Wood Shaping Tools

Drawing knife — for fast shaping

The drawing knife is one of the simplest of the shaping tools — basically it is just a blade between two handles — and now perhaps the least-used. It is for removing large amounts of wood from broad surfaces to form flats or curves, where it would be tough going with the more delicate spokeshave.

It is invaluable for such jobs as shaping heavy timber as used in some garden furniture, or for cutting wide chamfers on beams. It is a tricky tool to use, but with practice it can be very accurate.

Tackle flat or convex shapes with the flat side of the blade nearest to the work. For concave shapes, use the tool the other way up.

Grasp the two handles firmly and press the thumbs on to the corners formed by the tangs. Thumb pressure is quite important in controlling the cutting angle of the blade. As with the spokeshave, work from the middle on convex shapes and from each end on concave shapes.

A big advantage of this knife is that it can work right up to any obstruction.

The blade can be 250 or 300 mm (10 or 12 in) long. Sharpening procedure is similar to that for chisels, except that the oilstone is drawn over the blade, not the blade over the stone. Hone the bevelled edge first to achieve a burr, then hone the flat back to reverse it; continue honing each side of the blade in turn until the burr drops off.


Surforms are light, easy-to-handle shaping tools with replaceable, open rasp-like blades. They come in a variety of shapes, including types with curved blades and circular ones for enlarging holes.

These tools shape most materials which are softer than metal, but give a rough finish which may need fining down with sandpaper. There are two ways of using the Surform. For fast work, hold it at an angle to the wood so that the actual cutting edges of the teeth meet the grain square on. For a smoother finish use the Surform with a straighter action so that the teeth themselves cut at an angle.



The rasp is another shaping tool available in a great variety of types. The finish it gives depends on the fineness of the teeth, but wood generally needs sanding after using a rasp on it.

A 250 mm (10 in) long, half-round rasp is suitable for general use. It can tackle almost any shape in wood, ply, hardboard, plastic and even soft metals.

Handles are bought separately and simply knocked on to the spike.

Use it with both hands, one on the handle, the other on the end of the blade.

23. June 2011 by admin
Categories: Hand Tools, Woodworking | Tags: , | Comments Off on Wood Shaping Tools


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