Introduction: Make a Spokeshave

About: I have been working with wood since I could stumble into the shop with my dad. About a year ago I moved into a house with no space for a full shop so I decided to take up all hand tool wood working. That start…

Spokeshave is a fantastic tool to play with and a surprisingly easy tool to make. There are only two parts to a traditional spokeshave. 1. the iron, 2. the body.

You can find the irons on eBay from time to time or at your local antique store if you know what you are looking for.

or you can buy threaded irons here.

Tools needed:

Hand saw:



File and rasp set:

(optional) Spokeshave:

Step 1: Chose Your Wood

The body can be made out of most any hardwood, but traditionally, European Beach one of the best. In this case I used White Oak which works very nicely as well. One of the most common Woods used today hard maple.

Step 2: Mark Moles for Iron

First, choose a blank that is approximately 8 inches longer than the iron you want to use. The blank I am using is approximately 1-inch square by 11 inches long, as I'm using a 3 inch long iron. Position the iron centered on one side of the black, and then with light taps use the iron to Mark out the locations for the tangs that need to go through the body.

Step 3: Drill for Iron Tangs

Next, drill two the holes all the way through the blank. Make the hole diameter approximately the same with as the Tang, but that can vary as a square tang will shape its own hole.

Step 4: Make Way for Chips to Be Ejected

Next, Align the iron in the two holes that you made, and mark on the blank where the front of the iron is. Also, mark the sides of the iron so you know how wide to make the slot. Once the marks have been made and take the iron out and then cut two stop cuts on either side of where the iron will be at 45° back from the tip of the iron. Then remove the waste with a chisel. This will create an opening for the chips to eject from iron.

Step 5: Fit Iron to Body.

Next, You need to cut a small Groove from the hole you drilled to the mouth you cut so that the iron can't fit all the way down flat to the blank. Then, test the fit of the iron. The first time you drive it down it will be tight and will probably need small adjustments to make it fit all the way down.

Step 6: Shape Handle to Desired Feel

Next, shape the sole if you want it rounded or flat. This can be made any way you want to fit your uses. The handles also can be shaped with chisels to remove most of the waste. And then rasps and files or another spokeshave. There you go. A functional spokeshave.

if you want to find out more about spokeshaves, what they do and how to sharpen them. here is a second video that may help.

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