is my annual reminder that you can have many kinds of
blades, free, with only a little work, anytime you want.
I got a Stanley 55 spokeshave for Christmas. I never had
one and always kind of wanted one. This one is so clean
from japanning and such good rich patina to the iron.
No way will I even mess with it! I love it!
It's a Rule and Level period so the backside of the
handles is fairly solid.
In case you never noticed, you can tell the age of any
Stanley spokeshave (and everybody else mostly copied
Stanley) by flipping them over and looking at the
backside of the handles.
This one has very thick handles, only slightly hollow.
An excellent tool!
But it has a bad blade. It had never been used,
but it had been seriously neglected. I could have lapped
out the pits, but that takes a lot longer than just
making a new blade.
Stanley's blade idea is .060, slightly thinner than
1/16". After I get to the bottom of the pits I don't
even know how much would be left.
So, I looked at my pile of old blades. Solid steel
circular saw blades were and still are made for ...wait for it, .....cutting wood!!
So I grabbed an old 12" blade from the 50's/early 60's.
The "plywood" blades, the ones with a gadzillion little
teeth, are some of my favorites. They are flat ground
with no taper to worry about. The little teeth means you
get more blade to work with.
A sharpie works well enough for layout. Just lay the old
blade down and mark around it. Remember, you will be
removing the --entire line--!!
My weapon of choice for this is the paper thin Dremel
cutoff wheels. These are so thin you can cut without
disturbing the temper of the steel at all, if you're
careful. They are fragile and you will break one or
more, so wear your safety equipment! The thicker and
larger wheels on the market cut slower and generate more
heat. There is still nothing better than the paper thin
wheels for this job!
I start a cut at the far edge away from me and work
toward myself. The sparks will obscure your cut line
otherwise. Make a light but steady cut. Then go back
over it several times until you are over 1/2 way though.
This will take some practice. But the steel is free and
the disks come in a tube of 36 (except the newest Dremel
brand wheels. There is less in the package now, but the
competitors are just as good, so save yourself a few
When you are over half way through, you can clamp the
work in a vise just below the cutline and wallop the
blade with a hammer. It will snap at the line.
Drilling holes in saw blades takes a harder bit than a
standard twist bit, but cheap masonry bits are carbide
tipped and drill though just fine. Drill a hole in each
end of the slot and cut the middle out with the cutoff
disk. You will have to work from both sides and there
will still be a tiny bit left to snap with a pin punch
OK that's it. Take it to the grinder and even it up.
Grind your edge freehand and guess what? Nobody really
cares if it "exactly" matches the profile of the tool.
If its close, its close enough.
My blade is .080. The extra thickness is not such a big
deal, but Stanley left the throat a bit too far open on
many of their tools, and I like mine a little tighter.
Here is where it started, and how it ended, in one
Honed and stropped? What's that? You don't know how to
strop a curved blade??
Awwww geeze too bad nobody ever showed you that...
Effortless cutting! And it's free! You got to love this!
in Happy Camp, CA