THL Kai SaerPren wrote:
> I have been thinking of doing what you had/have been doing for a couple of years. I keep putting off getting together a medieval kit completely acceptable for SCA Demo's.
> I have many tools that are similar in design and function to medieval tools but they are all of less than 200 years old/style or vintage.
I've always thought of my woodshop as a work in progress, each year
getting a little closer to "authentic" but never quite reaching there.
Some of the tools I carry are modern, like braces and Scotch bits, but I
try to replace these tools with more period ones like gimlets and bow
drills. It's an extension of the "Out with the new, in with the old"
philosophy which I have developed over the years (and which may be found
) The point I
made in that article is that it's a gradual process, not an overnight
re-tooling. One of the nice things about the SCA is that it's an
organization which doesn't require instant authenticity. You do the best
you can with what you have, and gradually make it better and better.
If I have not replaced a tool yet, at least I keep it in a period-style
box, out of sight, until the moment I use it. Then I put it away again.
The advantage of period tools to me, lazy person that I am, is that I
can leave them out in plain sight. When I'm using it while people are
watching, I'm careful to explain that it is a modern tool, and that
folks in period would have used something different, or found another
way to achieve the same result.
> I can make more medieval-like handplanes, but what did you do about drills? I think I can imitate saws, but I like my saws that I use. a froe is about the only tool that I have that wouldn't stand out as "out of place"
I've been using gimlets and bow drills. I made the bow drill, but bought
the gimlets from Lehman's, the Amish hardware source in Ohio. They
aren't really period in the design of their biting part, but they aren't
jarringly modern and will do until I get a friendly blackmith to make me
more period ones. As for the saw, it's a frame saw I made. It's very
easy to make these using a section of a discarded bandsaw blade, or you
can get the proper blades pre-made (I think Lee Valley sells them). Or
you can do what I did and buy an old pruning saw from a thrift store,
grind off the teeth, and cut your own ... a fine way to while away a
spare week or two.
> So: what tools did you use for demo's? (do you have photo's you could share)
> what "modern" tools would you consider inappropriate?
> is it inappropriate to demo woodworking with more or less modern tools at an SCA event?
My basic kit contains a wooden straight edge, a wooden square, a box
plane, a mallet, a frame saw, the gimlets and three double-screw clamps,
all of which I made myself. I also made a workbench, which I believe
are pictured in the files section; for the workbench, I have bench dogs
and holdfasts (which I haven't been able to document, but seem
appropriate to the technology of the late Middle Ages). And I use a set
of wooden-handle chisels I bought at Harbor Freight many years ago, when
they actually sold decent tools. I carry a lot of other modern tools,
mostly for woodcarving and such, and these go into a wooden chest which
stays closed most of the time.
> My current thoughts center about making a barrow and a KD workbench and tool tote. Not a complete shop.
That's pretty much how I started. The main thing is to demonstrate how
wood is worked, and show people how easy it is for them to do it, too,
with a minimum of power tools. I've come to an event with a six-foot
one-by-twelve pine board and left it with a stool created on site with
just the tools I've mentioned above. (Plans for the stool, by the way,
are at http://midtown.net/dragonwing/col0003.htm
As my friend Cariadoc likes to paraphrase from Voltaire: "Don't let the
best be the enemy of the good." In other words, being satisfied with
nothing less than perfection usually means that you'll never be
satisfied at all, and consequently nothing is done. It is better to
produce what you can, always with an eye to making the next thing better.