Sorby Tools

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Woodworking with Will Myers

  Modifying a Stanley 151 Spokeshave 1 of 3  



On a recent project I realized I needed a better spokeshave for concave surfaces.



The one I have been using is a small wooden bodied shave that works well but is hard to get it to cut fine enough for close work.

I have several Stanley 151 and 152 shaves and really like the screw adjustment mechanism for the cutting iron on these. It allows you to set them for a very fine cut which is nice, especially in end grain situations.

Only problem is the old 151 and 152ís were only made with a flat sole. There are new ones made by Stanley with a round sole but from what info I have found on them the quality is pretty low.

Veritas and Lie-Nielsen also make nice versions with round soles but they are pretty pricey and I really donít use spokeshaves often enough to justify one (my wife might also add that I am just cheap). With a bit of work you can radius the sole on one of the older model Stanleyís and make it work quite nice.

The 151 I used here had a very wide mouth opening so that was the first thing to deal with. I made a shim to go behind the iron out of a piece of .030in sheet metal.

The shape of the shim is simply traced off of the body of the shave and cut out with tin snips. I cut it long enough to protrude thru the mouth opening just a bit; it also will need a hole drilled for the cap screw to pass thru. It does not have to be anything fancy, with the iron and cap assembled you canít even see the shim.

Next I scuffed the area where the iron normally sets in the shave body with sand paper and the back side of the shim as well.

I used a two part epoxy to attach the shim to the body. Replacing the iron and cap then tightening the cap down acts as a clamp to hold the shim tightly to the body until the glue is cured.

By epoxying the shim in it makes it one with the body of the shave and you do not have to worry about it sliding or twisting. If you ever want to the remove the shim you can simply heat it enough to release the epoxy.

With the shim attached I then flattened the sloe on a diamond plate, this also brings the end of the shim that I left a bit proud down flush to the sole as well.

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Stanley Chisels



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