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RE: [MedievalSawdust] Antique hand and moulding planes

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  • 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 1 of 9 , Aug 24 11:38 AM
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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 2 of 9 , Aug 24 5:45 PM
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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 3 of 9 , Aug 25 11:22 PM
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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 4 of 9 , Aug 29 7:26 PM
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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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