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Re: [medievalsawdust] Tool lists, revisited!

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  • rmhowe
    ... The pencils I have lately seen somewhere were thin rods of lead. Lead being self-annealing in it s pure state is very malleable and could be hammered
    Message 1 of 52 , Jan 1, 2004
      Haraldr Bassi wrote:

      >>Colin gives a darned good list of tools... only think I'd add to it is a
      >>'marking knife'... most medieval woodworkers didn't have pencils...

      The pencils I have lately seen somewhere were thin rods of lead.
      Lead being self-annealing in it's pure state is very malleable
      and could be hammered pointy. Still, haven't seen much of them
      in the literature. I think now that the few pencils were in the
      Salisbury Museum Catalog III and quite late in period. I rather
      suspect for most uses they used awls on many materials. Long
      round ones turn up everywhere as do diamond, square and bent
      awls for leatherwork. Curved I have not seen like shoemakers
      use.

      Books walk in my door like cockroaches into a Chinese restaurant.
      Hard to keep up with what I've read about and where.
      I'm buying a sizable chunk of the Hedeby books currently from
      Germany this week. One should be on the houses if I manage to get it.
      Some of these guys over there want bank transfers. Expensive.

      > but
      >>they all seemed to have these small knives around for marking where they
      >>wanted to put their saw cuts. Most knives I see in the illuminations
      >>don't appear to be much more than a small sharp knife... modern marking
      >>knives come in right and left handed versions. The sharpening bevel is
      >>only on one side of the blade... allows the knife to fit flush to your
      >>straight edge for a more precise cut... now, how critical this really is
      >>I don't know... but I'd bet any small fixed blade knife with a 'stiff'
      >>blade would work just fine...
      >
      >
      > I don't recall seeing an extant examples of single sided marking knives in
      > history... I'd say that as long as the blade is ground in a way for you to
      > get a sharp clean cut along the square et al then you are in good shape.

      Yes, but if you look at illustrations a lot of the squares and levels
      and plumbs and such were made of wood too. This goes back to Egyptian
      times at the least. Perhaps having a double beveled or round honed
      blade wasn't all that big a deal. I know I've scraped some steel
      off square blades, and I have a marking knife. I also have a couple
      of squares or angles with fences and blades made of wood that are
      antiques. Steel squares would have been quite expensive in medieval
      times. Your best men would have had them of course.

      The steel squares 3-5 I have that were hand forged and hand marked
      and numbered really aren't all that straight. My oldest woodworking
      tools may go back to the mid to late 1700's but there aren't all
      that many. They got used up, not taken care of by the non-craftsmen
      who bought or inherited them, misplaced, or they were gentlemen's
      tools if they survived.

      > He also mentioned that he felt a marking gauge wasn't critical, but I find
      > that too much of what I do needs to be done with either a marking gage or
      > else by using my fingers and knife as a marking gauge. Interestingly
      > enough, I rarely if ever use dividers and rarely use a rasp or file.

      Do you use a shooting board prior to marking the shoulders of a tenon?
      If we are talking hand done here, it needs to be square before marking
      and sawing if you use a marking gauge. Honestly I made a lot of
      furniture but it was primarily by machine. However, I know and was
      trained in manual skills first in industrial arts. An unsquared tenon
      is tough to cure later, Roy Underhill uses a saw sometimes. Me? I'd
      rather start with a nice accurate trysquare. To me marking gauges
      are mostly useful for marking out widths lengthwise on boards or
      on some I have with the double curved fence, for cutting or marking
      aside the inside or outside of curves. I have both slitting and
      scoring gauges and I can interchange the fences on the Stanleys
      which vary.

      >>.. an interesting thing about marking knives... they lay in a nice
      >>'groove' for starting modern saws in (thin kerf)... bet that would be
      >>handy with those Japanese saws...

      Better mark both sides of a door end with a knife before trimming
      it unless you like tear out by machine or hand cross-wise.
      Particularly bad in oak - solid or plywood.

      > They also do a wonderful job of pre-cutting the surface of any place where
      > you plan to cut so that the grain of the wood doesn't shred or chip beyond
      > that point. Especially important for mortises.
      >
      > {snip}
      >
      >
      >>.. and watch those chisels. Colin made reference to the fact that a good
      >>sharpening system should probably have been first on his list. A damn
      >>good point. Dull chisels are dangerous... they slip and skitter around...
      >>punch holes in your hand... damage the work... very annoying. Keep em'
      >>razor sharp... and don't drop em'.

      Doncha just love round handled chisels? The smarter ones are
      the woodcarvers with the octagonal handles. A quarter inch chisel
      is tough to keep on a table. So's a half. Now when you get up to
      1" they might stop rolling due to weight on the blade end.

      > Yeah... but remember that doing stupid things with extremely sharp tools
      > is still very stupid.

      I'd like to point out that if like me you are taking aspirin to
      prevent stroke/heart attacks or other such non clotting medications
      you will likely not clot. I've had two very tiny cuts recently that
      bled for a good hour and in both cases finally required a band aid.
      Now if I had a bleeding ulcer still I'd be dead.
      I think I understand what a hemophiliac must experience in a small way.
      Maybe keeping a few differently sized ACE bandages might be smart
      too. My stepfather's mother had such a bad nosebleed once they
      finally had to insert and blow up a balloon. Some recent spinal
      facet blocks (by injection) I had required me to take no aspirin
      for five days.

      > That especially includes holding a swinging door
      > still with one hand and shoving an ultra sharp chisel with the other and
      > realizing how damn stupid it was when the door shifts and the chisel is
      > embedded in your finger. I think it was only about 5 stitches but still
      > really darn stupid and several hours in the emergency room.

      I know one guy who put a 16d nailgun nail right through all four
      knuckles and he worked with one guy who nailed his instep to
      the deck with one they had to pull the head through right
      before he got fired. Let's be glad we're not quite that swift.

      I've hit my right wrist once with a chisel, and my thumb base
      with a leather knife 3/4" deep at least and put a razor knife
      into my middle finger quite deeply and fortunately hit no
      nerves in several decades. Chisels I'm basically okay with.
      Knives have given me many scars in fifty two years. Mostly
      in my younger ones. Now I use diamond hones on everything.

      *But I have many less scars than Roy Underhill.* I like Roy
      but I honestly suspect his hands are mostly scar tissue now.
      Scarey Sharp and Roy would be a deadly combination I suspect.

      I think I averaged maybe a couple minor cuts per year maximum.
      Splinters in the hundreds of course. I always carried eyedrops
      in my shirt pocket and several bandaids in my wallet - usually
      for someone else as it turned out. I always wears polycarbonate
      (lexan) lenses too. I wore no rings, although I refuse to remove
      my watch (and I saw it drop to one side of the tablesaw blade
      one day too. Snap-clasp stainless steel band type. Stubborn,
      but then I've ripped very many miles of wood on tablesaws.
      I simply readjusted the clasp.).

      Re: Swinging doors:

      I once remodelled a large circa 1900 room for a restaurant bar
      expansion. I also built the bar, which after nearly thirty years
      has finally closed and been torn down I hear, like the first one
      I did. I bet they cussed like hell trying to get it out without
      sawing through the floor. An elephant could have danced on it.
      However the point of the story was they also wanted a movable
      wall so they could service or move the beer cooler. I did a
      lovely one too. Looked real solid. Then a vendor decided to run
      through the area behind the new bar (bars on both sides of the
      old building wall) and tried to swing around it. Headfirst
      horizontal right into the nearest booth. Didn't take a week to
      score it's first victim. That was my second movable wall.

      The first one was to look like a walled off end in a storage
      mobile home for an auto renter. It was a love nest and had a bed,
      shower, and bathroom. As soon as it was near finished he hired
      a new secretary who reeked of perfume. Since he was worried
      about his fiance finding out he put even more nails in that
      wall. Helm's Deep probably had less studs on the doors.
      She must have had three things - money, a gun, and very bad taste.
      She must have had no sense of smell either as I couldn't breathe
      near that secretary.

      The things we've done for food and money as carpenters sometimes...

      Incidentally, if you are coming from the north to the Atlantian
      Twelfth nite on the 10th there will be an MWTCA.org meeting and
      general sale at the Daniel Boone Great Barn in Hillsborough NC
      in the morning. This is much smaller than the big Raleigh one
      in July with the Early American Industries Assn in attendance too.
      It wouldn't be too far out of the way on I-85.

      Magnus

      >
      > Haraldr

      I have your Vikings Name book. Nice job.
    • Don Bowen
      ... Welding cast iron is difficult at best. You have to preheat the part then use a high nickle cast iron welding rod. You weld in stitches or short sections
      Message 52 of 52 , Jan 3, 2004
        Since it was welded once before (I bought it used) and it broke on the weld, I'm hesitant to try it again.  The local Porter-Cable dealer is going to see what he can find.  The part is pretty standard, so even if he doesn't have an exact match, I should be able to buy something for a modern machine.  Last resort, as you suggested, is to hit a machine
        shop and see what can be fabricated.

        Welding cast iron is difficult at best.  You have to preheat the part then use a high nickle cast iron welding rod.  You weld in stitches or short sections then place the object back in the heater.  Some even hammer the weld to help stress relieve the part.  Cool down has to be slow.  You can braze without preheating if you again stitch the weld to keep stresses from building.

        Even the best welding is not good.  I have a 1913 ENGICO Hit-N-Miss engine that we carefully welded and the welds still cracked.  I have an old vise that one jaw was welded on.  I have abused that vise for many years and it is still together.



        Awl Knotted Up  - Custom woodworking
        Don Bowen                      donb@...
        Valley Center, CA             http://www.braingarage.com
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