Friday 7 December 2012

Confession Time

Nothing much happening around here lately.
Too sick to make.
But I do have a confession to make, the reason I have not
finished this spokeshave yet.
Over the last week or so I keep fitting Lignum Vitae mouths...
and they keep falling out!
Note - those were not my Kinder eggs in the background, honestly.
But the chocolate is very nice, apparently.
You can see her evidence from about 5 attempts.
So what is going wrong?
The only thing I usually do that I have not been doing is wiping the Lignum down with acetone prior to the application of the glue, but then again I have never tried gluing to Jarrah before?
I have used this technique to successfully glue with EvoStick wood glue and used tools like this for many, many years.
I have of course tried Titebond Polyurethane adhesive as well...
Still came off when I applied a tap to it...

So a few days ago I resorted to cutting a compound angle
and dovetailing in a piece of Ebony instead.
Used Polyurethane glue - thinly applied to both pieces and got a
nice glue joint as I hope you can see.

Below you can see the foam after the glue has dried, typical of this glue.

Anyway this brings me to the last part of my confession.
I am binning this spokeshave - back to the drawing board for me.
Well 2 main reasons:
1. I do not like the 60 degree angle (sorry David!)
2. A mistake in clearing the mouth means I have created 2 small shaving traps
these are just behind the sides of the blade and these annoy me.
Lots of lessons learnt, here are just a few:
1. Do not use the best wood for the first attempt
2. Use easy to work timber for the first attempt.
3. Its great to work on  blade fitting before shaping
(in case something like this happens!)
4. Remember your own golden rule Berin...
''Most mistakes happen during roughing out''
(well they do for me anyway!)
5. When researching a Japanese tool, Google the Japanese characters.
6. As Max Ehrman said
 ''Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in times of sudden misfortune''
7. I think that I could be onto something perhaps:
Holm oak is amazing and possibly our best substitute for Japanese Oak?
You now know what I will do once I am well again...
8. There are lots of ways of making a spokeshave,
some work and some do not.
9. Keep to your original plans -
should have borrowed that Japanese Spokeshave for reference,
but then again its just a kanna with handle after all.
10. Its a lot more simpler than it looks outside and
lots more complicated than it looks inside.


  1. Shame that it didn't work. Trying to make a travisher with a small plane iron at the moment and I'm struggling. Too many options and so much to go wrong.

  2. Hope you get better soon mate and that it's nothing serious.

    Shame about the shave but I'm sure the mk2 version will be a cracker.

  3. Thankyou both very much for your comments, I feel not so lonely now!

    David - I thought Travishers were curved? I would be interested in how you are approaching this? Have you curved the end of the iron rather than accross its width? I have a Japanese Kanna like this that is small and works very well. My advice would be to go for it, don't try and make it pretty, just make it work, I have made perhaps 6 wooden spokeshaves, the first one still is the nicest looking one - but it still doesnt work well! I just look at Krenov's planes at a time like you seem to be in, I have spent hours trawling the world finding images of his planes, rough, ready, and work well, apparently?! Would love to see some images when you are done?

    neoshed, ahh and the Mk2 version.... Yes your confidence puts a smile on my face, thankyou. It will hopefully be the start of a run on these, I have a few small antique Kanna blades, this could be just what they need. I plan on building up a little stock then selling it all!

  4. Imagine a curved blade like the ones in Jack or Scrub planes and a spokeshave body. I've got to buy some timber for the prototypes but I shall post the progress on my blog and let you know I've made plenty of blunders before, I tell myself it's all part of the creative process but usually it's because I haven't planned enough.