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How do you sharpen a spokeshave?

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Forum topic by spaids posted 1581 days ago 7728 views 0 times favorited 11 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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spaids

699 posts in 2325 days


1581 days ago

I acquired some tools that need rehab. Not too much work is needed but the blades are in bad shape.

How do you sharpen the blade of a spokeshave? Its so short I can’t use it in my honing guide.

Thanks
Spaids

-- Wipe the blood stains from your blade before coming in.--


11 replies so far

View rwyoung's profile

rwyoung

369 posts in 2103 days


#1 posted 1581 days ago

Freehand on waterstones. Substitute any other flat sharpening media as you see fit (sandpaper, oilstones, diamond stones).

Flat back and clean bevel on the front. Try 25 (approximately) degrees for the angle. If the edge crumbles too easily on the next use, bump up the angle to 30. You can also put a tiny microbevel (Charlesworth ruler trick) on the 51/151 style blades. I’ve also put a VERY slight camber on my 51 blade so the corners are less likely to dig in should I work a large piece. On my low angle blade (Veritas), I keep it as square as possible.

This is a good reason to learn to sharpen freehand. :)

If this is the long, narrow style (low-angle, woodie) with either studs or posts on the sides, you will be working the bevel the long direction on just the edge of the “stone”. If this is a blade from a 51/53/151 etc then you deal with it the same as a plane blade. If you really, really feel you can’t hold such a blade freehand, there are honing jigs that can handle the short blades. Even the Eclipse style can handle a 51/151 blade if it hasn’t been ground too short.

If this is a concave blade, you just flatten the back and then either use round hones or make a hone by wrapping sandpaper on dowels or shaped forms to match the curve. I’ve had better luck gluing on some 400/600 paper to a large diameter dowel, clamping that in a vice at and angle and then drawing the blade across the hone.

YMMV.

-- Don't sweat the petty things and don't pet the sweaty things.

View rhett's profile

rhett

697 posts in 2299 days


#2 posted 1581 days ago

This same issue is what prompted me to learn the skill of freehand sharpening. Its like anything else, just try it and keep trying it. This is a skill that can only make your life easier in the long run. I can now keep a chisel and plane sharp and don’t have to get set-up to do it.

-- http://planeandsimpleblog.wordpress.com/

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spaids

699 posts in 2325 days


#3 posted 1581 days ago

Free hand huh? This blade is such bade shape that it even needs a new primary bevel. I just don’t have the skill to free hand this thing. I guess I’ll have to check out the honing guide options for a short blade. Its a shame because I have a Veritas honing guide that works very well for me.

Thanks for the help.

-- Wipe the blood stains from your blade before coming in.--

View swirt's profile

swirt

1937 posts in 1604 days


#4 posted 1581 days ago

Not sure exactly which kind of blade you have, but if it is like a Stanley spoke shave, you can ducttape the blade to a plane blade and then mount the plane blade into your guide. It may take a little tweaking to get the angle you want.

-- Galootish log blog, http://www.timberframe-tools.com

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spaids

699 posts in 2325 days


#5 posted 1581 days ago

YES! Of course I feel so STUPID! DUCT TAPE DUCT TAPE DUCT TAPE.

It should have been the FIRST thing I turned to when I found my self at a road block. It fixes EVERY other problem in life so why not this one.

I’m gonna try it.

-- Wipe the blood stains from your blade before coming in.--

View rwyoung's profile

rwyoung

369 posts in 2103 days


#6 posted 1581 days ago

You can put a primary bevel on very quickly with either a coarse stone or just some 100 grit paper stuck down to glass, stone or table-saw wing. And I mean VERY FAST. If you need help getting that primary angle established, make yourself a cheater block at the angle you need and use it to help position the blade in your hands for the first stroke or two. Obviously it will loose size (height) to the sandpaper or stone but think of it as another way to use up your scrap AND as training wheels for free-hand.

That said, I will use an Eclipse jig for roughing a bevel in just because it lets me square a blade quickly. I have no problem gripping a 51 blade in the lower half of my Eclipse clone. After that initial work, I revert back to freehand and unless I really screw it up, I touch up the edge freehand. Just faster than fooling around with a jig.

What jig are you using?

-- Don't sweat the petty things and don't pet the sweaty things.

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spaids

699 posts in 2325 days


#7 posted 1581 days ago

I have the veritas Mk II that works very well. I am able to free hand a little and I have done some free hand sharpening on this spoke shave and I was able to shave with it but it really needs to be ground down pretty far and started over in my opinion. It wasn’t and still isn’t square and free handing a primary bevel is slow going for me. I have some norton stones and the 220 just seems to rub away pretty fast. If I made some kind of jig that would let me keep the proper angle while grinding on the side of my little wheel grinder then I might be able to go from hand on my stones from there.

ps The edges on my stuff that fit in my honing guide are just so perfect, I feel like I’m not done until everything is at that same level.

-- Wipe the blood stains from your blade before coming in.--

View Dennisgrosen's profile

Dennisgrosen

10850 posts in 1747 days


#8 posted 1581 days ago

take a block of wood cut a 25angle in one end and at the other end 20 or 30 angle
depending on wich angle you want and wich honning angle you want
then you just mount it with a screw on the ends of the jiig
simple and easy ( it looks little like the chieselplane from L-N)

Dennis

View swirt's profile

swirt

1937 posts in 1604 days


#9 posted 1581 days ago

Forgot to add that a squirt of WD-40 will remove the duct tape residue when you are done. Lately I have been using a couple of really small c-clamps (3/4” max opening) to clamp my Stanley 151 to an old plane blade. It’s a little more precise than the duct tape but the same effect if you happen to have the mini c-clamps.

-- Galootish log blog, http://www.timberframe-tools.com

View marcb's profile

marcb

762 posts in 2305 days


#10 posted 1581 days ago

Grind a new primary bevel and freehand. Freehanding a hollow grind is dead easy with a tiny bit of practice.

View Marc5's profile

Marc5

304 posts in 1974 days


#11 posted 1581 days ago

Hey Spaids,

You can use your honing gage. Use the Green Dot on the base and yellow 35 on the blade gage. This set up will get you close to 25 degrees. It works for me.

Good luck.

-- Marc

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