One of the best things about being a blogger is the friends you make in the blog-o-sphere. You get to chat with people from around the world, and you might gain new local friends too. And best of all, these friends become a source for help.
A case in point: In a previous blog, I mentioned that I wanted a spokeshave, and the company I tried to order one from was out of stock. Soon after posting the blog, one local friend commented that he had a couple of them and I could borrow one, and another friend, Ed Lebetkin, the owner of Antique Woodworking Tools in Pittsboro, North Carolina emailed me in short order and told me he had a number of spokeshaves in stock. We exchanged several emails and he suggested that I get a Stanley #151M. I have told you about his shop before in a previous blog, and once again, I can’t recommend Ed’s Shop more highly. He is a super guy, knowledgeable, and he saved me $100! I was about to spend $135 plus shipping for a new Lie-Nielsen (not that I don’t love LN) but I got my U.S.A. made spoke shave for $35.00 plus shipping.
I got the spokeshave in three days, and I believe the model I have is a Type 4 with the Sweetheart Logo on the blade, and made sometime between 1923-1936. I sharpened it up in no time and began practicing on a scrap piece of cherry and it worked just fine. Granted it does not work quite as well on quarter-sawn white oak, but it certainly did the job.
The cane is coming along just fine. Here is what has happened so far: I used a ¾” forstner bit to make the grip notches for the handle. Yes, I could have used a heavy rasp to do this, but hey, time is money and I have other commissions I’m working on too.
Next, it was time to make the tenon on the shaft. I knew the tenon needed to be ¾ “ round, so used a compass to draw in the tenon circumference on the top of the shaft, then measured the distance from the outer edge. Then I used a piece of tape on my saw to give me a depth stop. This method worked great, then I used a chisel to pare down the wood. It took a little bit of time to get it exactly right, but it worked well, I have a nice clean tight fit.
Now that the handle fit down on the shaft, I made a 3/8” dowel pin from a scrap piece of purple heart and drilled a centered hole through the handle and the shaft for the pin. Once all glued up, the shaping of the handle could be completed. I used a number of different tools to shape and smooth the handle, and after I finish sanding down to the final grit, I will begin the finishing process.
Since the cane is made of quarter-sawn white oak, why not try the fuming process! I want to make a Morris chair one day out of the same material, so now might be a good time to get a practice run. Anybody have advice on fuming?