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Type of joinery in 13th C coffret?

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  • Bill Schongar (bschonga)
    Hi folks, Does anyone have any references or thoughts for what type of joints would have most commonly been used on a small box or coffret from the 13th
    Message 1 of 23 , Jul 1, 2010
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      Hi folks,

      Does anyone have any references or thoughts for what type of joints
      would have most commonly been used on a small box or coffret from the
      13th century (England or France, if geography matters)?

      I was thinking of using dovetails or a rabbetted butt joint with
      dowels, but have been unable to find anything in the books I have on
      what would be appropriate. Since one of the examples I've seen is
      covered in leather, it unfortunately didn't help identify the joints.

      Thanks,
      -Liam
    • Conal O'hAirt Jim Hart
      What would this box have been used for? The use it was intended for would have a great deal of influence on the joints. The fancier the use the fancier the
      Message 2 of 23 , Jul 1, 2010
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        What would this box have been used for?

        The use it was intended for would have a
        great deal of influence on the joints.

        The 'fancier' the use the 'fancier' the joints....

        and the owners place in society would make a
        difference also.....

        You could live your entire life in debt trying to 
        maintain the proper 'front' for your rank.....

         
        Baron Conal O'hAirt / Jim Hart

        Aude Aliquid Dignum
        ' Dare Something Worthy '



        From: Bill Schongar (bschonga) <bschonga@...>
        To: medievalsawdust@yahoogroups.com
        Sent: Thu, July 1, 2010 3:59:21 PM
        Subject: [MedievalSawdust] Type of joinery in 13th C coffret?

         

        Hi folks,

        Does anyone have any references or thoughts for what type of joints
        would have most commonly been used on a small box or coffret from the
        13th century (England or France, if geography matters)?

        I was thinking of using dovetails or a rabbetted butt joint with
        dowels, but have been unable to find anything in the books I have on
        what would be appropriate. Since one of the examples I've seen is
        covered in leather, it unfortunately didn't help identify the joints.

        Thanks,
        -Liam


      • Bill McNutt
        I don t have my references with me so I m shooting from the hip: I don t think dovetails are period for 13th century. The most common joint I ve seen has
        Message 3 of 23 , Jul 1, 2010
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          I don’t have my references with me so I’m shooting from the hip:

           

          I don’t’ think dovetails are period for 13th century.  The most common joint I’ve seen has been butted-and-nailed.

           

          After that I think I’ve seen through-tenons and rabbeted joints with nails.

           

          Will

           

          From: medievalsawdust@yahoogroups.com [mailto:medievalsawdust@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Bill Schongar (bschonga)
          Sent: Thursday, July 01, 2010 3:59 PM
          To: medievalsawdust@yahoogroups.com
          Subject: [MedievalSawdust] Type of joinery in 13th C coffret?

           

           

          Hi folks,

          Does anyone have any references or thoughts for what type of joints
          would have most commonly been used on a small box or coffret from the
          13th century (England or France, if geography matters)?

          I was thinking of using dovetails or a rabbetted butt joint with
          dowels, but have been unable to find anything in the books I have on
          what would be appropriate. Since one of the examples I've seen is
          covered in leather, it unfortunately didn't help identify the joints.

          Thanks,
          -Liam

        • R. Loos
          They had dovetails, lap joints, wedge tendons, mortise and tendon, and tons more. ... They had dovetails, lap joints, wedge tendons, mortise and tendon, and
          Message 4 of 23 , Jul 1, 2010
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            They had dovetails, lap joints, wedge tendons, mortise and tendon, and tons more.

            On Thu, 2010-07-01 at 16:19 -0400, Bill McNutt wrote:
             
            I don’t have my references with me so I’m shooting from the hip:

             

            I don’t’ think dovetails are period for 13th century.  The most common joint I’ve seen has been butted-and-nailed.

             

            After that I think I’ve seen through-tenons and rabbeted joints with nails.

             

            Will

             

            From:medievalsawdust@yahoogroups.com [mailto:medievalsawdust@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Bill Schongar (bschonga)
            Sent: Thursday, July 01, 2010 3:59 PM
            To: medievalsawdust@yahoogroups.com
            Subject: [MedievalSawdust] Type of joinery in 13th C coffret?


             

             

            Hi folks,

            Does anyone have any references or thoughts for what type of joints
            would have most commonly been used on a small box or coffret from the
            13th century (England or France, if geography matters)?

            I was thinking of using dovetails or a rabbetted butt joint with
            dowels, but have been unable to find anything in the books I have on
            what would be appropriate. Since one of the examples I've seen is
            covered in leather, it unfortunately didn't help identify the joints.

            Thanks,
            -Liam




          • Bill Schongar (bschonga)
            The period examples I’ve seen pictures of of are leather covered and then adorned with silver and gold-gilt enameled medallions with the owner’s crests
            Message 5 of 23 , Jul 1, 2010
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              The period examples I’ve seen pictures of  of are leather covered and then adorned with silver and gold-gilt enameled medallions with the owner’s crests and random beasties, so definitely way on the “fancy” end for people of status.

               

              -Liam

               

              From: medievalsawdust@yahoogroups.com [mailto:medievalsawdust@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Conal O'hAirt Jim Hart
              Sent: Thursday, July 01, 2010 4:04 PM
              To: medievalsawdust@yahoogroups.com
              Subject: Re: [MedievalSawdust] Type of joinery in 13th C coffret?

               

               

              What would this box have been used for?

               

              The use it was intended for would have a

              great deal of influence on the joints.

               

              The 'fancier' the use the 'fancier' the joints....

               

              and the owners place in society would make a

              difference also.....

               

              You could live your entire life in debt trying to 

              maintain the proper 'front' for your rank.....

               

               

              Baron Conal O'hAirt / Jim Hart

              Aude Aliquid Dignum
              ' Dare Something Worthy '

               

               


              From: Bill Schongar (bschonga) <bschonga@...>
              To: medievalsawdust@yahoogroups.com
              Sent: Thu, July 1, 2010 3:59:21 PM
              Subject: [MedievalSawdust] Type of joinery in 13th C coffret?

               

              Hi folks,

              Does anyone have any references or thoughts for what type of joints
              would have most commonly been used on a small box or coffret from the
              13th century (England or France, if geography matters)?

              I was thinking of using dovetails or a rabbetted butt joint with
              dowels, but have been unable to find anything in the books I have on
              what would be appropriate. Since one of the examples I've seen is
              covered in leather, it unfortunately didn't help identify the joints.

              Thanks,
              -Liam

               

            • Conal O'hAirt Jim Hart
              Anyone know of examples of the box joint or finger joint being used in period ? Meaning the modern box joint not a joint for a box..... lol
              Message 6 of 23 , Jul 1, 2010
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                Anyone know of examples of the 'box joint'
                or 'finger joint' being used in 'period'?

                Meaning the modern 'box joint' not a joint for
                a box..... lol



                just curious....
                 
                Baron Conal O'hAirt / Jim Hart

                Aude Aliquid Dignum
                ' Dare Something Worthy '



              • R. Loos
                I haven t found much on the box joint, but I did stumble upon a pretty well done site: http://www.vikinganswerlady.com/wood.shtml
                Message 7 of 23 , Jul 1, 2010
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                  I haven't found much on the box joint, but I did stumble upon a pretty well done site: http://www.vikinganswerlady.com/wood.shtml

                  On Thu, 2010-07-01 at 14:01 -0700, Conal O'hAirt Jim Hart wrote:
                   

                  Anyone know of examples of the 'box joint'
                  or 'finger joint' being used in 'period'?


                  Meaning the modern 'box joint' not a joint for
                  a box..... lol


                  http://www.daveswoodworks.org/Box_Joint_05.JPG




                  just curious....
                   
                  Baron Conal O'hAirt / Jim Hart

                  Aude Aliquid Dignum
                  ' Dare Something Worthy '








                • Jeffrey Johnson
                  Box/finger joints are virtually unknown before the advent of modern mass produced furniture. It relies almost completely on the strength of glue to hold
                  Message 8 of 23 , Jul 1, 2010
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                    Box/finger joints are virtually unknown before the advent of modern mass produced furniture. It relies almost completely on the strength of glue to hold together -  something not prudent with animal-derived protien glues.

                    Regarding the original question, most coffrets I recollect from that early are nailed, then covered with leather and/or strapped with metal.   

                    On Jul 1, 2010 7:43 PM, "R. Loos" <original_invariance@...> wrote:

                     

                    I haven't found much on the box joint, but I did stumble upon a pretty well done site: http://www.vikinganswerlady.com/wood.shtml



                    On Thu, 2010-07-01 at 14:01 -0700, Conal O'hAirt Jim Hart wrote:
                    >
                    >  
                    >
                    >
                    > Anyone know of exampl...

                  • Conal O'hAirt Jim Hart
                    Ref Box joint- that was what I expected to hear thanks! Baron Conal O hAirt / Jim Hart Aude Aliquid Dignum Dare Something Worthy
                    Message 9 of 23 , Jul 1, 2010
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                      Ref Box joint- that was what I expected to hear    thanks!
                       
                      Baron Conal O'hAirt / Jim Hart

                      Aude Aliquid Dignum
                      ' Dare Something Worthy '



                      From: Jeffrey Johnson <jljonsn@...>
                      To: medievalsawdust@yahoogroups.com
                      Sent: Thu, July 1, 2010 8:11:16 PM
                      Subject: Re: [MedievalSawdust] Type of joinery in 13th C coffret?

                       

                      Box/finger joints are virtually unknown before the advent of modern mass produced furniture. It relies almost completely on the strength of glue to hold together -  something not prudent with animal-derived protien glues.

                      Regarding the original question, most coffrets I recollect from that early are nailed, then covered with leather and/or strapped with metal.   

                      On Jul 1, 2010 7:43 PM, "R. Loos" <original_invariance @hotmail. com> wrote:

                       

                      I haven't found much on the box joint, but I did stumble upon a pretty well done site: http://www.vikingan swerlady. com/wood. shtml



                      On Thu, 2010-07-01 at 14:01 -0700, Conal O'hAirt Jim Hart wrote:
                      >
                      >  
                      >
                      >
                      > Anyone know of exampl...


                    • conradh@efn.org
                      ... Hey, that s not just a 13th Century problem. I grew up surrounded by people doing that! Ulfhedinn
                      Message 10 of 23 , Jul 2, 2010
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                        On Thu, July 1, 2010 1:04 pm, Conal O'hAirt Jim Hart wrote:
                        > What would this box have been used for?
                        >

                        >
                        >
                        > and the owners place in society would make a difference also.....
                        >
                        > You could live your entire life in debt trying to
                        > maintain the proper 'front' for your rank.....
                        >

                        Hey, that's not just a 13th Century problem. I grew up surrounded by
                        people doing that!

                        Ulfhedinn
                      • conradh@efn.org
                        ... I m looking at several of them in a book a friend picked up for me in England years ago. There are a couple of 6-board chests with no obvious joinery
                        Message 11 of 23 , Jul 2, 2010
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                          On Thu, July 1, 2010 12:59 pm, Bill Schongar (bschonga) wrote:
                          > Hi folks,
                          >
                          >
                          > Does anyone have any references or thoughts for what type of joints
                          > would have most commonly been used on a small box or coffret from the 13th
                          > century (England or France, if geography matters)?
                          >
                          > I was thinking of using dovetails or a rabbetted butt joint with
                          > dowels, but have been unable to find anything in the books I have on what
                          > would be appropriate. Since one of the examples I've seen is covered in
                          > leather, it unfortunately didn't help identify the joints.
                          >
                          I'm looking at several of them in a book a friend picked up for me in
                          England years ago. There are a couple of 6-board chests with no obvious
                          joinery (without even the usual iron bindings). The photos show the front
                          and top of each--the fastenings don't show but the text says they are
                          pegged. No mention of corner joinery. Both are from 1360 or so, by
                          tree-ring dating of the oak.

                          The "Trial of the Pyx" coffer is much larger, made of quarter-sawn (or
                          riven?_ oak in a sort of foreshadowing of the paneled construction that
                          would become popular a little later. Four heavy vertical planks frame the
                          chest, two at front and two in back. The ends, and the lighter horizontal
                          boards forming the middles of the front and back, are doweled into these
                          big stiles. The end boards are slightly recessed, the three front boards
                          are flush with the stiles. The stiles extend slightly at the bottom,
                          serving as feet. It has an internal till. Two plain iron strap hinges
                          extend clear across the 3-board lid, and hasps are hinged from them that
                          engage a pair of internal locks. (There was originally a third hinge,
                          strap, hasp and lock, but they have gone missing.) The hardware is
                          obviously clinch-nailed, but the text says the rest of the fastenings are
                          dowels. Made around 1300.

                          The only others I see from your period are one that is nearly and one
                          completely iron-bound. They are made of pine and willow, probably to cut
                          the weight which will be bothersome with all that metal. No mention of
                          joinery, which is probably irrelevant because the iron holds it together.
                          (In one, the _wood_ is irrelevant, since the chest is entirely covered
                          with sheet metal and bound with iron straps over that!)

                          So what I found here, at least, is either doweled or held together by its
                          hardware. I know other examples from this era were nailed. If dovetails
                          were known (and they go back to ancient Egypt!), they don't seem to be
                          common yet; they became so by a couple centuries later. The _Standebuch_
                          of Jost Amman (Frankfurt am Main, 1568) shows a number of clearly
                          dovetailed chests.

                          The book is _Early Chests in Wood and Iron_, a pamphlet from the museum of
                          the Public Records Office. (These chests were there because at at least
                          one point in their history, they were used to store documents.) Photos
                          and text by Celia Jenning. HMSO, London, 1974.

                          FWIW, Ulfhedinn
                        • julian wilson
                          ... wrote:   ... the 13th ... MUCH GOOD STUFF SNIPPED FOR BREVITY The _Standebuch_ of Jost Amman (Frankfurt am Main, 1568) shows a number of clearly
                          Message 12 of 23 , Jul 2, 2010
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                            --- On Fri, 2/7/10, conradh@... <conradh@...> wrote:



                             

                            On Thu, July 1, 2010 12:59 pm, Bill Schongar (bschonga) wrote:
                            > Hi folks,
                            >
                            >
                            > Does anyone have any references or thoughts for what type of joints
                            > would have most commonly been used on a small box or coffret from the 13th
                            > century (England or France, if geography matters)?

                            MUCH GOOD STUFF SNIPPED FOR BREVITY

                            The _Standebuch_
                            of Jost Amman (Frankfurt am Main, 1568) shows a number of clearly
                            dovetailed chests.

                            The book is _Early Chests in Wood and Iron_, a pamphlet from the museum of
                            the Public Records Office. (These chests were there because at at least
                            one point in their history, they were used to store documents.) Photos
                            and text by Celia Jenning. HMSO, London, 1974.


                            COMMENT

                            Gentles of the List,
                             the most detailed examination of a number of late-medieval chests is to be found in the 3rd Volume of the Trust's report on the copntents of the salvaged hulk of the "Mary Rose".
                            I know because I was interested in making a replica of the barber Surgeon's Chest.
                            In the archeologist's report on that chest, the Expert makes the definitive statement that it is England's earliest-dated extant chest showing dovetails, and suggests that the artifact must have been made in Continental Europe "where dovetailing was a common woodworking technique, apparently unknown - or at least un-used - in the British Isles in the late medieval period".
                            Further, deponent sayeth not.
                             Matthewe Baker.
                          • Bill Schongar (bschonga)
                            This is a huge help, thanks! And many thanks to everyone else who has provided input as well - I now have two more books to go find and add to the library.
                            Message 13 of 23 , Jul 2, 2010
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                              This is a huge help, thanks! And many thanks to everyone else who has provided input as well – I now have two more books to go find and add to the library.

                               

                              -Liam

                               

                               

                              From: medievalsawdust@yahoogroups.com [mailto:medievalsawdust@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of conradh@...
                              Sent: Friday, July 02, 2010 3:58 AM
                              To: medievalsawdust@yahoogroups.com
                              Subject: Re: [MedievalSawdust] Type of joinery in 13th C coffret?

                               

                               

                              On Thu, July 1, 2010 12:59 pm, Bill Schongar (bschonga) wrote:

                              > Hi folks,
                              >
                              >
                              > Does anyone have any references or thoughts for what type of joints
                              > would have most commonly been used on a small box or coffret from the 13th
                              > century (England or France, if geography matters)?
                              >
                              > I was thinking of using dovetails or a rabbetted butt joint with
                              > dowels, but have been unable to find anything in the books I have on what
                              > would be appropriate. Since one of the examples I've seen is covered in
                              > leather, it unfortunately didn't help identify the joints.
                              >
                              I'm looking at several of them in a book a friend picked up for me in
                              England years ago. There are a couple of 6-board chests with no obvious
                              joinery (without even the usual iron bindings). The photos show the front
                              and top of each--the fastenings don't show but the text says they are
                              pegged. No mention of corner joinery. Both are from 1360 or so, by
                              tree-ring dating of the oak.

                              The "Trial of the Pyx" coffer is much larger, made of quarter-sawn (or
                              riven?_ oak in a sort of foreshadowing of the paneled construction that
                              would become popular a little later. Four heavy vertical planks frame the
                              chest, two at front and two in back. The ends, and the lighter horizontal
                              boards forming the middles of the front and back, are doweled into these
                              big stiles. The end boards are slightly recessed, the three front boards
                              are flush with the stiles. The stiles extend slightly at the bottom,
                              serving as feet. It has an internal till. Two plain iron strap hinges
                              extend clear across the 3-board lid, and hasps are hinged from them that
                              engage a pair of internal locks. (There was originally a third hinge,
                              strap, hasp and lock, but they have gone missing.) The hardware is
                              obviously clinch-nailed, but the text says the rest of the fastenings are
                              dowels. Made around 1300.

                              The only others I see from your period are one that is nearly and one
                              completely iron-bound. They are made of pine and willow, probably to cut
                              the weight which will be bothersome with all that metal. No mention of
                              joinery, which is probably irrelevant because the iron holds it together.
                              (In one, the _wood_ is irrelevant, since the chest is entirely covered
                              with sheet metal and bound with iron straps over that!)

                              So what I found here, at least, is either doweled or held together by its
                              hardware. I know other examples from this era were nailed. If dovetails
                              were known (and they go back to ancient Egypt!), they don't seem to be
                              common yet; they became so by a couple centuries later. The _Standebuch_
                              of Jost Amman (Frankfurt am Main, 1568) shows a number of clearly
                              dovetailed chests.

                              The book is _Early Chests in Wood and Iron_, a pamphlet from the museum of
                              the Public Records Office. (These chests were there because at at least
                              one point in their history, they were used to store documents.) Photos
                              and text by Celia Jenning. HMSO, London, 1974.

                              FWIW, Ulfhedinn

                            • Gille MacDhnouill
                              One other source are the so-called medieval church chests. There s a reprint of a turn-of-the 20th century survey of English chests that illustrates the
                              Message 14 of 23 , Jul 2, 2010
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                                One other source are the so-called medieval "church chests." There's a reprint of a turn-of-the 20th century survey of English chests that illustrates the various joinery (and carving) used on these chests. (http://home.teleport.com/~tcl/cc.htm) Now mind, these are large coffers designed to protect vestments and alms, but you could reasonably extend the methods to smaller boxes. These chests, btw, were mostly thick and wide legs with panels and the floor of the chest let in to groves on the edge and face of the leg. The ends were re-enforced with decorative wooden cross-pieces, and the hinges for the lids were formed from a lid batten and integrated into the back leg, and then almost universally repaired at a later date.

                                Note that some small (and even largish) chests/strongboxes in the 12-14th centuries were made by hollowing out a log segment, and reinforcing the whole thing with iron straps, so there really was no "joinery" per Se.

                                Hope this helps,
                                -----Gille MacDhnouill
                                Working wood in Milton, PA
                                Abhainn Ciach Ghlais, AEthelmearc.

                                --- In medievalsawdust@yahoogroups.com, "Bill Schongar (bschonga)" <bschonga@...> wrote:
                                >
                                > Hi folks,
                                >
                                > Does anyone have any references or thoughts for what type of joints
                                > would have most commonly been used on a small box or coffret from the
                                > 13th century (England or France, if geography matters)?
                                >
                                > I was thinking of using dovetails or a rabbetted butt joint with
                                > dowels, but have been unable to find anything in the books I have on
                                > what would be appropriate. Since one of the examples I've seen is
                                > covered in leather, it unfortunately didn't help identify the joints.
                                >
                                > Thanks,
                                > -Liam
                                >
                              • AlbionWood
                                The few from that era that I ve seen in museums appeared to have been joined by treenails. Most are also covered with leather and/or gessoed, covering
                                Message 15 of 23 , Jul 2, 2010
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                                  The few from that era that I've seen in museums appeared to have been
                                  joined by treenails. Most are also covered with leather and/or gessoed,
                                  covering whatever joinery is present... so no reason for fancy woodwork.
                                  Rabbeting is probably OK, I know I've seen it on some coffers but
                                  not sure of the 13th century. (Really need to get my photos databased.)

                                  No dovetails for 13th c. England or France. Despite having been known
                                  in the Roman period, and despite a few tantalizing documentary
                                  references, these seem to have fallen completely out of use in Northern
                                  Europe from the early MA until the 15th century.

                                  Cheers,
                                  Tim


                                  Bill Schongar (bschonga) wrote:
                                  > Hi folks,
                                  >
                                  > Does anyone have any references or thoughts for what type of joints
                                  > would have most commonly been used on a small box or coffret from the
                                  > 13th century (England or France, if geography matters)?
                                  >
                                  > I was thinking of using dovetails or a rabbetted butt joint with
                                  > dowels, but have been unable to find anything in the books I have on
                                  > what would be appropriate. Since one of the examples I've seen is
                                  > covered in leather, it unfortunately didn't help identify the joints.
                                  >
                                  > Thanks,
                                  > -Liam
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  > ------------------------------------
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                • Conal O'hAirt Jim Hart
                                  Early Chests in Wood and Iron and? I think I missed the other title.... Baron Conal O hAirt / Jim Hart Aude Aliquid Dignum Dare Something Worthy
                                  Message 16 of 23 , Jul 3, 2010
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                                    Early Chests in Wood and Iron

                                    and?

                                    I think I missed the other title....
                                     
                                    Baron Conal O'hAirt / Jim Hart

                                    Aude Aliquid Dignum
                                    ' Dare Something Worthy '



                                    From: Bill Schongar (bschonga) <bschonga@...>
                                    To: medievalsawdust@yahoogroups.com
                                    Sent: Fri, July 2, 2010 11:20:01 AM
                                    Subject: Thanks! RE: [MedievalSawdust] Type of joinery in 13th C coffret?

                                     

                                     

                                    This is a huge help, thanks! And many thanks to everyone else who has provided input as well – I now have two more books to go find and add to the library.

                                     

                                    -Liam

                                     

                                     

                                    From: medievalsawdust@ yahoogroups. com [mailto:medievalsaw dust@yahoogroups .com] On Behalf Of conradh@efn. org
                                    Sent: Friday, July 02, 2010 3:58 AM
                                    To: medievalsawdust@ yahoogroups. com
                                    Subject: Re: [MedievalSawdust] Type of joinery in 13th C coffret?

                                     

                                     

                                    On Thu, July 1, 2010 12:59 pm, Bill Schongar (bschonga) wrote:

                                    > Hi folks,
                                    >
                                    >
                                    > Does anyone have any references or thoughts for what type of joints
                                    > would have most commonly been used on a small box or coffret from the 13th
                                    > century (England or France, if geography matters)?
                                    >
                                    > I was thinking of using dovetails or a rabbetted butt joint with
                                    > dowels, but have been unable to find anything in the books I have on what
                                    > would be appropriate. Since one of the examples I've seen is covered in
                                    > leather, it unfortunately didn't help identify the joints.
                                    >
                                    I'm looking at several of them in a book a friend picked up for me in
                                    England years ago. There are a couple of 6-board chests with no obvious
                                    joinery (without even the usual iron bindings). The photos show the front
                                    and top of each--the fastenings don't show but the text says they are
                                    pegged. No mention of corner joinery. Both are from 1360 or so, by
                                    tree-ring dating of the oak.

                                    The "Trial of the Pyx" coffer is much larger, made of quarter-sawn (or
                                    riven?_ oak in a sort of foreshadowing of the paneled construction that
                                    would become popular a little later. Four heavy vertical planks frame the
                                    chest, two at front and two in back. The ends, and the lighter horizontal
                                    boards forming the middles of the front and back, are doweled into these
                                    big stiles. The end boards are slightly recessed, the three front boards
                                    are flush with the stiles. The stiles extend slightly at the bottom,
                                    serving as feet. It has an internal till. Two plain iron strap hinges
                                    extend clear across the 3-board lid, and hasps are hinged from them that
                                    engage a pair of internal locks. (There was originally a third hinge,
                                    strap, hasp and lock, but they have gone missing.) The hardware is
                                    obviously clinch-nailed, but the text says the rest of the fastenings are
                                    dowels. Made around 1300.

                                    The only others I see from your period are one that is nearly and one
                                    completely iron-bound. They are made of pine and willow, probably to cut
                                    the weight which will be bothersome with all that metal. No mention of
                                    joinery, which is probably irrelevant because the iron holds it together.
                                    (In one, the _wood_ is irrelevant, since the chest is entirely covered
                                    with sheet metal and bound with iron straps over that!)

                                    So what I found here, at least, is either doweled or held together by its
                                    hardware. I know other examples from this era were nailed. If dovetails
                                    were known (and they go back to ancient Egypt!), they don't seem to be
                                    common yet; they became so by a couple centuries later. The _Standebuch_
                                    of Jost Amman (Frankfurt am Main, 1568) shows a number of clearly
                                    dovetailed chests.

                                    The book is _Early Chests in Wood and Iron_, a pamphlet from the museum of
                                    the Public Records Office. (These chests were there because at at least
                                    one point in their history, they were used to store documents.) Photos
                                    and text by Celia Jenning. HMSO, London, 1974.

                                    FWIW, Ulfhedinn


                                  • i_odlin@hotmail.com
                                    ... Aaaaaaaaaaaand we re off! The betting windows are now closed, ladies and gentlemen as the horses are reaching the first quarter-mile post... -Iain
                                    Message 17 of 23 , Jul 3, 2010
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                                      --- In medievalsawdust@yahoogroups.com, AlbionWood <albionwood@...> wrote:
                                      > No dovetails for 13th c. England or France. Despite having been
                                      > known in the Roman period, and despite a few tantalizing
                                      > documentary references, these seem to have fallen completely out
                                      > of use in Northern Europe from the early MA until the 15th
                                      > century.

                                      Aaaaaaaaaaaand we're off! The betting windows are now closed, ladies and gentlemen as the horses are reaching the first quarter-mile post...

                                      -Iain
                                    • Conal O'hAirt Jim Hart
                                      Rule 1 - never say never Rule 2 - never say always The best you can say is you do not know of any examples of dovetails in England and France in the 13th
                                      Message 18 of 23 , Jul 5, 2010
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                                        Rule 1 - never say never
                                        Rule 2 - never say always

                                        The best you can say is you do not know of any examples of 
                                        dovetails in England and France in the 13th century
                                         
                                        Baron Conal O'hAirt / Jim Hart

                                        Aude Aliquid Dignum
                                        ' Dare Something Worthy '



                                        From: "i_odlin@..." <i_odlin@...>
                                        To: medievalsawdust@yahoogroups.com
                                        Sent: Sat, July 3, 2010 10:27:54 PM
                                        Subject: [MedievalSawdust] Re: Type of joinery in 13th C coffret?

                                         

                                        --- In medievalsawdust@yahoogroups.com, AlbionWood <albionwood@...> wrote:
                                        > No dovetails for 13th c. England or France. Despite having been
                                        > known in the Roman period, and despite a few tantalizing
                                        > documentary references, these seem to have fallen completely out
                                        > of use in Northern Europe from the early MA until the 15th
                                        > century.

                                        Aaaaaaaaaaaand we're off! The betting windows are now closed, ladies and gentlemen as the horses are reaching the first quarter-mile post...

                                        -Iain


                                      • Eric
                                        I agree with both Conal and Tim. While one should be careful to not deal in absolutes (as Conal said), according to every thing I know about extant examples,
                                        Message 19 of 23 , Jul 5, 2010
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                                          I agree with both Conal and Tim. While one should be careful to not deal in absolutes (as Conal said), according to every thing I know about extant examples, dovetails were not a common method of joinery in Northern Europe or Britain during the early portions of the SCA period (as Tim said). Tim also alluded to the fact that rare examples will occasionally crop up that would disprove that statement.

                                          Let me give an example based on our own period. Are flying cars period for late 20th century? Basically not, but during my whole life (since 1960) there have been different people and companies that have produced single or a small number of working flying cars available for sale. I even saw one operate as a small child at an airshow and owned a small, working, plastic model of that design. So, if someone asked five hundred years from now, if flying cars are period for the late 20th century, what would your answer be?

                                          In Service to the Dream,
                                          Eirikr Mjoksiglandi
                                          Ashgrove, Barony of Altavia, Caid


                                          --- In medievalsawdust@yahoogroups.com, Conal O'hAirt Jim Hart <baronconal@...> wrote:
                                          >
                                          > Rule 1 - never say never
                                          > Rule 2 - never say always
                                          >
                                          > The best you can say is you do not know of any examples of
                                          > dovetails in England and France in the 13th century
                                          > Baron Conal O'hAirt / Jim Hart
                                          >
                                          > Aude Aliquid Dignum
                                          > ' Dare Something Worthy '
                                          >
                                          > --- In medievalsawdust@yahoogroups.com, AlbionWood <albionwood@> wrote:
                                          > > No dovetails for 13th c. England or France. Despite having been
                                          > > known in the Roman period, and despite a few tantalizing
                                          > > documentary references, these seem to have fallen completely out
                                          > > of use in Northern Europe from the early MA until the 15th
                                          > > century.
                                          >
                                        • Bill McNutt
                                          That it s an outlier, and a reproduction or a piece of utility gear - but not that it s a common practice. Will From: medievalsawdust@yahoogroups.com
                                          Message 20 of 23 , Jul 5, 2010
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                                            That it’s an outlier, and a reproduction or a piece of utility gear – but not that it’s a common practice.

                                             

                                            Will

                                             

                                            From: medievalsawdust@yahoogroups.com [mailto:medievalsawdust@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Eric
                                            Sent: Monday, July 05, 2010 11:36 AM
                                            To: medievalsawdust@yahoogroups.com
                                            Subject: [MedievalSawdust] Re: Type of joinery in 13th C coffret?

                                             

                                             

                                            I agree with both Conal and Tim. While one should be careful to not deal in absolutes (as Conal said), according to every thing I know about extant examples, dovetails were not a common method of joinery in Northern Europe or Britain during the early portions of the SCA period (as Tim said). Tim also alluded to the fact that rare examples will occasionally crop up that would disprove that statement.

                                            Let me give an example based on our own period. Are flying cars period for late 20th century? Basically not, but during my whole life (since 1960) there have been different people and companies that have produced single or a small number of working flying cars available for sale. I even saw one operate as a small child at an airshow and owned a small, working, plastic model of that design. So, if someone asked five hundred years from now, if flying cars are period for the late 20th century, what would your answer be?

                                            In Service to the Dream,
                                            Eirikr Mjoksiglandi
                                            Ashgrove, Barony of Altavia, Caid

                                            --- In medievalsawdust@yahoogroups.com, Conal O'hAirt Jim Hart <baronconal@...> wrote:

                                            >
                                            > Rule 1 - never say never
                                            > Rule 2 - never say always
                                            >
                                            > The best you can say is you do not know of any examples of
                                            > dovetails in England and France in the 13th century
                                            > Baron Conal O'hAirt / Jim Hart
                                            >
                                            > Aude Aliquid Dignum
                                            > ' Dare Something Worthy '
                                            >
                                            > --- In medievalsawdust@yahoogroups.com,
                                            AlbionWood <albionwood@> wrote:
                                            > > No dovetails for 13th c. England or France. Despite having been
                                            > > known in the Roman period, and despite a few tantalizing
                                            > > documentary references, these seem to have fallen completely out
                                            > > of use in Northern Europe from the early MA until the 15th
                                            > > century.
                                            >

                                          • Mike from NH
                                            Ok, here is something I did a little looking at, if you can say your mentor traveled, or learned from a traveler, you might want to think about China,
                                            Message 21 of 23 , Jul 5, 2010
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                                              Ok, here is something I did a little looking at, if you can say your mentor traveled, or learned from a traveler, you might want to think about China, according to one reference I found, they've have joints like dovetail joints sence before 1100, here is the link.

                                              http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ancient_Chinese_wooden_architecture

                                              Yours in Service
                                              Michael De La Coteau
                                              (Michael of the Hill)

                                              --- In medievalsawdust@yahoogroups.com, Conal O'hAirt Jim Hart <baronconal@...> wrote:
                                              >
                                              > Rule 1 - never say never
                                              > Rule 2 - never say always
                                              >
                                              > The best you can say is you do not know of any examples of
                                              > dovetails in England and France in the 13th century
                                              > Baron Conal O'hAirt / Jim Hart
                                              >
                                              > Aude Aliquid Dignum
                                              > ' Dare Something Worthy '
                                              >
                                              >
                                              >
                                              >
                                              > ________________________________
                                              > From: "i_odlin@..." <i_odlin@...>
                                              > To: medievalsawdust@yahoogroups.com
                                              > Sent: Sat, July 3, 2010 10:27:54 PM
                                              > Subject: [MedievalSawdust] Re: Type of joinery in 13th C coffret?
                                              >
                                              >
                                              > --- In medievalsawdust@yahoogroups.com, AlbionWood <albionwood@> wrote:
                                              > > No dovetails for 13th c. England or France. Despite having been
                                              > > known in the Roman period, and despite a few tantalizing
                                              > > documentary references, these seem to have fallen completely out
                                              > > of use in Northern Europe from the early MA until the 15th
                                              > > century.
                                              >
                                              > Aaaaaaaaaaaand we're off! The betting windows are now closed, ladies and gentlemen as the horses are reaching the first quarter-mile post...
                                              >
                                              > -Iain
                                              >
                                            • Conal O'hAirt Jim Hart
                                              There are also Egyptian dovetails in BC time. ( cannot recall any more specific details off the cuff ) Use them or don t... I don t care, but don t invent
                                              Message 22 of 23 , Jul 5, 2010
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                                                There are also Egyptian dovetails in BC time.
                                                ( cannot recall any more specific details off the cuff )



                                                Use them or don't... I don't care, but don't invent 
                                                'kidnapped by gypsies and sold to Asian pirates'
                                                type stories to try to justify them...

                                                The apprenticed to a master that learned in Japan is
                                                kinda cheesy and 'bad form' in my opinion.


                                                 
                                                Baron Conal O'hAirt / Jim Hart

                                                Aude Aliquid Dignum
                                                ' Dare Something Worthy '



                                                From: Mike from NH <fantasydesigns2002@...>
                                                To: medievalsawdust@yahoogroups.com
                                                Sent: Mon, July 5, 2010 2:58:43 PM
                                                Subject: [MedievalSawdust] Re: Type of joinery in 13th C coffret?

                                                 

                                                Ok, here is something I did a little looking at, if you can say your mentor traveled, or learned from a traveler, you might want to think about China, according to one reference I found, they've have joints like dovetail joints sence before 1100, here is the link.

                                                http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ancient_Chinese_wooden_architecture

                                                Yours in Service
                                                Michael De La Coteau
                                                (Michael of the Hill)

                                                --- In medievalsawdust@yahoogroups.com, Conal O'hAirt Jim Hart <baronconal@...> wrote:
                                                >
                                                > Rule 1 - never say never
                                                > Rule 2 - never say always
                                                >
                                                > The best you can say is you do not know of any examples of
                                                > dovetails in England and France in the 13th century
                                                > Baron Conal O'hAirt / Jim Hart
                                                >
                                                > Aude Aliquid Dignum
                                                > ' Dare Something Worthy '
                                                >
                                                >
                                                >
                                                >
                                                > ________________________________
                                                > From: "i_odlin@..." <i_odlin@...>
                                                > To: medievalsawdust@yahoogroups.com
                                                > Sent: Sat, July 3, 2010 10:27:54 PM
                                                > Subject: [MedievalSawdust] Re: Type of joinery in 13th C coffret?
                                                >
                                                >
                                                > --- In medievalsawdust@yahoogroups.com, AlbionWood <albionwood@> wrote:
                                                > > No dovetails for 13th c. England or France. Despite having been
                                                > > known in the Roman period, and despite a few tantalizing
                                                > > documentary references, these seem to have fallen completely out
                                                > > of use in Northern Europe from the early MA until the 15th
                                                > > century.
                                                >
                                                > Aaaaaaaaaaaand we're off! The betting windows are now closed, ladies and gentlemen as the horses are reaching the first quarter-mile post...
                                                >
                                                > -Iain
                                                >


                                              • conradh@efn.org
                                                ... Beautifully said! It s very much an issue for the history of tools, too. In 1505 a Nuremberg engineer named Loffelholz designed and drew in his notebook a
                                                Message 23 of 23 , Jul 5, 2010
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                                                  On Mon, July 5, 2010 8:35 am, Eric wrote:
                                                  > I agree with both Conal and Tim. While one should be careful to not deal
                                                  > in absolutes (as Conal said), according to every thing I know about
                                                  > extant examples, dovetails were not a common method of joinery in
                                                  > Northern Europe or Britain during the early portions of the SCA period
                                                  > (as Tim said). Tim also alluded to the fact that rare examples will
                                                  > occasionally crop up that would disprove that statement.
                                                  >
                                                  > Let me give an example based on our own period. Are flying cars period
                                                  > for late 20th century? Basically not, but during my whole life (since
                                                  > 1960) there have been different people and companies that have produced
                                                  > single or a small number of working flying cars available for sale. I
                                                  > even saw one operate as a small child at an airshow and owned a small,
                                                  > working, plastic model of that design. So, if someone asked five hundred
                                                  > years from now, if flying cars are period for the late 20th century, what
                                                  > would your answer be?
                                                  >
                                                  Beautifully said!

                                                  It's very much an issue for the history of tools, too. In 1505 a
                                                  Nuremberg engineer named Loffelholz designed and drew in his notebook a
                                                  startlingly advanced workbench for his day--it's about two-thirds of the
                                                  way to the sort of cabinetmaker's bench that became common in the Germanic
                                                  world by 1700 or so. It had a twin-screw face vise and a fully enclosed,
                                                  moving-dog tail vise, with multiple recesses for a planing stop that seem
                                                  to have also served as stops for the tail vise.

                                                  The trouble comes in figuring out whether anything came of this. Was Herr
                                                  Loffelholz a secretive dreamer like Leonardo, filling notebooks with
                                                  clever ideas that made no difference because he kept them so secret?

                                                  Half a century later, bench vises show up in half a dozen shops in the
                                                  _Standebuch_, also from Nuremberg. _Not one_ of those vises look like the
                                                  1505 examples, and not one is in any sort of woodworker's shop! They're
                                                  metal, and all used by high-end specialty metalworkers. They look like
                                                  the ancestors of a blacksmith's leg vise, not any sort of Loffelholz
                                                  derivative.

                                                  Context: The 1500's were a time in which the south German cities led the
                                                  world in metal technology, and in particular seemed to be systematically
                                                  exploring uses of screw threads. The first bench vises, the first rifled
                                                  guns, the first use of a screw press for printing, and the first use of
                                                  threaded fasteners, both wood screws and nuts and bolts--all show up first
                                                  in the south German cities, in or just before the first half of the
                                                  Sixteenth Century.

                                                  So it's like the flying cars, or like asking if internal-combustion motor
                                                  vehicles are period for the 19th Century. Of course they are--the first
                                                  IC driven car (which the Swiss inventor even called a "char") actually ran
                                                  down Swiss roads in 1803! All through that century, various inventors
                                                  built things that a) could run, and b) were such a pain in the ass to run
                                                  that they never really caught on.



                                                  Old-school craftsmen could be awfully conservative. My guess would be
                                                  that Loffelholz made a bench like his drawing, for his own use, and tried
                                                  to interest woodworkers in it. He himself was a user and contributor to
                                                  the exciting new screw technology, the one that led to the metalworking
                                                  vises we see illustrated sixty years later. But the woodworkers were used
                                                  to their old ways of holding the work, and held back for a while.
                                                  _Eventually_ they got the idea too, but unfortunately we have this gap in
                                                  the record between 1505 and around 1700. By 1700 the traditional
                                                  cabinetmakers bench with all the trimmings was widely used across Germany
                                                  and had spread to Scandinavia. Obviously, it developed in Germany
                                                  sometime during those two centuries, but on the evidence of the Standebuch
                                                  it had not caught on as early as 1565.

                                                  This sort of conservatism persisted--in the late 1700's Roubo could
                                                  illustrate a cabinetmakers bench, but said the only workers in France who
                                                  used them were German emigres! Nuremberg and Paris are not that far
                                                  apart--during the 1700's they were connected by regular stagecoach
                                                  service. Those benches were still not widely used in England for much
                                                  later, and many English cabinetmakers to this day still have no use for
                                                  tail vises.

                                                  So yeah, you can drive an 1801 Trevethick or an 1803 Rivaz to your Regency
                                                  event, and document it. But to be fair and honest, along with it consider
                                                  developing the persona of a cutting-edge engineer or mad scientist. Much
                                                  the same sorts who were demonstrating the flying car you saw. To
                                                  (finally!) get back to dovetails, how about a cover story to go with them,
                                                  about travel and training in Germany or the like? And perhaps put in some
                                                  other distinctively German features in the woodwork?

                                                  Ulfhedinn
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