Chapter: Challenges and Hardships

Spoke Shave

"For a good shave use a spoke shave"
(circa) 1914 spoke shave Spoke Shave tool


In 1901, cars and trucks were few and far between, the military still relied on horses to move soldiers and equipment around. It was at this time that the Royal Canadian Army Service Corps (RCASC) was formed and which Combat Service Support (CSS) was a part. One of the three main functions of CSS was the maintenance trade, which primarily repaired wagons and weapons.

The wagon wheel spokes broke frequently and if you’ve got a wooden wheel spoke to repair, you’re going to want to have a spoke shave nearby. The maintenance trade used the spoke shave to shape and smooth wooden rods and shafts to make replacement wheel spokes. This useful tool can be made from flat bottom, concave, or convex soles and may include one or more sharpened notches along which the wooden shaft is pulled in order to shave it down to the proper diameter.

In 1944, the maintenance function of the CSS evolved into the Royal Canadian Electrical and Mechanical Engineers by which time mechanized vehicles had replaced the need for wagons.