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Metro Retro Made | Stanley No. 64 Spokeshave Our last Metro Retro Made featured the restoration of a unique, stubby handled brush. In the same purchase, I also found a nice looking spokeshave. Spoke shaves work a lot like hand planes, but instead of pushing the blade forward, the blade is drawn towards you. This allows for very light, precise curls on cylindrical or organic shaped stock.

This spokeshave looked like it had been used for a period of time but was stored in some pretty rusty bins for a while. I almost thought it was made from steel there was so much rusty dust on it. The old epoxy paint was hiding some stamping and frankly, I knew nothing about it.


First things first, time to dissect the patient. The part count for this guy is low, which is good, less things to fail. You can see the old epoxy paint is quite thick and chipped in areas. The blade is also pitted and rusted. The only thing in good shape is the thumb screw.


Sticking the chassis and the blade cover into the blasting cabinet, I hit the whole thing with glass media to clear the surface of rust and the old epoxy paint. The body was actually in super good shape, no dings or massive gouges.


It was at this point I found out this is actually a Canadian made No. 64 Stanley. A little research told me that this is identical to the ones made in the USA and the UK, there must of been three moulds made and three factories. There was a little flashing on the handles from the casting. When I first picked this guy up, I thought it was steel because all of the rust, in reality this is likely a magnesium aluminum alloy, a very common casting material in the 1920-60’s. A couple of draws with a fine file smooths out the flashing.


After shooting two coats of self etching primer, the surface was prepped for some black, gloss appliance epoxy paint. The epoxy paint will be super durable and it’s period correct.


The blade plate was originally black, but I wanted to mimic the Stanley 12-951 model with it’s red plate.




After waiting a full 24 hours, the epoxy paints have fully cured and it was time to pay attention to the business end of the spoke shave.


The cutting surface of this particular model is completely flat so to sand off the epoxy paint and keep things true, I turned to my scrap piece marble found at my local counter top manufacturer. I use 120 grit first to do the heavy removal.


This is beginning to look like a final product.


Then I used some wet dry 240, 600 and 1000 to give the surface a nice glossy surface.


I didn’t show it, but I did the same process for the blade. After taking off the rust, the ‘Made in Can’ made an appearance. The blade didn’t have any nicks in it and the angle was already set to 30 degrees. All I had to do was slowly hone the surface with 600 grit wet paper, then 1000, then 2000 grit. A final buffing with some diamond compound on a soft wheel to give the edge a mirror finish.


Replacing the red plate on the spokeshave and tighten down the thumb screw.


Some test curls on some pine.


All the work carefully honing the blade has proven to be worth while.


It even works for BIG curls along larger surfaces.


A close up of the mirror edge, chisel blade.


Proudly made in Canada, and now REMADE in Canada as well.


The model number, No. 64.


Again, the part count being very low, there is very little to break. More complicated models feature precision depth guides, multiple thumb screws etc. I enjoy the simplicity of this model.


And one parting shot…


Here’s a quick video of it in action, using the spokeshaving with my shaving horse I built from 2×6’s and 2×4’s.

Thanks for reading!

Expect more Metro Retro Mades, these are way too much fun to do and the best part is the result something I can use.


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Metro Retro Made | The Stubby Shop Brush

I love old tools. In partuclar, old tools that have LOTS of life left in them. When trolling around my favourite flea market, I came across some pretty beat up gems that were begging to be made useful again. The best part about restoring tools is that not only are they a fun project, in the end, they are useful items.

The shop brush is one of those under appreciated shop tools, but who says you can’t have nice things. I found this busted old 2″ thick round brush in the pile of junk, surprisingly, the bristles were still in good shape. The handle has seen a lot of sun, chemical exposure and a lot of shop floor drops. I adopted it like a runaway puppy. I had also found a vintage Canadian made Stanley spoke shave, that’s for another build post.


The first thing to do was to remove the ferrule nails, this was pretty easy as they were only about .5″ long. The process was a little flowy so I didn’t take too many build pics. However, the process was pretty easy, take the handle and chuck it up in the lathe and spin it pretty fast. Using 80 grit paper to get rid of the paint, and then progressively finer and finer papers till it was time for some 000 steel wool.


Since the ferrule was off, I buffed it with some 240 grit paper and the surface rust disappeared. I reassembled it after revealing the handle’s natural wood surface. In this case, it is a nice maple. I like how the red chemicals that this brush was used to paint with actually etched the colour into the wood near the ferrule.


The handle’s butt end was actually badly dented and chipped so…..


It got loped of in favour of some super sweet hardwood cut offs. A stack of paduak and walnut spaced with maple veneers were glued onto the bottom.


When that was dry, the new 80 grit belt sander made quick work of the blocky shape, bringing back the dome shaped end cap.


Again, using progressively finer and finer grits of sand papers, the new end cap was blended into the existing handle. Once it was smoothed out, a short bath of boiled linseed oil brought out the grain.


After the BLO dried up, some more steel wool buffing till it was baby butt smooth.


After three coats of super glue, it was time to put this brush into service. The best part about this stubby brush is that it stands up on end.


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Expect more Metro Retro Mades soon, I love restoring old tools into something I can use.