Ever since I've been into this woodworking lark which is well over thirty years, I've always had a pair of those standard Record (or Stanley, whatever takes your fancy) spoke shaves hanging on nail on the 'Tool Wall' You probably know exactly the things I'm rabbiting on about...couple of adjusters at the back, light grey colour, thin little blade with a mouth that you could drive a Routemaster through! The general consensus is that they're probably one of the most diabolical tools that Record ever made and I never, ever could get them to work correct...I positively hated any job with a vengeance that needed a bit of spokeshaving.
So it was with a little bit of trepidation then that I approached the shaping job this weekend on the Cherry Table...a gradual concave shape on the outside of the four end frames, not a part of the project I was particularly looking forward to doing. Fortunately, last year I earned a bit of spare cash from F&C and the very first things that got ditched were those old 'shaves, to be replaced with a pair of very nice Veritas spokeshaves with the Bubinga handles. The difference was like night and day...whereas spokeshave work before was definitely a bit of a 'hit & miss' affair, with the new 'shaves, the job was relatively easy... still not a 'walk in the park', 'cos 'shave work is always a tad tricky to do, but far easier to control as there's a decent A2 blade and the mouth can be closed up really tight, plus of course the Bubinga handles make gripping them much better.
On a different note, the Competition on UKWorkshop (at least the Design Brief section) closes tonight and I'm quite pleased with the number and quality of the entries. I reckon it's going to be a pretty good event over this summer and I'm looking forward to seeing some really excellent pieces develop over the next few months.