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English Hand Tools with Jim Hendricks


 
  Getting the Most from the Millers Falls MF 1 “Cigar Shave” 1 of 4  

 


The Millers Falls 'cigar' shave is probably one of my favorite tools but it used to drive me bonkers!

 

Sharpened and set right, it's one of the most versatile tools ever and can do things absolutely no other can. It shaves very tight radius internal curves...yet runs true on the flat... turning to external curves with ease.

But, and it's a huge BUT, most are left on the shelf unused because they are either not razor sharp or the user can't get the setting right or both.

In this article I will show how to sharpen the strange cutter, then when that variable is removed, how to set it to cut efficiently and with ease.

Once these two simple tips are followed you will have a tool you simply won't want to put down.

To make the description follow the photographs...each will be fully described but if you have any questions...I will do my best to answer these.

Finally... the results speak for themselves...these techniques really do work!

Before we do anything, the first thing which MUST be done is to have a razor sharp cutter. The shave relies on this but it's not immediately apparent how to do this.

It really is quite simple and you will normally only need a range of sharpening "stones" but I highly recommend diamond plates because of the flatness. That is a key to the sharpening.

The coffee is optional! LOL!

The cutter looks complicated but in actual fact..it's just a plane iron. Laid next to a standard iron, you can see it is just curled back on itself. It has a very tiny "primary" bevel you can just see. If this has not been touched before LEAVE IT that way!

The cutter also has two wide bevels on either end of the "tube"...these rest under and between the large countersunk head screws you see in this picture. Tightening these screws wedges the cutter tight...it's as simple as that. You can loosen these off a bit and rotate the cutter by pushing the blunt end...and this is how you set the edge to the mouth.

Be sure you have the cutter the right way around...you can see this in later pictures. Many are not!!!

Following the idea that this is just a curled plane iron, flip it over and you will find a wide area. THIS IS NOT A BEVEL!! It is a face - as the face on the ordinary iron next to it. They are both the same and should be treated as such.


 
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