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I have been using a spokeshave for over a quarter of a century and would
not be without it. For anyone just beginning with this tool and perhaps
finding it difficult to get used to I would urge you to persevere, it is
hard to get used to, I still remember. Once you have got it there is
nothing as effective, I beleive. Dorothy mentioned the blade being further
out than her teacher had it, in my experience of teaching this is usually
because the student has not got the blade sharp enough. It is crucial to
have a very sharp blade otherwise the paring will be at best uneven or the
worst the leather will tear.

I always finish the job with my paring knife, however the time it takes to
do the majority of the work with a spokeshave is a fraction of that needed
to do it all with a knife. This was really apparant to me when I
demonstrated paring and covering to a group of French students who had
never seen it done with a spokeshave. The skin was pared in less than an
hour for a medium size book, this elicited gasps of astonishment as they
were used to spending a whole day with their French paring knives.

I don't like the Scharfix for edges, I feel out of contact with the
leather, this could just be a personal quirk.

David Sellars

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