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What are the parts of a spokeshave?

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labelled spokeshave parts

Spokeshave body

spokeshave body The body of a spokeshave houses or connects all of the other components together.

Spokeshave handles

winged handles of a spokeshave The handles on a spokeshave are wing-like and extend out from either side of the body.

They are not conventional handles used purely for holding and moving the tool, the main gripping point of a spokeshave is actually towards the centre of the tool. The handles are to allow the user to feel the angle of the tool and improve stability and orientation.

spokeshave handles The increased length of the spokeshave, created by the handles, allows the user to feel the positioning of the tool when in use. This is because it is easier to judge when a longer object (a spokeshave) is not completely horizontal.

Blade

spokeshave blade The spokeshave blade has a bevelled edge and should be inserted into the body with the bevelled side facing downwards. The bevel and the angle of the blade cause it to push a small depth into the wood, then, as the spokeshave is moved along the piece at this depth, a thin sliver of the wood will be shaved off.

There are holes on the blade for the blade screw and thumbscrews, if required.

wood tear out The bevel points downwards on most metal spokeshaves, this gives it a high angle of approximately 45° which makes metal spokeshaves particularly suited to working on changing grains and for reducing tear out. This is because the angle at which the blade meets the wood is less likely to push the fibres it has not yet encountered, tearing them out.
Changing grain referrs to the direction of the wood grain and how the spokeshave meets this. Tear out is when the grains are pulled out further than intended, causing splits in the wood.
flat, convex, concave spokeshave blades There are three different shaped blades for the different types of spokeshave, these are flat, concave and convex.

For more information on types see: What spokeshave types are available?

spokeshave blade screw

Blade screw

The blade screw simply secures the blade to the body of the spokeshave.

There is a gap in both the blade and the cap where the screw will sit.

Adjustable thumbscrews

spokeshave adjustable thumbscrews Adjustable thumbscrews are an extra feature on spokeshaves and not available on all models. However, they are a beneficial addition as they allow the position of the blade to be adjusted to suit the purpose of the task. They can also increase or decrease the amount of wood that is shaved off in a single passing.

There are two thumbscrews which slot into two separate holes in the blade. The screws can then be screwed down to lower the blade or unscrewed to raise the blade. The thumbscrews can be adjusted equally for an even cut along the whole blade or disproportionately to create a variable cut.

Cap

spokeshave cap The cap sits on top of the blade in a spokeshave.

It secures the blade and the angle at which it is inserted.

spokeshave cap screw

Cap screw

The cap screw secures the cap to the body of the spokeshave.

Often this will be a screw which can be unscrewed by hand, but in some cases a screwdriver will be necessary.

Sole

spokeshave sole The sole of a spokeshave is the part of the tool that comes into contact with the wood.

There is a slot in the sole, also known as the ‘mouth’, where the blade sits. There are four available shapes for the sole, which is what differentiates the type of spokeshave. The different shapes are flat, round, convex and concave.

For more information on the types see: What spokeshave types are available?