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A Spokeshave is a woodworking hand tool used for shaping and smoothing curved or contoured wood surfaces.

Basically, the tool consists of a narrow, flat body with handles on both ends, as well as a blade that protrudes from the bottom. The blade’s depth is adjustable, allowing users to adjust settings based on the desired cut.

Spokeshaves are essential for woodworkers, carpenters, and craftsmen who need to refine and shape wooden components with precision.

Spokeshave Types

Spokeshaves come in various designs, each suited for various tasks. Here are some of the most common ones:

  • Flat-bottomed: This type is suitable for creating flat or slightly curved surfaces such as chamfers and bevels. Moreover, woodworkers also use the tool for smoothing the edges of wooden boards.
  • Round-bottomed: Round-bottomed spokeshaves are ideal for shaping and smoothing concave surfaces. This includes the inside part of a curved wooden piece (such as chair legs or a wooden bowl).
  • Convex-bottomed: This is designed for shaping convex surfaces such as the exterior curves of a wooden piece.
  • Concave-bottomed: This spokeshave comes with a concave sole and is suitable for shaping concave surfaces and hollowed-out areas.
  • Adjustable: Some spokeshaves have adjustable blades and mouth openings, allowing users to customize the tool for specific needs.
  • Beading: This version is suitable for creating decorative edges or beads on wooden furniture.
  • Scraper: These are equipped with scraping blades instead of cutting blades, making them ideal for smoothing or removing material from surfaces.
  • Combination: This one combines flat and round features, making it a versatile tool for various wood types and tasks.

Handling Safety

Here are some safety tips to avoid accidents when using a spokeshave:

  • Train and Practice: Learn how to use the tool and practice first before starting with the woodworking operation.
  • Inspect the Tool: Inspect the tool for any signs of damage or wear. Make sure the blades are kept sharp.
  • Maintain Proper Grip: Hold the tool properly and maintain a firm grip without exerting too much pressure.
  • Grain Direction: When using a spokeshave, work with the grain of wood and not against it. This reduces the potential of tear-outs and ensures smoother results as well.
  • Watch for Knots and Defects: Be cautious when approaching knots or irregularities in the wood, as they can cause the tool to catch and jump.
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John Friedenbach

My initial goal, to provide a selection of tools, education and plans to the Beginning to Advance Woodworker has not changed. I continue to search the web to find new products and services. To bring those products and services to your attention.

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