Revamping a broken spokeshave
I was working in my shop a few days ago when I heard something fall of my bench and hit the floor. Sure enough it was my antique Sheffield spokeshave that I have been using constantly for the past 15 years laying on the floor with a broken handle. The handle broke a few years earlier but I just glued it back in place with some yellow glue back then. Unfortunately the break was more pronounced this time and a small sliver of wood was missing from the end. I looked on my shop floor for several minutes looking for the sliver but to no avail.
My first thought was “Great, now I have to buy another spokeshave.” But after a couple of minutes of crying in my beer I realized “Wait a minute, I’m a woodworker, I’ll just make a new body!” So I grabbed a piece of cherry I had lying around and started to mill it out.
The process of making a new body was quite simple. I simply laid out the broken spokeshave on top of the scrap wood and traced around the profile. I then took it over to the band saw and rough cut the shape. I then took it to my bench and refined curves with files and rasps so it matched the original. For the mouth opening I sawed several kerfs and popped out the middle with a chisel.
After the body had been shaped I used the original spokeshave as a template again and marked where the holes went for the blade. I drill 5/16″ holes with a 7/16″ counterbore 14″ deep through the body. I then placed the brass wing nuts and plate on top of the holes and scribed the profile with an Exacto knife and pared away the recess with a couple of small chisels.
Once I fine tuned all the parts of the spokeshave and sharpened the blade I made a few test cuts to see how it performed. Luckily it cut just as well as it did before. After a couple of coats of Danish oil, I have a new spokeshave that should last just as long as the old one did and it didn’t cost me a cent.
I used the original spokeshave as a template and carefully traced the body onto a scrap piece of cherry
Once the body was cut out on the bandsaw I refined the shae with files and rasps.
I sawed kerfs down the middle for the mouth opening.
I used the spokeshave again as a template to mark where the holes were to be drilled.
I placed the brass nuts on top of the holes and traced the outline of the brass plate.
Spokeshave is back in business and cuts just as well as the original.
My antique spokeshave that fell off the bench. It's days are over.