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Ml M/ ooden spoke-■f V shaves were once W W among the most f » common woodworking tools —no woodworker would have been without one. Perhaps that's why they're still relatively easy to find at flea markets and antique tool shops.

Nowadays, wooden spokeshaves have been largely replaced by metal-bodied spokeshaves, which have the blade set at a high angle to cut like a plane blade. Unfortunately, this can cause the blade to chatter, especially when taking a heavy cut. In the old wooden w shaves, the blade is nearly flat on the work, making it cut more like a paring chisel, with a smoother action. A good, sharp, wooden shave can take a fine shaving off end grain, leaving it smooth and crisp. You just can't do that with a modern metal shave.

Years ago, I fashioned my own wooden spokeshaves, made with a couple of vintage blades I'd picked up on my travels. One spokeshave was ebony, and the other was rose-

V r wood. Each had an ivory wear plate let into its sole. (Now I'd use brass or bone for the wear plate instead of ivory.) Among all the tools I use. these spokeshaves quickly became my favorites. Since they work so well for me. I want to share my method of making wooden spokeshaves with other woodworkers.

Spokashaw Blades

Before you begin making a spokeshave, you need to get a blade. There

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