I was sharpening my favorite gunboat spokeshave. This is the big mamoo... An old coopers tool of course. I rebuilt it and
put more comfy handle tips on it years ago.
I love this thing. Its practically a cross
between a spokeshave and a drawknife. Easiest tool to use I own,
and the one I always hand visitors in my shop to try out.
takes less than 60 seconds for most people to "get it" and start
cutting wood with gusto!
It has been a hassle to sharpen. The blade is
substantially rounded. Not just barely curved like many are.
This one cranks!
As I am sure you know by now, I am a strop fan.
I like to finish any edge I make on a strop. But a flat strop
wasn't working well at all. So I thought to myself, ...say there
self,... how about a round strop?? Immediately following, I
had to examine the slap marks on my forehead.
So I headed out and drove to the priss-a-torium,
where the sky is always falling. I ordered up some rare and
exotic, hyper sensitive, guaranteed phobic/obsessive approved...
Yeah right, as if!
I grabbed a scrap from the "maybe burn" pile
near the stove. Black oak with a taste of sapwood. It had a
little twist to remove. And over by the drawer I keep good leather. I
had an old belt laying right out on the floor.
I love old belts, did I ever mention that? I
wouldn't give you 2 cents for a new leather belt. Squeaky,
smelly, stiff, edges that cut into you, yuck.
Gimme a Salvation
Army special! A belt some large guy wore for 27 years belt!!
When I find them, I reserve the best of these
for guitar straps. (feels like a darling girl's cheesecake
against your skin!!). But this particular belt was so abused and
pitiful I wouldn't use it against my skin, so it was just laying
out there, wondering whether it was going into the trash or not.
It ain't about what you thought, fellas.
I skinned down that scrap into a pleasing curve.
Jack plane and then smoothed it out with a 4. Looked good. Easy
Then,.. uh oh.
How do you glue leather smoothly to a longitudinal curve?
Hmmmm Rubber bands would make a motocross racecourse out of it.
I thought of several other approaches, but all of them were
fraught with peril and hassle, one way or another.
So I realized I had to make a clamping caul. I grabbed another
piece of the oak (an even worse one) and just kept working until
Gutter plane, big round, and gutter spokeshave. Nowhere near as
fast to make as the convex curve. But I have done big cove cuts
lots of times now and its just straight ahead work.
Now I could use it to press the leather smooth and sweet.
I scraped the backside of the leather clean (it
was mangy) applied glue to both wood and leather and pressed on
Let it set for a couple minutes, then put the whole
mess in a plastic bag so the glue wouldn't stick to my caul, and
It took about 5 or 6 clamps to pull it all tight.
This is the end profile, finished.