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Re: Type of joinery in 13th C coffret?

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  • 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 1 of 23 , Jul 5, 2010
      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 2 of 23 , Jul 5, 2010

        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 3 of 23 , Jul 5, 2010
          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 4 of 23 , Jul 5, 2010
            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 5 of 23 , Jul 5, 2010
              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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