How to use a Spokeshave tool? 9 basic steps.

The Spokeshave is a versatile hand tool used in woodworking to shape and smooth curved surfaces such as chair legs, stair handrails, and other rounded workpieces. It consists of a metal body with two handles and a blade placed between them. 

Below are the steps to use the Spokeshave planer:

1. Preparation of the Spokeshave planer and the workpiece:

• Make sure you have a properly sharpened and adjusted blade on the planer. The blade must be sharp and securely seated in the body of the tool.

• Make sure that the workpiece is well fixed in the vice or work table. This will ensure safe and high-quality use of the tool and consequently good results.

2. Assess fiber direction:

• Examine the wood and determine the direction of the fibers or to grow. It is important to work along the growth to prevent tearing and achieve a nicer, smoother result.

3. Grip of the Spokeshave planer:

• Hold the planer with both hands. Your dominant hand should face the front of the tool while the other hand holds the back of the handle for support and control.

4. Start of cut:

• Place the planer at the beginning of the area you want to shape or smooth.

• Tilt the tool slightly so that only part of the blade touches the wood.

• Press down slightly to engage the blade with the wood.

5. Planing wood:

• Push the blade forward along the fibers with long, smooth strokes.

• Maintain even pressure and angle to ensure even material pick-up.

• If necessary, adjust the inclination and direction of the tool to follow the roundness of the workpiece.

6. Checking your progress:

• Stop occasionally and assess the shape and smoothness of the wood.

• Make any necessary adjustments to your technique or spokeshave settings.

7. Final cuts:

• As you approach the desired shape, reduce the depth of cut by adjusting the position of the blade or applying less pressure to the workpiece.

• Gradually clean the surface with minimal consumption of material until you achieve the desired smoothness and shape.

8. Iterate and improve:

• Continue working along the surface, with the movements of the planer, until the desired result is achieved.

• Pay attention to the uniformity of the depth and direction of the cuts.

9. Sanding and finishing touches:

• When you are satisfied with the shape, you can further improve the surface by sanding it with sandpaper. Gradually increase the granulation/coarseness.

• Sanding will remove any tool marks and provide a smooth, finished appearance.

It takes a lot of practice to get good results with the Spokeshave tool, so don’t give up. Practice on scrap pieces of wood and improve your grip, movement, and set up technique before tackling the finished product. In addition to the technique, make sure that the blade is well-sharpened.

Remember to prioritize safety when using any hand tool.

You can find Spokeshave tools in the category Woodworking tools/Hand planes by Clicking HERE.

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