 posts in 2938 days

#3 posted 09-03-2010 03:34 PM

That’s a great job of restoring it and a fantastic lesson presented. Well done.

Now I know I need a diamond stone, it looked like it made short work of it.

One small typo to fix to avoid confusion for the many who will read this great lesson for years to come.
This sentence “Take a little file, and flatten the sole of the spokeshave so you will have a good contact with the blade from this side also.” should read “Take a little file and flatten the bed …”

-- Galootish log blog,

View canadianchips's profile


2600 posts in 2963 days

#4 posted 09-03-2010 03:37 PM

Another old tool that has found a GOOD HOME. Nice Job !

-- "My mission in life - make everyone smile !"

View Kent Shepherd's profile

Kent Shepherd

2718 posts in 3252 days

#5 posted 09-03-2010 07:19 PM

Great information, mafe

I have one very similar. I actually like it better that my new ones

Thanks for sharing


View Div's profile


1653 posts in 2906 days

#6 posted 09-03-2010 08:35 PM

Wished you were closer, then I can bring a few more for you to do! I think you will find some I have very interesting…I love working with spokeshaves and have quite a selection.

Very good job Mads, proud of you! You set such a good examlple!

-- Div @ the bottom end of Africa. "A woodworker's sharpest tool should be his mind."

View mafe's profile


11643 posts in 3055 days

#7 posted 09-04-2010 12:25 AM

Hi there,
Thank you for the comments, I’m always so happy when it seems usefull to make these blogs.
Swirt I’ll make the correction now, my English are fare from perfect, but I try. Please correct me.
I only just came to the spokeshaves my self, and yes they are really amazing tools.
Essential I guess.
I also have a wonderful old English wooden one, after I tuned it up and made it really sharp, it’s a dream tu use.
DIV – I would love to help you my friend. I learn every day.
Best thoughts,

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10880 posts in 3081 days

#8 posted 09-04-2010 01:43 AM

another great toturial picturebook Mads :-)
we just love pictures on this site….lol
speciel when they have the quality as theese :-)
and I like that you cut it out in cardboard for us and stop it in our head with a wooden spoon
thats the right way when it comes to serius things as tools and woodworking….lol

Div. let us see them next time you post a project then sneak a few tools into the last picture…lol

take care

View bigike's profile


4050 posts in 3254 days

#9 posted 05-15-2011 05:52 PM

nice work!

-- Ike, Big Daddies Woodshop,

View WayneC's profile


13753 posts in 4063 days

#10 posted 05-15-2011 05:57 PM

Thanks Mads, I had not seen this post. I have some shaves that can use this…..

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

View saddletramp's profile


1180 posts in 2604 days

#11 posted 05-15-2011 07:10 PM

Mads, you’re making me crazy. I keep reading your excellent tutorials and because of them my to do list (tool builds and restores) has increased exponentially. ;^)) Another great job!

-- ♫♪♪♫♫ Saddletramp, saddletramp, I'm as free as the breeze and I ride where I please, saddletramp ♪♪♪♫♪ ...... Bob W....NW Michigan (Traverse City area)

View mafe's profile


11643 posts in 3055 days

#12 posted 05-15-2011 11:02 PM

Saddletramp, I am happy to keep your list long. And even more happy to be able to inspire.
Wayne, then it was just the right time now! ;-)
Ike, thank you.
Smiles and the best of thoughts,

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

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