Scraper shaves my way #8: Pencil sharpener shave (offcycle...)

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Blog entry by mafe posted 11-18-2011 02:04 PM 10950 reads 12 times favorited 23 comments Add to Favorites Watch
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Pencil sharpener shave

Ok this one is a wish I had for a long time, to make one of these pencil sharpener shaves, but I have had no luck to find an old sharpener and a new was too expensive I thought.

But then the other day in a local supermarket I finally had the luck, in a pile of junk sold for a dollar each.

Here it is!
Ok to be honest I was a little in doubt if this was constructive or destructive so I decided not to put batteries inside to see if it was actually working, in this way I can stay in the believe…
But I choose to call this an offcycle instead of up- or recycle.
The only advantage of a new is that the blade is new also, but I will guess old blades could be of better quality.
Honestly to get this thing apart was quite a challenge, but with some good old violence I managed at the end.

Next step was to find the last piece of old mahogany chair leg I have left, this because I wanted the design to fit with my scraper shaves .
Cut to size.

Then plane down to thickness.

Transfer the shape with a pencil.
Look how those shaves look like a creamy wonderful chocolate.

The band saw is priceless for these curves.

Now it starts to look like something.
Since I had absolutely no idea of the design I put on my thinking hat now.
Shout I cut out the center and put the shave on a threaded rot I could then tighten.
Should I make it a fixed shave, and what then when the shave needed sharpening…

This was what I came up with.
Perhaps not the most simple version, but at the end it was just a piece of threaded rot and an old nail, ten minutes of work and here we are.

And from the side.
How on earth can I fix this…

I better do some shaping on my Super sander, it always makes me uplifted.

Then drilling some holes for the holder.

Oil, polish and all that jazz that I always do…

This wax rocks by the way!
And as you can see by a miracle the holder is done…
All I really did was to cut the nail of a good mm long and then with a hammer form a rivet head, fast, easy and free.

So after a couple of brass washers and two of the so sweet knurled brass nuts it looks like a tool.
Look at those crazy shaves!

Really it cuts with almost no effort.
I’m not sure this will be a favorite tool, but it is fun and I can imagine for caved and organic forms it is a winner.

And I think I managed to make it be a good match for my scraper shaves.
Yes even for the pipe…

And since I had made the holder ready for it, it was just to place it on its shelf…


Zoom more!
And notice I hollowed out the body a bit so the shave was more in the body, in this way I managed to make a better balance in the tool.


Ok, this is why I don’t do videos, but you will get the point I hope.

That’s it!
It was a joy!

Here are some of the shaves that inspired me:

And this week TrBlu also posted a really nice one:

This time I was really inspired and had been looking forward for a long time to make this tool, so I hope it can bring on the inspiration and make others make these funny pencil sharpener shaves.,

Best thoughts,

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

23 comments so far

View Sodabowski's profile


2374 posts in 2833 days

#1 posted 11-18-2011 02:11 PM

Holy scrap Mads! Talk about an offcycle! It looks good and is just the perfect tool for smooth carving. Another line added to the to-do list :)

-- Thomas - Pondering the inclusion of woodworking into physics and chemistry classes...

View tenontim's profile


2131 posts in 3744 days

#2 posted 11-18-2011 02:21 PM

This is why I always say “never throw anything away”. I’ve never seen a pencil sharpener shave, but I have an old pencil sharpener that I just haven’t been able to toss. Now I have the inspiration to make something useful from it. Thanks for the great “how to” blogs that you’re constantly posting. I don’t always take time to comment on them, but I read them all. Soon I hope to have all of the hand tools that I need to pull the plugs on most of the power tools that I have.

View Brit's profile


7376 posts in 2843 days

#3 posted 11-18-2011 02:22 PM

So does it basically tear the wood off? I need a demo. Please add this to the must show Andy list when I next visit. :-)

-- - Andy - Old Chinese proverb says: "If you think something can't be done, don't interrupt man who is doing it."

View jjw5858's profile


1135 posts in 2602 days

#4 posted 11-18-2011 02:56 PM

This is really cool Mads, great idea and job on this!

-- "Always continue to learn, laugh and share!" JJW

View Maveric777's profile


2693 posts in 3077 days

#5 posted 11-18-2011 03:46 PM

Now that is definitely pretty cool Mads. I also agree… Renaissance wax most definitely rocks! I love the stuff (which I need to order some more… Thanks for reminding me…lol). Well done on the pencil sharpener shave! Good stuff!

-- Dan ~ Texarkana, Tx.

View ShopTinker's profile


884 posts in 2768 days

#6 posted 11-18-2011 04:05 PM

You’ve created yet another beautiful tool and taken us along on the journey. It looks to be very much at home among your other shaves. Thanks for sharing!

-- Dan - Valparaiso, Indiana, "A smart man changes his mind, a fool never does."

View nobuckle's profile


1120 posts in 2761 days

#7 posted 11-18-2011 04:10 PM

Another inspiring project Mads. I had never heard of a Pencil Sharpener shave until I saw the one made by TrBlu. I’m still not clear as to how it is used. I assume that you simply hold the shave steady and use it as you would any other style of shave. Or is it that as you push/pull the shave that you use a rolling motion as well?

-- Doug - Make an effort to live by the slogan "We try harder"

View getlostinwood's profile


224 posts in 2602 days

#8 posted 11-18-2011 04:16 PM

Yet one more piece of woodworking I was completely unaware of. Thanks Mads, I think this truly qualifies as an upcycle, a pencil sharpener seens so useless in comparison.

-- The basis for optimism is shear terror

View Beginningwoodworker's profile


13345 posts in 3673 days

#9 posted 11-18-2011 06:26 PM

Great blog, Mad.

View Mauricio's profile


7144 posts in 3152 days

#10 posted 11-18-2011 06:47 PM

That is crazy, I never even heard of a shave like that. The more I know the more I know that I dont know.

-- Mauricio - Woodstock, GA - "Confusion is the Womb of Learning, with utter conviction being it's Tomb" Prof. T.O. Nitsch

View TrBlu's profile


386 posts in 2626 days

#11 posted 11-18-2011 11:34 PM

Great blog, Mads

Thanks for sharing your wisdom with us.

-- The more I work with wood the more I recognize only God can make something as beautiful as a tree. I hope my humble attempts at this craft do justice by His masterpiece. -- Tim

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10880 posts in 3115 days

#12 posted 11-19-2011 12:48 AM

thank´s for the toturial picture book once again Mads :-)

I´m very glad for the last picture where you redraw the knife into the body
that was the thing I had to punch you about …. LOL
but as usual you are fast

thank you :-)

take care

View vipond33's profile


1405 posts in 2498 days

#13 posted 11-19-2011 04:42 AM

A neat unusual tool for sure. A couple of questions: Does the cutter rotate or is it fixed? Is the shave used at a skew angle i.e. perpendicular to the curved cutter faces or straight on? Could you still sharpen a pencil with it? Can’t count, that’s three.
Lovely finish.

-- gene@toronto.ontario.canada : dovetail free since '53, critiques always welcome.

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10880 posts in 3115 days

#14 posted 11-19-2011 10:31 AM

now the chanlenge is up Mads ….. do you take it again …..
lets see version two …. :-)

best thoughts

View mafe's profile


11725 posts in 3089 days

#15 posted 11-19-2011 04:43 PM

Dennis, No…

Vonhagen, I look forward to see this! Lol. Perhaps someone was thinking so before the invented the electric hand plane…

vipond33, the cutter is fixed; it’s really not complex at all, just me making it look so. Imagine that it is just a series of blades after each other so when you skew it can go either completely parallel with the shave and do nothing or completely across and be kind of a scraper, in-between you will have different levels of aggression. Did that make sense? Yes you can sharpen a pencil, but it will be a whole lot more easy if you had put the batteries in the sharpener and not put on a handle… Laugh.

Dennis, again – yes the use of the tool was out balance when it was mounted under, it worked, but just with more effort.

TrBlu, I thank you back.

mochoa, yes the more we learn the less we know I agree, life is so wonderful ironic in this sense.

CJIII, you should be using that router by now.

getlostinwood, ahh I’m happy, it is then an upcycle, I felt a little lost in the offcycle. Thank you. ;-)

nobuckle, read my comment for vipond33. Perhaps I need to do a video.

ShopTinker, yes I feel also it got it’s home, but I actually think the design of TrBlu is better, but I am as you know the vintage architect so it needed to be so.

Dan, all you need now is to find a sharpener…

jjw5858, I smile – big one.

Andy, I will make a video clip one of the days, it seems needed, and I will be happy to see you play.

tenontim, I used to have one of these sharpener for years in one of my never throw away boxes, so when it finally had to be used I realized it had gone to trash in one of moving’s, then it was just to wait. (I also have a soft spot there).

Thomas, yes this is really one for you I think. And now the lathe is spinning you can make the round version easy!

Thank you all for your kind comments, and interesting and funny once too,
best of my thoughts and wishes for a wonderful weekend,

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

showing 1 through 15 of 23 comments

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