Reproduction Wooden Spokeshaves & Service

About Wooden Spokeshaves

Wooden spokeshaves are hand tools used for whittling or shaping wood. They consist of a wooden body (stock) fitted with a blade (cutter) that is mounted (set) at a very low cutting angle. This cutting angle is what distinguishes the wooden shaves (perhaps more aptly named "low-angle" shaves) from the cast-metal spokeshaves that appeared in the mid-19th century (see FAQ'S).

Wooden spokeshave on a woodworkers workbench

About Dave

Dave beginning his wordwork career Handling a spokeshave requires fast motions

I am a fifth generation woodworker. Although I grew up and spent my early years in my father's shop, I did not go "pro" until the mid 1990's. My interest in wooden spokeshaves began after attending a Windsor chair class taught by Mike Dunbar. Here I became familiar with both the original wooden spokeshaves and various modern versions. Finding and restoring original wooden shaves allowed me to learn about what makes these tool work the way they do. Later when I was a teaching assistant to Mike Dunbar, I would repair old shaves or modify modern wooden shaves for the students. It was here that a pattern developed: when I would tune a shave for a student, I would often loan them my handmade shave to use. Impressed with its performance, they usually asked if my loaner shave was for sale. DAVE'S SHAVES was born.

"Make a Shave with Dave" is a one day woodworking course that I developed to teach students how to make a spokeshave and promote a general appreciation of this tool.This popular class later became the basis of an article on making wooden spokeshaves, published in the August 1998 issue of American Woodworker (#67). If you would like a copy of this article, contact their back issue department.