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Re: [MedievalSawdust] Re: period glue documentation

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  • Broom
    ... Why wouldn t have been studied, as it s a vital link to archaeological clues? By parallel example, the usage of linen is typically indicated by its
    Message 1 of 32 , Jul 2, 2011
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      >  On Thu, Jun 30, 2011 at 5:57 PM, Vels inn Viggladi <velsthe1@...> wrote:
      >    One really important thing to consider, and I doubt there have been many if any studies of this done, is how long do natural glues survive before entropy catches up with the natural biodegradability?
      >    If an adhesive is expected to remain intact for a human lifetime, then it makes a pretty good reinforcement for any joint. If a glue breaks down after a few decades or so, how much would be left beyond minute evidence after a few centuries?
      >    Vels

      Why wouldn't have been studied, as it's a vital link to archaeological
      clues? By parallel example, the usage of linen is typically indicated
      by its absence, as it often rots away leaving only the silken threads
      and woolen cloths that attached to it.

      Hide glues can survive at least 8,000 years.

      Pine resin glues have a similar survivability.

      ' | Broom IAmBroom @ gmail . com
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    • D. Young
      Well said Tim. There was actually a really good discussion on Peter Follansbees blog about green wood and the implication behind it. From my own experience
      Message 32 of 32 , Jul 13, 2011
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        Well said Tim.

        There was actually a really good discussion on Peter Follansbees blog about green wood and the implication behind it.    From my own experience of directly felled, split or sawn and worked oak tree to lumber, I can say that the term green wood is often misunderstood to literally mean that  the piece of furniture was made within days  of the trees felling.    Clearly this is not the case as it really takes at least 3-4 weeks to dry the outer surface of the lumber to get a good planing job done on it, and often carve it.    I think joined furniture takes off in large measure by the 15th century because of the increasing lack of oak...joined work is often composed of smaller pieces.  But by the 17th century and importation of oaks from the Americas, joined work may have simply become fashion (by that period). 

        And with respect to glues, veneering and marquetry require seasoned wood.   Even if the outer layers are dry, the evaporation will erode the strength of most glues, loosening the applied layer.   

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        > To: medievalsawdust@yahoogroups.com
        > From: albionwood@...
        > Date: Tue, 12 Jul 2011 13:42:03 -0700
        > Subject: Re: [MedievalSawdust] Glues and veneers
        > Veneered furniture - including marquetry - appears in the late 15th and
        > sophisticated examples are known from the 16th century, especially in
        > Italy, but also north of the Alps in German and Dutch areas. Glue was
        > definitely in use there and then.
        > Is there evidence for green-wood joinery as a general practice in the
        > medieval period? My understanding is that it really took off in the
        > 17th and 18th centuries. Especially the methods that relied on
        > shrinkage to lock the joints together - I am not aware of any surviving
        > examples from before the 16th c. - if anyone has evidence for this, I'd
        > love to see it.
        > Most of the medieval joinery that I'm familiar with pretty much requires
        > seasoned wood. The joints will accommodate seasonal movement,
        > expansion/contraction, but do not appear designed to deal with
        > contraction only. Think for example of clamped-front chests, or boarded
        > stools, both of which involve cross-grain joinery; yes, the wooden pegs
        > will accommodate some movement, but these objects clearly were not made
        > from green wood.
        > Cheers,
        > Tim
        > On 7/1/2011 4:43 PM, D. Young wrote:
        > >
        > > Not long into the 18th century glues and veneers come into being so the
        > > joiner who RELIED on relatively green, moisture stable quartered lumber
        > > as a critical part of joinery to work properly (that eventual shrinkage
        > > was critical to lock up the joint) gave way to glues and such....that
        > > obviously work best with seasoned, stable wood.
        > >
        > > Ergo glue is not a part of most furniture until after the first quarter
        > > of 18th century. The devils in the details...literally.
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