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Stopping Spokeshave Chatter

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Forum topic by TheWoodenOyster posted 03-18-2014 04:41 PM 2744 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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TheWoodenOyster

1275 posts in 1402 days


03-18-2014 04:41 PM

Topic tags/keywords: spokeshave chatter

Hey everyone,

I was using my spokeshave today and couldn’t get the dang thing to stop chattering. I waxed the sole and the blade was sharp (I couldn’t get it quite as sharp as my plane blades, but it was still very sharp). The spokeshave is a cast iron flat bottom stanley 151 with the original blade.

Any ideas on how to stop the spokeshave chatter? Or is it just the nature of the beast?

Thanks

-- The Wood Is Your Oyster


7 replies so far

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Loren

8314 posts in 3115 days


#1 posted 03-18-2014 04:55 PM

It’s the nature of the tool in my experience. We try to
substitute spokeshaves for compass planes and drawknives.

They’re called a spokeshave because they’re a tool for
shaping riven wheel spokes. Considering the straight
grain of riven spoke blanks and also that a wheel spoke
doesn’t usually need a tear-out free surface and the
spokeshave makes sense.

Downhill convex rounded shapes I might use a block
or larger plane on, making short tangential cuts, then
fairing the curve with rasps and/or files. Concave
curves are trickier.

I used to have a compass plane but seldom used it
and I wasn’t that impressed with the cut quality.

View Tim's profile

Tim

3119 posts in 1428 days


#2 posted 03-18-2014 06:23 PM

Maybe try taking a thinner shaving and/or skewing the spokeshave (one hand closer to you than the other). Are you going against the grain by chance? If so try turning the wood around or pushing instead of pulling.

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TheWoodenOyster

1275 posts in 1402 days


#3 posted 03-18-2014 07:24 PM

Thanks for the input guys.

Loren- I was sort of worried it was the nature of the beast, and it sounds like that is at least somewhat true. Thought about a compass plane, but I am a little wary of them. Seems like the sort of tool that work in a laboratory and that is about it. Been wanting some Rasps lately. I am trying to get a good system down for fairing curves, and I think the rasp might be the answer. Freehanding a fair curve is pretty difficult with a spokeshave and sandpaper.

Tim- I am going with the grain and skewing. That helps, but doesn’t totally solve it.

-- The Wood Is Your Oyster

View jdh122's profile

jdh122

879 posts in 2284 days


#4 posted 03-18-2014 07:49 PM

I’ve had very good experience with high quality spokeshaves (in my case Veritas ones). I have very little chatter and use them all the time. I have used cheap ones and found them nothing but frustrating, although your historical one is probably much better quality.
One problem on cheaper ones is that the casting behind the iron is poor, leaving part of the iron unsupported. There was an article in a magazine not that long ago about how to tune up a cheap one using epoxy (JB Weld type, not the kind we use for glue) to sort of cast a new place for the iron to rest. Seems like a lot of work to me, but apparently the author got a $15 ss to work like a $100 one. https://www.canadianwoodworking.com/tipstechniques/tuning-and-using-spokeshave
Brian Boggs also had an article in FWW that was interesting on this subject.

-- Jeremy, in the Acadian forests

View Loren's profile

Loren

8314 posts in 3115 days


#5 posted 03-18-2014 08:31 PM

Check out the Iwasaki files. They are an awesome value
compared to hand-cut rasps. Machine cut rasps are
kind of blah for furniture grade work.

oh… and the old-fashioned spoke shaves with the tanged
forged blades work better in my opinion. I only have
one, a funny forged aluminum thing, but it has that
style of low angle iron and it’s nice to use. I think
Lee Valley sells some new ones in that style.

Also, the 151 is prone to breakage. I dropped one
it one side split off where the casting is tapped for
the height screw. The ones lacking the height
screws are stronger. I have a couple of those with
curved bottoms. Still hard to fare a curve with them
taking anything more than a narrow cut.

View TheWoodenOyster's profile

TheWoodenOyster

1275 posts in 1402 days


#6 posted 03-18-2014 09:30 PM

Jeremy – I was thinking a more expensive one might work a little better. Probably not in the funds right now, but I might save up for one and splurge when I have a project where I will be using a spokeshave a lot.

Loren – I’ll definitely check out those Iwasaki files. I might actually start another forum on some cheap rasp options, but I’ll start with Iwasaki. I’ll check out the tanged blade spokeshaves as well.

Thanks for the help guys

-- The Wood Is Your Oyster

View Tim's profile

Tim

3119 posts in 1428 days


#7 posted 03-24-2014 01:32 PM

WoodenOyster, didn’t mean to insult if you were already doing those, but those are the really basic things to try and sometimes people miss the basic stuff. Found this from Patrick Leach:

One thing that you’ll likely suffer the first time you
ever use one, especially the metallic models, is chatter. This is almost
always due to too much pressure being placed on the heel of the tool
causing it to rock back on itself. You also need to put sufficient
pressure on the toe, ahead of the iron. Forceful strokes will make it
spew tight curls effortlessly.

http://www.cs.cmu.edu/~alf/en/leach-spoke.txt

I’d have to assume that chatter can also come from the iron not having a flat bed to sit on just like a plane frog not being flat.

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