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Project by DHS posted 02-24-2013 09:03 PM 4503 views 8 times favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I’m in my mid-forties but I’m somewhat embarrassed to admit that I just started shaving. In fact, I learned how to do it just yesterday. A friend and fellow member of our local woodworker’s association taught a course on spokeshave construction at his shop. I purchased the Large Wooden Spokeshave Kit from Lee Valley and I found a piece of curly maple in my cut-off bin that was just the right size for this project. It took me about eight hours to make the tool (after dimensioning the stock and making a couple of jigs that I used during construction). There were a couple of tricky parts to this project. The holes for the blade and thumb wheels had to be perfectly placed and drilled to just the right depth. And, threading the holes for the thumb wheels required a lot of care. But, shaping the shave was a lot of fun.

After drilling the holes for the hardware, I sawed kerfs in the center of the shave handle and then chiseled out the waste to make the ware (the angled opening that allows shavings to exit the blade). I carefully chiseled the slot to hold the blade at the proper depth. I planed a four degree bevel along the front edge of the sole. Using a jig, I filed a brass strip for the front of the sole – 45 degrees along the length and 100 degrees at the ends. This allowed the back end of the strip to line up with the angle of the ware and the ends could then slide into the matching chiseled slot, also cut at an angle. I drilled and tapped screw holes to hold the brass strip in place and filed and sanded the sole to flatten it. I then used a bandsaw to cut the spokeshave roughly to shape and filed and sanded until it reached its final form. I applied a coat of BLO to bring out the figure in the maple handle. Perhaps I’ll top coat with shellac, but for now I’ll leave it just as it is.

So now that I’ve learned how to shave, I suppose next I’ll have to learn responsibility…

-- Dave S., Bellingham, WA

10 comments so far

View alholstein's profile


222 posts in 4183 days

#1 posted 02-24-2013 09:15 PM


Your choice of wood was excellent. It is a thing of beauty just to look at. Good job!

-- Al Holstein "I wood do it"

View farmerdude's profile


652 posts in 2181 days

#2 posted 02-24-2013 10:22 PM

WOW! Nice shave, that is some great looking wood. You did a fantastic job.

-- Jeff in central Me.

View bhog's profile


2238 posts in 2832 days

#3 posted 02-24-2013 11:07 PM

Nice spokeshave man.I have the same kit and started it in the same wood but put it on the shelf to work on other projects.That was atleast 6 months ago,thanks for the reminder.
Yours turned out really nice.

-- I don't drive a Prius.

View Lee A. Jesberger's profile

Lee A. Jesberger

6864 posts in 4121 days

#4 posted 02-24-2013 11:15 PM

Looks great.


-- by Lee A. Jesberger

View MonteCristo's profile


2099 posts in 2330 days

#5 posted 02-25-2013 03:09 AM

Beautiful spokeshave !

-- Dwight - "Free legal advice available - contact Dewey, Cheetam & Howe""

View Ripthorn's profile


1458 posts in 3127 days

#6 posted 02-25-2013 01:54 PM

Absolutely gorgeous. Going to have to do one of these after my current tool making projects are finished.

-- Brian T. - Exact science is not an exact science

View helluvawreck's profile


32083 posts in 3008 days

#7 posted 02-25-2013 01:57 PM

Nice tool. Good work.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View jap's profile


1251 posts in 2196 days

#8 posted 02-25-2013 02:28 PM


-- Joel

View Fishinbo's profile


11362 posts in 2317 days

#9 posted 02-27-2013 03:12 PM

Looks good and well made. Like the curly maple.

View farmerdude's profile


652 posts in 2181 days

#10 posted 03-02-2013 01:04 AM

OK, I have wanted a good spokeshave, and, after seeing this fine job, I ordered the kit. I don’t have alot of time right now to build it, but it arrived today, so we’ll see. The wood you used is beautiful, too bad I don’t have any like it. I do have some mahogany, I think that will do. You have done a fantastic job, I hope mine comes out half as good as yours, thanks for posting this sweet looking project!

-- Jeff in central Me.

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