Full Chisel Blog

November 8, 2010

Early style spokeshave

The handles on late 18th early 19th century wooden spokeshaves are a little more utilitarian than those on later models.  Later versions have thinner handles that flair out on the ends and I must admit look quite attractive.  But most of the early styles the handles are straighter with not much attempt to embellish.

The upper spokeshave I have had and used for several years.  A friend made it for me as a joke after I showed him my little bronze spokeshaves.  I made a dogwood handle and as you can see by the wear, it has been well used.  I showed some traditional spokeshave blades to Mark Schramm, Master Blacksmith, in order for him to reproduce them.

The first one he made and delivered this weekend and I couldn’t resist making a handle for it and put it to use.  I selected curly maple and made it thicker to raise the handles up a bit, helps in close work.  A coat of linseed oil/turpentine last evening and here it is.

The 1831 penny is there for scale [it is 1 1/8″ in diameter], and yes I am a Copperhead Democrat.  The traditional tangs are friction fit into small square holes that I worried through the wood.


I sharpened the blade with a fine file then honed it on a soft Arkansas stone then a leather strop.  It cuts beautifully with its extremely low angle blade.



  1. Looks like a Fine Tool. It’s fun to help make a Quality hand made tool that works. Enjoy it Sir.

    Comment by Mark Schramm — November 8, 2010 @ 5:17 pm

  2. why do you call yourself a copperhead democrat? for the peace, or the slavery? hasn’t that issue sort of dried up by now?

    Comment by tys — November 13, 2010 @ 4:30 pm

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