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Re: [MedievalSawdust] Antique hand and moulding planes

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  • James Kotsonis
    My time period spans quite a few years. I am actually a 14th century blacksmith, but I am also a professional knife maker and I have done some period joinery,
    Message 1 of 9 , Aug 18, 2013
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      My time period spans quite a few years.  I am actually a 14th century blacksmith, but I am also a professional knife maker and I have done some period joinery, but not very much.  

      My original offer still stands, I am learning new period things and I willing to work with you to learn your style or periods.  Let me know.  This is how we grow, we share information and then put that information into practical use.


      James
    • gloerke
      Hi Jim, I do 14th century woodworking as well and have made a lot of tools myself (i.e. the woodwork), including 4 medieval style planes based on period
      Message 2 of 9 , Aug 19, 2013
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        Hi Jim,

        I do 14th century woodworking as well and have made a lot of tools myself (i.e. the woodwork), including 4 medieval style planes based on period illustrations (miniatures, frescos). The metal parts I use are either custom made by a blacksmith or recycled from old tools. What kind of period tools have you made? Can you show some examples to us?

        Examples of tools from my medieval toolchest can be found on my blog.

        greetings Marijn / st. thomasguild



        --- In medievalsawdust@yahoogroups.com, "trinityforge" <jimkknives@...> wrote:
        >
        > First hello thank you for letting me join your group, this is a little bit about me and what I like to do.
        >
        > First off my name is Jim and I am a period blacksmith amongst other things. I also do woodworking and I appreciate the finer art of hand making my own tools. My current project is to make a series of wood working tools based on the Mastermyr project: http://netlabs.net/~osan/Mastermyr/
        >
        > If you guys are interested in learning about making period tooling I would be more that willing to swap information for information or even doing classes as I have a few portable forges.
        >
        > Again, thank you for letting me join your group and I look forward to great learning.
        >
        > HL James the Smith
        >
        > Jim Kotsonis
        >
      • James Kotsonis
        I am sorry, that I have not answered your questions about period tooling. I have had a death in the family and when I return to Wisconsin, I will post the
        Message 3 of 9 , Aug 21, 2013
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          I am sorry, that I have not answered your questions about period tooling.  I have had a death in the family and when I return to Wisconsin, I will post the pictures I have and the projects that I am currently working on.

          James
        • Hall, Hayward
          Cool. I would challenge you to be the first blacksmith to put the handles on the Mastermyr scorp (and other drawknives ) correctly instead of the conjectural
          Message 4 of 9 , Aug 24, 2013
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            Cool. I would challenge you to be the first blacksmith to put the handles on the Mastermyr scorp (and other "drawknives") correctly instead of the conjectural drawing of the non-woodworking archaeologist. :) It's funny how everyone copies that wholesale without thinking about it.

            Guillaume

            -----Original Message-----
            From: medievalsawdust@yahoogroups.com [mailto:medievalsawdust@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of trinityforge
            Sent: Friday, August 16, 2013 3:15 PM
            To: medievalsawdust@yahoogroups.com
            Subject: [MedievalSawdust] Antique hand and moulding planes

            First hello thank you for letting me join your group, this is a little bit about me and what I like to do.

            First off my name is Jim and I am a period blacksmith amongst other things. I also do woodworking and I appreciate the finer art of hand making my own tools. My current project is to make a series of wood working tools based on the Mastermyr project: http://netlabs.net/~osan/Mastermyr/

            If you guys are interested in learning about making period tooling I would be more that willing to swap information for information or even doing classes as I have a few portable forges.

            Again, thank you for letting me join your group and I look forward to great learning.

            HL James the Smith

            Jim Kotsonis



            ------------------------------------
          • conradh@...
            ... You mean the artist who doesn t seem to know a scorp from a spokeshave? :-) That s not the only issue with Mastermyr tool handles. Everybody describes
            Message 5 of 9 , Aug 24, 2013
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              > Cool. I would challenge you to be the first blacksmith to put the handles
              > on the Mastermyr scorp (and other "drawknives") correctly instead of the
              > conjectural drawing of the non-woodworking archaeologist. :) It's funny
              > how everyone copies that wholesale without thinking about it.
              >
              > Guillaume

              You mean the artist who doesn't seem to know a scorp from a spokeshave? :-)

              That's not the only issue with Mastermyr tool handles. Everybody
              describes that chest as a toolbox, as if it was full of usable tools that
              the owner would dig into when he wanted to hew a beam or bore a hole.
              Someone checked it out and found that if those tool heads were all
              restored with reasonable wooden handles, they wouldn't begin to fit in the
              box. Everyone had assumed that the wooden handles had been there and had
              rotted away--and apparently never asked why the bog environment would have
              rotted the tool handles and left the box around them untouched!

              Rural Scandinavian smiths were itinerant in those days; instead of a smith
              having a shop on his farm and the neighbors coming there to get work done,
              apparently the smith would travel from neighbor to neighbor in the slack
              season, carrying his hand tools and using forge, bellows and stone anvil
              that each farm kept for the purpose. The Mastermyr box has always been
              interpreted as the working toolbox of such a smith, lost while crossing
              the lake that later filled in with peat to become the Mastermyr
              meadow/field.

              But there's all kinds of other metal junk in that box. Also, the owner
              had locks inside, but the lock on the box itself seems to have been long
              broken, and left unrepaired; instead a length of chain had simply been
              wrapped around the box to hold the lid closed. Some archaeologists have
              also suggested that some of the holes in the box were there when it was
              lost, not just gouged out by the plow point that snagged it out of the
              ground.

              As a working smith, I can testify to the efficiency of keeping projects
              around for times you only have a single paying piece you're working on. I
              have several buckets of such next to my forge right now; they provide
              items that can be heating while the first piece is being hammered or filed
              or bent. My professional opinion is that the Mastermyr chest was not a
              smith's working toolbox at all; but a smith's project box/scrap pile.

              There were no hardware stores back then. The smith, whether at home or on
              the road, _was_ the hardware source. And iron was scarce and expensive;
              in every preindustrial culture that worked iron, smiths are described as
              always taking iron in trade. Worn-out or broken items, if not repaired
              directly, would become the raw material for something else, and the smith
              would allow some credit for the metal brought in when the new item was
              priced, just as is done with a car trade-in today. So a smith would trade
              in scrap as well as make new items and do repairs; and a stash of tools
              with broken handles might be a fine shortcut the next time a customer
              wanted an axe or hammer. No heavy forging--just dress the working
              surfaces, carve a handle and fit it, and the customer has a "new" tool, or
              good as new. I do this today, and every general blacksmith with a walk-in
              trade has done it too.

              If you have a permanent shop, there is no end to how much stuff can pile
              up; look at any smithy today for an example! But an itinerant smith would
              have to choose; the Mastermyr box looks to me like a well-chosen
              assortment of readily restorable tools that could plausibly be in
              occasional demand in a neighborhood of small farmer/handymen. This
              explains very well why a smith with the files and hacksaw for
              locksmithing, who carried locks around, had a long-broken lock on his own
              "toolbox". Or why he bothered carrying a bunch of unhandled tool heads in
              the way of his working tool set!

              So if Mastermyr is not a toolbox, but an itinerant scrap and
              get-to-it-someday collection that includes tools without handles, one
              wonders what became of the _other_ box. The one on the other side of the
              packhorse when it fell through the ice or suffered a harness breakage.
              Did the real toolbox get recovered and make it home? Or is it still down
              there in the peat, sunk just enough deeper that the metal detectors
              deployed by the researchers haven't found it yet?

              Ulfhedinn
            • Jerry Harder
              I had wondered it it had been stolen (because of the broken locks and hole) and the thief dumped it when pursued. I like your ideas better though. Why no
              Message 6 of 9 , Aug 25, 2013
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                I had wondered it it had been stolen (because of the broken locks and hole) and the thief dumped it when pursued.  I like your ideas better though. Why no handles?
                On 8/24/2013 7:45 PM, conradh@... wrote:
                 

                > Cool. I would challenge you to be the first blacksmith to put the handles
                > on the Mastermyr scorp (and other "drawknives") correctly instead of the
                > conjectural drawing of the non-woodworking archaeologist. :) It's funny
                > how everyone copies that wholesale without thinking about it.
                >
                > Guillaume

                You mean the artist who doesn't seem to know a scorp from a spokeshave? :-)

                That's not the only issue with Mastermyr tool handles. Everybody
                describes that chest as a toolbox, as if it was full of usable tools that
                the owner would dig into when he wanted to hew a beam or bore a hole.
                Someone checked it out and found that if those tool heads were all
                restored with reasonable wooden handles, they wouldn't begin to fit in the
                box. Everyone had assumed that the wooden handles had been there and had
                rotted away--and apparently never asked why the bog environment would have
                rotted the tool handles and left the box around them untouched!

                Rural Scandinavian smiths were itinerant in those days; instead of a smith
                having a shop on his farm and the neighbors coming there to get work done,
                apparently the smith would travel from neighbor to neighbor in the slack
                season, carrying his hand tools and using forge, bellows and stone anvil
                that each farm kept for the purpose. The Mastermyr box has always been
                interpreted as the working toolbox of such a smith, lost while crossing
                the lake that later filled in with peat to become the Mastermyr
                meadow/field.

                But there's all kinds of other metal junk in that box. Also, the owner
                had locks inside, but the lock on the box itself seems to have been long
                broken, and left unrepaired; instead a length of chain had simply been
                wrapped around the box to hold the lid closed. Some archaeologists have
                also suggested that some of the holes in the box were there when it was
                lost, not just gouged out by the plow point that snagged it out of the
                ground.

                As a working smith, I can testify to the efficiency of keeping projects
                around for times you only have a single paying piece you're working on. I
                have several buckets of such next to my forge right now; they provide
                items that can be heating while the first piece is being hammered or filed
                or bent. My professional opinion is that the Mastermyr chest was not a
                smith's working toolbox at all; but a smith's project box/scrap pile.

                There were no hardware stores back then. The smith, whether at home or on
                the road, _was_ the hardware source. And iron was scarce and expensive;
                in every preindustrial culture that worked iron, smiths are described as
                always taking iron in trade. Worn-out or broken items, if not repaired
                directly, would become the raw material for something else, and the smith
                would allow some credit for the metal brought in when the new item was
                priced, just as is done with a car trade-in today. So a smith would trade
                in scrap as well as make new items and do repairs; and a stash of tools
                with broken handles might be a fine shortcut the next time a customer
                wanted an axe or hammer. No heavy forging--just dress the working
                surfaces, carve a handle and fit it, and the customer has a "new" tool, or
                good as new. I do this today, and every general blacksmith with a walk-in
                trade has done it too.

                If you have a permanent shop, there is no end to how much stuff can pile
                up; look at any smithy today for an example! But an itinerant smith would
                have to choose; the Mastermyr box looks to me like a well-chosen
                assortment of readily restorable tools that could plausibly be in
                occasional demand in a neighborhood of small farmer/handymen. This
                explains very well why a smith with the files and hacksaw for
                locksmithing, who carried locks around, had a long-broken lock on his own
                "toolbox". Or why he bothered carrying a bunch of unhandled tool heads in
                the way of his working tool set!

                So if Mastermyr is not a toolbox, but an itinerant scrap and
                get-to-it-someday collection that includes tools without handles, one
                wonders what became of the _other_ box. The one on the other side of the
                packhorse when it fell through the ice or suffered a harness breakage.
                Did the real toolbox get recovered and make it home? Or is it still down
                there in the peat, sunk just enough deeper that the metal detectors
                deployed by the researchers haven't found it yet?

                Ulfhedinn


              • conradh@...
                ... Why no handles on the box? No idea. Why no handles on the tools inside? That s what got me thinking that they were obtained that way; tool heads with
                Message 7 of 9 , Aug 29, 2013
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                  > I had wondered it it had been stolen (because of the broken locks and
                  > hole) and the thief dumped it when pursued. I like your ideas better
                  > though. Why no handles?

                  Why no handles on the box? No idea. Why no handles on the tools inside?
                  That's what got me thinking that they were obtained that way; tool heads
                  with missing or broken-off handles, taken by the box owner in trade for
                  some other repair job or finished piece. I have hundreds of pounds of old
                  tool heads in my scrap pile, but iron is much cheaper these days and I
                  don't have to carry them all around with me. But every year I clean up a
                  few of them and make new handles for customers, or teach a student how to
                  do it for their own collection. A traveling smith would find a "scrap
                  pile" equally useful, but would be limited in how much he could carry
                  around with him.


                  Ulfhedinn


                  > On 8/24/2013 7:45 PM, conradh@... wrote:
                  >>
                  >> > Cool. I would challenge you to be the first blacksmith to put the
                  >> handles
                  >> > on the Mastermyr scorp (and other "drawknives") correctly instead of
                  >> the
                  >> > conjectural drawing of the non-woodworking archaeologist. :) It's
                  >> funny
                  >> > how everyone copies that wholesale without thinking about it.
                  >> >
                  >> > Guillaume
                  >>
                  >> You mean the artist who doesn't seem to know a scorp from a
                  >> spokeshave? :-)
                  >>
                  >> That's not the only issue with Mastermyr tool handles. Everybody
                  >> describes that chest as a toolbox, as if it was full of usable tools
                  >> that
                  >> the owner would dig into when he wanted to hew a beam or bore a hole.
                  >> Someone checked it out and found that if those tool heads were all
                  >> restored with reasonable wooden handles, they wouldn't begin to fit in
                  >> the
                  >> box. Everyone had assumed that the wooden handles had been there and had
                  >> rotted away--and apparently never asked why the bog environment would
                  >> have
                  >> rotted the tool handles and left the box around them untouched!
                  >>
                  >> Rural Scandinavian smiths were itinerant in those days; instead of a
                  >> smith
                  >> having a shop on his farm and the neighbors coming there to get work
                  >> done,
                  >> apparently the smith would travel from neighbor to neighbor in the slack
                  >> season, carrying his hand tools and using forge, bellows and stone anvil
                  >> that each farm kept for the purpose. The Mastermyr box has always been
                  >> interpreted as the working toolbox of such a smith, lost while crossing
                  >> the lake that later filled in with peat to become the Mastermyr
                  >> meadow/field.
                  >>
                  >> But there's all kinds of other metal junk in that box. Also, the owner
                  >> had locks inside, but the lock on the box itself seems to have been long
                  >> broken, and left unrepaired; instead a length of chain had simply been
                  >> wrapped around the box to hold the lid closed. Some archaeologists have
                  >> also suggested that some of the holes in the box were there when it was
                  >> lost, not just gouged out by the plow point that snagged it out of the
                  >> ground.
                  >>
                  >> As a working smith, I can testify to the efficiency of keeping projects
                  >> around for times you only have a single paying piece you're working on.
                  >> I
                  >> have several buckets of such next to my forge right now; they provide
                  >> items that can be heating while the first piece is being hammered or
                  >> filed
                  >> or bent. My professional opinion is that the Mastermyr chest was not a
                  >> smith's working toolbox at all; but a smith's project box/scrap pile.
                  >>
                  >> There were no hardware stores back then. The smith, whether at home or
                  >> on
                  >> the road, _was_ the hardware source. And iron was scarce and expensive;
                  >> in every preindustrial culture that worked iron, smiths are described as
                  >> always taking iron in trade. Worn-out or broken items, if not repaired
                  >> directly, would become the raw material for something else, and the
                  >> smith
                  >> would allow some credit for the metal brought in when the new item was
                  >> priced, just as is done with a car trade-in today. So a smith would
                  >> trade
                  >> in scrap as well as make new items and do repairs; and a stash of tools
                  >> with broken handles might be a fine shortcut the next time a customer
                  >> wanted an axe or hammer. No heavy forging--just dress the working
                  >> surfaces, carve a handle and fit it, and the customer has a "new" tool,
                  >> or
                  >> good as new. I do this today, and every general blacksmith with a
                  >> walk-in
                  >> trade has done it too.
                  >>
                  >> If you have a permanent shop, there is no end to how much stuff can pile
                  >> up; look at any smithy today for an example! But an itinerant smith
                  >> would
                  >> have to choose; the Mastermyr box looks to me like a well-chosen
                  >> assortment of readily restorable tools that could plausibly be in
                  >> occasional demand in a neighborhood of small farmer/handymen. This
                  >> explains very well why a smith with the files and hacksaw for
                  >> locksmithing, who carried locks around, had a long-broken lock on his
                  >> own
                  >> "toolbox". Or why he bothered carrying a bunch of unhandled tool heads
                  >> in
                  >> the way of his working tool set!
                  >>
                  >> So if Mastermyr is not a toolbox, but an itinerant scrap and
                  >> get-to-it-someday collection that includes tools without handles, one
                  >> wonders what became of the _other_ box. The one on the other side of the
                  >> packhorse when it fell through the ice or suffered a harness breakage.
                  >> Did the real toolbox get recovered and make it home? Or is it still down
                  >> there in the peat, sunk just enough deeper that the metal detectors
                  >> deployed by the researchers haven't found it yet?
                  >>
                  >> Ulfhedinn
                  >>
                  >>
                  >
                  >
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