"God, how I ricochet between certainties and doubts"
First off I have to apologize for my lack of substantive posts of late. Just life getting in the way I guess. Lots of personal stuff...waiting for sweet boredom. That'd be nice.
Anyway, enough about me. Above you see my three favorite spokeshaves. The one to the left is a Lee Valley round bottom, the middle one is a Lie-Nielsen, and the right one is a cherry one I built years ago before I even know how to build chairs. Its based on a kit from Daves Shaves as seen in American Woodworker years ago. The Lie-Nielsen is a beautiful tool and I use it all the time. I'm not super crazy about the iron and will be replacing it come Christmas.
I love L-N tools, don't get me wrong and I have the credit card bills to prove it. I'm just not super crazy about the steel used for the irons. To me its just too hard. I like good old high carbon. Easy to sharpen and given it's small molecular structure it get wicked sharp. Or rather wicked shahhhp.
Which brings me to...my favorite spokeshave. Like I said I built this before I could build chairs. Back when I had a jobby job and all I did was build tools and jigs and such. Ahh the good old days. I don't build jigs or tools anymore. No time for that. Anyway, I built this spokeshave and despite all that is apparently wrong with it it works wonderfully. The wear plate just ahead of the blade is maple and has a pretty significant groove worn in it from spindle work. If memory serves it had a brass plate but as the blade narrowed I switched it out for maple.
But all good things end. And the blade has been sharpened to the point of uselessness. So I broke down and bought a new one from Ron Hock, making sure it was high carbon/. Above you can see the original (top) vs the new one. Quite a difference as you can see.
Here's a groove worn in the toe piece. While it opens the mouth, it hasn't proven to be a problem as it registers the spindle during the cut.