Hello, my name is Bill Lewis. Was looking around seeing who is in Michigan, i'm over here near Lansing. Just wanted to know if i can pick your brain for info when i start my first build? Do you know if there are anymore members in Mich? Thanks Bill
A spoke shave has to be set up to function properly when you first get it. It's not ready for use right out of the box. The first thing I did was to remove the blade and lap the sole of the shave on my bench sander to ensure it was perfectly flat. I then sharped the blade, starting with 400 grit sand paper, followed by 600, and then 800. Once that was done I finished it off on a 2000 grit whet stone that I got for my good kitchen knives. Blade was sharp enough to shave with when I was done.
When I reinstalled the blade, it set it very low so that it would take very shallow cuts (just whispering across the wood. My shave is a little cheap as well. I had to position that red clamping plate a few millimeters back from where it was intended to go because otherwise I suffered severe wood clogging.
Even then, technique is everything. You need to take smooth, firm, controlled passes to achieve an even cut. Due to how small the sole of the tool is, it's still really easy to rock it back and forth. So if it gets hung up and you yank it to break it loose, all you're really doing is tilting the tool towards you, which sharpens the blade's angle of attack, which causes it to tear out a big ugly chunk of wood. One of the things that I do to make it easier on me is to pull one handle of the shave closer to me than the other, such that the blade is cutting at an angle. This really helps to get each cut started and also helps to keep it going without hanging up on the wood.