Skew it (or how to increase your spoke shave proficiency)

Possibly my favorite tool. So versatile and a pleasure to use. Push, pull, even one handed over the top like a little plane sometimes. Excellent for small work too.

A Woodworker's Musings

I’ve noticed that when most folks begin to use a spoke shave, they are inclined to pull the tool towards themselves.  I suspect that it’s very natural to associate the method of using a draw knife with that of using a spoke shave.  In truth, the spoke shave is more closely related to a plane, in that the blade is supported in a body and here’s where the trouble often starts.  The length of a spoke shave’s sole is very short.  Consequently, when the spoke shave is pulled towards the user, especially when being held perpendicular to the workpiece, the shave will tend to follow the existing contour.

The simple way to eliminate this tendency is to skew the shave in relationship to the workpiece.  Two things happen when the shave is skewed.  First, the length of the supporting surface (sole) of the shave is lengthened.  Second, the effective cutting angle of…

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