Thursday, March 17, 2016

Traditional Wooden Spokeshave Use & Care Instructions

I've had a great initial production run on the new traditional spokeshave. I'm nearly sold out at the moment, with the last 2 now available in my shop. It's been fantastic showing this tool off and the feedback has been encouraging. I recently had the pleasure of demonstrating this tool and putting it into the hands of many people at the Lie-Nielsen Hand Tool Event at the Braxton Brewery in Covington, KY. It was a blast! You know what I mean if you were there. Hope they put it on again next year.

I wanted to give you a good view of the final shave after all the prototype versions I have shown here and on Instagram. I made some in boxwood, pear, persimmon and, of course, beech. 

All the shaves have a persimmon (ebony) wear strip inserted into the sole for high wear properties. I have been so pleased with this aspect of the tool and the feedback that this all wood sole gives. It has been great fun getting these into peoples' hands and seeing their eyes light up when they realize how different a traditional shave is in use. Hope to get more chances to do this. Next time will probably be at Woodworking in America 2016.  

This shave is being produced in the manner that the original shaves were made in the 19th century. All of its initial shaping is produced by machinery. Below is one step of many in the process. All the final fitting and finishing is done by hand.

Because of the feedback and demand for this shave I have recruited Claire Minihan to assist me with doing all the final blade fitting, sharpening, and finishing of these shaves going forward. If you are in the windsor chairmaking world you already know Claire for her fantastic travishers. They are phenomenal and there is no one better to set up a tool like this than her. Without her assistance I would very likely be unable to produce this tool with any regularity. 

As promised, here are the Use & Care Instructions for the shave. It includes a simple shop made jig for sharpening the blade, if that's your style. I use it primarily to establish the hollow grind at my bench grinder. 

Keep an eye here and on my Instagram feed for news of the next production run. Enjoy!


  1. Those are beautiful Caleb, nice work!

  2. Caleb, I got to use Greg Pennington's spoke shave today in the class I'm taking from him. I gotta have one! Have you sold the last two? If not, I'd like to buy. If they're gone, when will you go back into production?

    1. Lyn, I'm putting some traditional shaves into production this week actually. Hope to have some shipping in about 6 weeks if all goes well. Go to You should see them in my shop for pre-order. Thank you for the feedback!