Tool Profile – E. C. Stearns no. 13 Flexible Sole Spokeshave

318 Stearns13 1900-1930 Post 1

E. C. Stearns no. 13 Flexible Sole Spokeshave, c. 1900-1930 (from the Virginia Toolworks collection)

The E. C. Stearns No. 13 flexible sole spokeshave is a rare bird. The flexible bottom of this patented design makes this spokeshave quite unique. Patented by Herbert Coe on March 27, 1900 (and marked as such), this “universal spokeshave” features a flexible spring-like steel bed that can be adjusted to shave flat surfaces, convex curves, and concave curves.

Stearns only produced this spokeshave for about 30 years – from 1900 until around 1930. Featuring a 2-1/8″ iron and a 10″ handle span, it was the only flexible sole spokeshave sold by any of the major American manufacturers. It was very expensive for Stearns to make, cost more than twice as much as standard spokeshaves of the day, and was therefore never very popular with the tool buying public. Relatively few were produced making it quite a rare find today.

318 Stearns13 1900-1930 Post 6 318 Stearns13 1900-1930 Post 3 318 Stearns13 1900-1930 Post 4

With its brass framed lever cap contrasting the dark japanned frame, the no. 13 is an extraordinarily striking spokeshave, and the one shown from the Virginia Toolworks collection is in remarkable condition. Far too valuable and rare to be used, it is highly desired by collectors and a must-have for any serious spokeshave collection.

Stearns 13 Coe US646262-0

Coe Patent, no. 646262, Mar. 27, 1900


About Bryant
Bryant is a business management and organizational development executive with over 20 years’ experience focused on financial and operational efficiencies, talent development and optimization, improved employee engagement, and cultural alignment of teams within the organization. He has diverse experience in successful financial and strategic planning, brand management, leadership analysis and talent development, as well as designing and executing improvements to teams’ cultural efficacy and organizational alignment. Bryant has experience in both International Public S&P 500 Corporate and Non-Profit Sectors, and also runs his own entrepreneurial business venture, a consulting company specializing in helping small businesses and organizations improve operational efficiency, leadership development, and employee engagement . Bryant holds a Masters in Business Administration (MBA) and a Bachelors in Fine Arts (BFA).

4 Responses to Tool Profile – E. C. Stearns no. 13 Flexible Sole Spokeshave

  1. Ah, lucky number 13. Must have been a popular model to have been produced for 30 years.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. LD says:

    Estimated value on the market?


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: