As it pertains to calculating angles, I was very surprised to read

in "Ireland's Traditional Crafts" by David Shaw Smith (isbn 0-500-

01321-7) that, basically, they didn't.

Quoting from page 73,

"And it may be justifiably called an art. Examine a well-made

country chair and it will be seen that it is no simple job. Notice

every member is subtly shaped for strentgh and comfort and that every

joint is slightly 'off the angle'. Then watch the craftsman at work

and observe that he uses no elaborate measurements or calculations

but judges his angles, his curves, his mortices and auger holes --

by eye -- (my emphasis), just as a painter or sculptor does - truly

an art."

Boy, no lie. :-) I got this book from the library, and it's pretty

good.

-Charlie

--- In medievalsawdust@y..., "James Winkler" <jrwinkler@m...> wrote:

> Conal wrote:

> An Excel spreadsheet that will do

> the math for you.

>

> ... or is that cheating?

>

> ---------------

>

> Unless yer' planning on taking up a class teachin' higher math it

ain't cheatin' in MY book!!! (Hey... they'd have used computers if

they had em'... ;-) ... and in some instances did! I'd reference

some of the navigation aids, clocks, etc. that were used... now,

granted they were analog devices vs. digital... but that's simply

because the slide rule that was needed to do all the math for the

digital computer hadn't been invented yet... but it does kinda'

make ya' wonder just how the heck they did figure out the angles?

Trial and error seems like it would have hit the point of diminishing

returns rather quickly... or did they use some other kind of joint or

jig??? Hummm....

>

> Great find on the web site Avery... got that one bookmarked.

>

> Chas.