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JOEL Joel's Blog

Ron Hock and the Makeville Spokeshave Build


Ron Hock and the Makeville Spokeshave Build 4The coolest thing about an evening with Ron Hock isn't the man himself, even though Ron is pretty cool all by his lonesome and he's from California. The coolest thing is running three "build a spokeshave kit sessions" and seeing six working shaves pop out of each class every hour. What was even better was that, while the shaves all have the same cutting mechanism, the final sculpting for the handles was different for everyone. It just turned out that way. People want different things in a tool and that's one great thing about making your own.

Ron Hock and the Makeville Spokeshave Build 5In addition to the spokeshave classes Ron also ran a plane clinic. It was a lot of fun and pretty crowded. What amazed me is that people brought planes in pretty good shape. I was expecting chunks of rust but most of the planes only required a little work to get going. I think however with all the current literature promoting all sorts of new tech stuff, lots of people forget just how easy it is to get most 70 year old plane relics working to pretty good performance. Unless they have been badly treated or broken in the past they all come from an age when the tools worked and worked well. If you add in a cap iron performance will bump up, and with a slightly thicker blade they will work as well as anything made today. And be lighter too. Light planes are less tiring to use. The weight issue is probably neither here nor there on a smoother but for long planes used for dressing wood it adds up. I should also mention that in the class a pretty common problem was that the cap irons of the planes were screwed up. This is solvable with a file but I always recommend just getting a Hock cap iron as it is so much less work.

Ron Hock and the Makeville Spokeshave Build 6I'm going to write more about Ron's trip in the next week, about our trip to the museum, and how we spoke about "third rate woodworking" and other stuff, but that's next time.

Right now I just want to thank Makeville Studio for hosting this great event. Candace Groenke for making the spokeshave clinic so successful and Annie Raso for setting up everything and providing transportation. Of course a big thanks to everyone who came out - we all had a great time. Most of all I want to thank Ron Hock and his wonderful wife Linda who made the evening so pleasurable and so entertaining!
Join the conversation
10/30/2012 Joshua Pierce
Given the content of the blog post, I'm assuming you guys made it through Sandy okay?
10/30/2012 Ron Hock
Linda and I had a great time at Makeville! We made spokeshaves and improved the performance of some classic planes. The turnout was gratifyingly more than we expected and we were jumping to keep up. Everyone had a good time and those who built a spokeshave left with a tool that works beautifully and fit their hands and style of work. My many thanks as well to Joel, Annie, Candice and Linda for all their hard work. It wouldn't have been possible without all of you.
11/01/2012 Stewart Rothman
Thanks to Ron, Makeville and TFWW for an enjoyable and productive evening. I have already made use of my spokeshave. I would like to finish the wood body and was wondering if you have any suggestions.
11/06/2012 Ron Hock
I go old-school when finishing wood tools. I just apply a thin coat of BLO to pop the grain (bubinga is sooo pretty). For a bit more protection from moisture and dirty hands, a thin coat of shellac will help protect the wood's natural loveliness.
02/18/2013 Larry Grubbs
Maybe everybody knows but me, but what is BLO? I have seen it written in several places, but I do not know what it is. I will appreciate your answer. Also, thanks for all the information and the wonderful tools.
02/22/2013 joel
BLO = Boiled Linseed Oil
Which is a pretty popular, easy to apply finish
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The opinions expressed in this blog are those of the blog's author and guests and in no way reflect the views of Tools for Working Wood.