This week’s antique is a 10″ wide, straight handled, cast iron spokeshave that bears no maker’s mark (“unmarked”). It has an adjustable mouth plate with decorative scrollwork details. The slotted screw secures the 2-1/8″ wide blade. The “straight knurled” thumbscrew adjusts the mouth opening.
As shown below, it is a flat soled design which is common up through today’s spokeshaves, but as an aside, this is a poor design. Spokeshaves need a slightly rounded sole to allow the user to control the shaving thickness. (Metal spokeshaves with flat soles are essentially small planes instead of shaves.)
The mouth on this spokeshave is adjustable to compensate for shaving thickness. The entire top plate makes up the mouth adjustment plate which pivots on two pins and is held in position by the adjustment thumb screw and two springs.
It’s not a well designed tool. It’s hard to properly set the blade with a single screw, and I doubt the mouth adjustment works well. This is probably why this tool is in such good shape – it didn’t work well so it sat in the toolbox. I haven’t been able to find much information about this antique, but based on the design details, I would say this spokeshave dates from the 1880’s. Regardless, it looks good and will continue on as a display item on my shelf.