Graphical Construction Glossary >> Tools. >> Hand Tools >> Spokeshave

In woodworking, a hand tool having a blade set between two handles. Used on curved and flat work and for rounding off edges.

a metal spokeshave

The tool gets it's name from shaving down wooden spokes in the days when wheels were made from wood.

That may be so but they are still a really useful tool for many joinery jobs.

The one above is an one made out of metal and at the side is a wooden one.

Almost invariably the wood of choice for these tools is boxwood.

For the most part metal equivalents of wood tools are more popular due to the ease of use and other factors, but in spite of the fact that wooden spoke-shaves wear considerable just before the blade I prefer them. They have a very comfortable and easy action.

Both types, metal and boxwood come with flat and curved bases.

Before the era of the widespread use of power tools carpenters and joiners used to make up special planes for small jobs. They would use them when they were away from workshop machines or when the jobs were too small to bother setting up a machine like a spindle moulder.

The photo below shows a plane-spokeshave made for putting a curve on an edge of a board. This time obviously not out of boxwood because of it's size.

spokeshave plane

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