How to Make a Spokeshave. Spokeshave is a fantastic tool to play with and a surprisingly easy tool to make. there are only two parts to a traditional spokeshave. 1. the iron, 2. the body.

You can find the irons on eBay from time to time or at your local antique store if you know what you are looking for.

or you can buy threaded irons here.

Tools needed:

Hand saw:



File and rasp set:

(optional) Spokeshave:



The body can be made out of most any hardwood, but traditionally, European Beach one of the best. In this case I used White Oak which works very nicely as well. One of the most common Woods used today hard maple.


First, choose a blank that is approximately 8 inches longer than the iron you want to use. The blank I am using is approximately 1-inch square by 11 inches long, as I'm using a 3 inch long iron. Position the iron centered on one side of the black, and then with light taps use the iron to Mark out the locations for the tangs that need to go through the body.


Next, drill two the holes all the way through the blank. Make the hole diameter approximately the same with as the Tang, but that can vary as a square tang will shape its own hole.


Next, Align the iron in the two holes that you made, and mark on the blank where the front of the iron is. Also, mark the sides of the iron so you know how wide to make the slot. Once the marks have been made and take the iron out and then cut two stop cuts on either side of where the iron will be at 45° back from the tip of the iron. Then remove the waste with a chisel. This will create an opening for the chips to eject from iron.


Next, You need to cut a small Groove from the hole you drilled to the mouth you cut so that the iron can't fit all the way down flat to the blank. Then, test the fit of the iron. The first time you drive it down it will be tight and will probably need small adjustments to make it fit all the way down.


Now you should have a functional spoke shave that just needs to be made comfortable.


Next, shape the sole if you want it rounded or flat. This can be made any way you want to fit your ues. The handles also can be shaped with chisels to remove most of the waste. And then rasps and files or another spokeshave. There you go. A functional spoke shave.


If you want to find out more here is a link to the build video where you can see the whole process.