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RE: [MedievalSawdust] antiquities and making it look older

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  • Bill McNutt
    So, pictures, oh keeper of the artifact? Master Will http://tech.cls.utk.edu/wood ... From: James Winkler [mailto:jrwinkler@msn.com] Sent: Tuesday, February
    Message 1 of 18 , Feb 1, 2005
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      So, pictures, oh keeper of the artifact?

       

      Master Will

      http://tech.cls.utk.edu/wood

       

      -----Original Message-----
      From: James Winkler [mailto:jrwinkler@...]
      Sent: Tuesday, February 01, 2005 6:37 PM
      To: medievalsawdust@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: Re: [MedievalSawdust] antiquities and making it look older

       

      Yea... the Victorians had a major thing for "getting in touch with the past"... not normally a past that anybody else recognized... but... well, one might make a strong argument for them being the forebears of all re-creationists...  with a passion!!

       

      The late 16th c. 6-board oak chest that I have also has a rather interesting Victorian modification.  The chest itself is pretty plain... the back hinges aren't original as the lid had been repaired at one point... but you can see the pattern and nail location of the original hinges (iron on oak over time = a black stain... good for 'reading' what happened in the past)...  the chest hasn't been refinished... but, on the front is this cheesy 'lock plate' of thin iron that’s kinda' rusty and 'rustic' looking.  (there is no lock in the chest and the fact that the whole front plank is still there with no place that indicates a lock or anything had ever been cut in at any time...)...  But, the Victorians apparently believed that chests "should" have had locks... and were prone to putting such things on...  its not even a good fake lock plate... the keyhole is kinda' funky looking...

       

      The chest though is an amazing study in late medieval woodworking... the original part of the top appears VERY smooth... but looking at it with the right light shows... adz marks!!  The top wasn't planed... but worked with some sort of a chip removing tool... and amazingly well worked too...  (might have been hand worked with a very shallow chisel...  no way of telling for sure...).

       

      The provenience on the chest was provided by the London auction house I bought it through... and they were the ones who identified the 'Victorian modification'...

       

      Gotta' love the Victorians... 

       

      ... but you're right... it’s a very intriguing question regarding how any culture so far removed from our own viewed or thought about their possessions...  we can get some glimpses... but will ever be frustrated by never being able to know for sure... 

       

      Chas.

       

       

      My original point on the whole issue and the reason I brough it up is because I watched a Antiques Roadshow (I think UK) a while back and someone had a big long chest (about 12') that was carved like many of the medieval chests we study, but the appraiser mentioned it was much newer and was actually a victorian piece made to look medieval and then antiqued. then the whole sand thread got me thinking again on the point that the victorian's were paying big bucks for "historical" pieces, is the whole thing a relatively modern idea of old = valuable or is it something that has been going on for a number of years. It's an interesting point but I have never found any evidence one way or the other.

       

      Mark / Cered

       

       



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    • James Winkler
      Humm.... well... OK... ;-]) I ll break out the trusty camera tomorrow and see if I can t get some good shots... Chas... So, pictures, oh keeper of the
      Message 2 of 18 , Feb 1, 2005
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        Humm.... well... OK...  ;-])     I'll break out the trusty camera tomorrow and see if I can't get some good shots...
         
        Chas...
         

        So, pictures, oh keeper of the artifact?

         

      • Tim Bray
        Chas, ... Very cool! I wonder how one might discern between the marks of an adz vs. a chisel. For that matter, are you certain it could not have been a
        Message 3 of 18 , Feb 1, 2005
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          Chas,

          >The chest though is an amazing study in late medieval woodworking... the
          >original part of the top appears VERY smooth... but looking at it with the
          >right light shows... adz marks!! The top wasn't planed... but worked with
          >some sort of a chip removing tool... and amazingly well worked
          >too... (might have been hand worked with a very shallow chisel... no way
          >of telling for sure...).

          Very cool! I wonder how one might discern between the marks of an adz vs.
          a chisel. For that matter, are you certain it could not have been a
          broadaxe? They can give a very flat surface, in good hands.

          Cheers,
          Colin




          Albion Works
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        • James Winkler
          Definitely not a broadax... unless it wasn t that broad.. the marks are extremely shallow and no more than a half inch or so wide... (you have to have the
          Message 4 of 18 , Feb 2, 2005
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            Definitely not a broadax...  unless it wasn't that broad.. the marks are extremely shallow and no more than a half inch or so wide...  (you have to have the light just right and look at just the right angle to see them...) and almost look like the surface was just being scuffed by the too....
             
            RE: gesso build up... so Brian uses fiberglass, eh?  The first intro into how the shields were constructed I ran into was an article in an old 'Chroniqe'...  ;-])  Interesting... 
             
            Chas.
             
            ======================

            Chas,

            >The chest though is an amazing study in late medieval woodworking... the
            >original part of the top appears VERY smooth... but looking at it with the
            >right light shows... adz marks!!  The top wasn't planed... but worked with
            >some sort of a chip removing tool... and amazingly well worked
            >too...  (might have been hand worked with a very shallow chisel...  no way
            >of telling for sure...).

            Very cool!   I wonder how one might discern between the marks of an adz vs.
            a chisel.  For that matter, are you certain it could not have been a
            broadaxe?  They can give a very flat surface, in good hands.

            Cheers,
            Colin

          • kjworz@comcast.net
            Could the marks have been made by a Jack Plane/Fore Plane with a camber to the iron? -- -Chris Schwartz Silver Spring, MD ======================== Definitely
            Message 5 of 18 , Feb 2, 2005
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              Could the marks have been made by a Jack Plane/Fore Plane with a camber to the iron?

              --
              -Chris Schwartz
              Silver Spring, MD


              ========================

              Definitely not a broadax... unless it wasn't that broad.. the marks are extremely shallow and no more than a half inch or so wide... (you have to have the light just right and look at just the right angle to see them...) and almost look like the surface was just being scuffed by the too....

              RE: gesso build up... so Brian uses fiberglass, eh? The first intro into how the shields were constructed I ran into was an article in an old 'Chroniqe'... ;-]) Interesting...

              Chas.

              ======================
            • Bill McNutt
              I ll swap you. I ve got some pics of a 13th century document chest from the Merchant Adventurer s Guild Hall in York. Master Will ... From: James Winkler
              Message 6 of 18 , Feb 2, 2005
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                Message
                I'll swap you.  I've got some pics of a 13th century document chest from the Merchant Adventurer's Guild Hall in York.
                 
                Master Will
                -----Original Message-----
                From: James Winkler [mailto:jrwinkler@...]
                Sent: Wednesday, February 02, 2005 12:18 AM
                To: medievalsawdust@yahoogroups.com
                Subject: Re: [MedievalSawdust] antiquities and making it look older

                Humm.... well... OK...  ;-])     I'll break out the trusty camera tomorrow and see if I can't get some good shots...
                 
                Chas...
                 

                So, pictures, oh keeper of the artifact?

                 



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                     http://groups.yahoo.com/group/medievalsawdust/


              • julian wilson
                If I may be permitted to contribute to this thread? In my opinion, given the ability of any really-gifted woodworker to replicate older work , and even to
                Message 7 of 18 , Feb 2, 2005
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                  If I may be permitted to contribute to this thread?
                  In my opinion, given the ability of any really-gifted woodworker to replicate "older work", and even to "antique it" if the customer wants that done - the only way to accurately date any item made from timber is to take a  "core" from a hidden section of the article and send the core to a Dendrochronology Lab. That will at least tell you when the timber was felled.
                   
                  When - in my "mundane" job in the UK Construction Industry - I was tasked with the Post of Project Manager for the restoration of the "Old Rectory", in Northfleet, Kent - that is exactly what I did, to confirm the date of the beams of the roof structure and of the timber frame. We took about 30 cores from various beams, - and Nottingham Uni's Dendro Lab. confirmed that 90% of the timber had been felled in 1487. Which agreed nicely with the documentary evidence the Client/Developer [Hunter-Sapphir plc] had assembled from other sources.
                  Messrs. Wiltishiers' did exactly the same thing when they restored the Mast House at Chatham's "Historic Dockyard" just a few miles eastwards down the road from Northfleet.



                  Yours in service,
                  Julian Wilson,
                  [aka. Messire Matthew Baker/Matthieu Besquer, Governor & Castellan of Jersey, 1486-1497: - "Si vis pacem, para bellum"]
                  late-medieval Re-enactor; & Historian and Master Artisan to
                  "The Companie of the Duke's Leopards",
                  [the only medieval living-history Group
                  in "olde" Jersey]


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                • Dan Baker
                  On a related subject..... I usually assume that as a craftsman making things that I will be using, or selling, or bartering, etc... That I am selling new
                  Message 8 of 18 , Feb 2, 2005
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                    On a related subject.....

                    I usually assume that as a craftsman making things that I will be
                    using, or selling, or bartering, etc... That I am selling new stuff.
                    Therefore anything I make should look new, not antique whether real or
                    artificially. I feel that if my persona is 15th century, and I am
                    making a 15th century piece, it should look like I just made it.
                    Wouldn't you agree?

                    -Rhys
                  • julian wilson
                    Dan Baker wrote:On a related subject..... I usually assume that as a craftsman making things that I will be using, or selling, or
                    Message 9 of 18 , Feb 2, 2005
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                      Dan Baker <LordRhys@...> wrote:
                      On a related subject.....

                      I usually assume that as a craftsman making things that I will be using, or selling, or bartering, etc... That I am selling new stuff.
                      Therefore anything I make should look new, not antique whether real or artificially.  I feel that if my persona is 15th century, and I am making a 15th century piece, it should look like I just made it.
                      Wouldn't you agree?
                      REPLY
                      In response to your posit - it would depend upon the rationale behind what I might be making and why. 
                      If I am making furniture and other wooden equipment for our Companie to use, I tend to vary the finishes between, say, - "that chest was my grandsire's, which my sire left unto me" [2 generations of use, and showing the scars and patina thereof] - to  entirely new items, fresh from the Master Carpenter's joinery shop.
                      As far as our Companie is concerned, we feel it would not look "right" to have everything seeming brand new, in a Household that had been established for several generations.
                      Items would have been passed-down, and would have acquired varying degrees of patination  and distressing through "long and honourable service"



                      Yours in service,
                      Julian Wilson,
                      [aka. Messire Matthew Baker/Matthieu Besquer, Governor & Castellan of Jersey, 1486-1497: - "Si vis pacem, para bellum"]
                      late-medieval Re-enactor; & Historian and Master Artisan to
                      "The Companie of the Duke's Leopards",
                      [the only medieval living-history Group
                      in "olde" Jersey]


                      ALL-NEW Yahoo! Messenger - all new features - even more fun!
                    • Dragano Abbruciati
                      I agree........... Unless, of course, you are a 15C German with a treasured 13C Norse chest. Dragano Dan Baker wrote: On a related
                      Message 10 of 18 , Feb 2, 2005
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                        I agree...........  Unless, of course, you are a 15C German with a treasured 13C Norse chest.
                         
                        Dragano

                        Dan Baker <LordRhys@...> wrote:
                        On a related subject.....

                        I usually assume that as a craftsman making things that I will be
                        using, or selling, or bartering, etc... That I am selling new stuff.
                        Therefore anything I make should look new, not antique whether real or
                        artificially.  I feel that if my persona is 15th century, and I am
                        making a 15th century piece, it should look like I just made it.
                        Wouldn't you agree?

                        -Rhys


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                      • Conal O'hAirt Jim Hart
                        ... Underhill has a good discussion of tool marks in one of his books ( can t remember which one off the top of my head though.... ) ===== Baron Conal O hAirt
                        Message 11 of 18 , Feb 2, 2005
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                          >
                          > Very cool! I wonder how one might discern between
                          > the marks of an adz vs.
                          > a chisel. For that matter, are you certain it could
                          > not have been a
                          > broadaxe? They can give a very flat surface, in
                          > good hands.
                          >
                          > Cheers,
                          > Colin


                          Underhill has a good discussion of tool marks
                          in one of his books ( can't remember which one
                          off the top of my head though.... )



                          =====
                          Baron Conal O'hAirt / Jim Hart

                          Aude Aliquid Dignum
                          ' Dare Something Worthy '



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                        • Keith Dombrowski
                          I d like to see that one myself... -Kean
                          Message 12 of 18 , Feb 3, 2005
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                            I'd like to see that one myself...

                            -Kean

                            On 2 Feb 2005 at 10:35, Bill McNutt wrote:

                            > I'll swap you. I've got some pics of a 13th century document chest from
                            > the Merchant Adventurer's Guild Hall in York.
                            >
                            > Master Will
                            > -----Original Message-----
                            > From: James Winkler [mailto:jrwinkler@...]
                            > Sent: Wednesday, February 02, 2005 12:18 AM
                            > To: medievalsawdust@yahoogroups.com
                            > Subject: Re: [MedievalSawdust] antiquities and making it look older
                            >
                            >
                            > Humm.... well... OK... ;-]) I'll break out the trusty camera
                            > tomorrow and see if I can't get some good shots...
                            >
                            > Chas...
                            >
                            >
                            > So, pictures, oh keeper of the artifact?
                            >
                            > Master Will
                            > http://tech.cls.utk.edu/wood
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            > _____
                            >
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                          • Tim Bray
                            Hey Chas, ... Sounds like it could be a jack plane... how long are the individual tracks ? This is the kind of thing that fascinates me: trying to examine the
                            Message 13 of 18 , Feb 9, 2005
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                              Hey Chas,

                              >Definitely not a broadax... unless it wasn't that broad.. the marks are
                              >extremely shallow and no more than a half inch or so wide... (you have to
                              >have the light just right and look at just the right angle to see them...)
                              >and almost look like the surface was just being scuffed by the too....

                              Sounds like it could be a jack plane... how long are the individual "tracks"?

                              This is the kind of thing that fascinates me: trying to examine the
                              surfaces of object to deduce how they were worked. Wonder if any grad
                              student in Archaeology has ever done a thesis on this, looking at medieval
                              furniture to identify tool marks? The marks of the saw, plane, and chisel
                              are pretty common; and of course axe marks on large timbers. I've often
                              wondered if it would be possible to identify scraper marks, perhaps with a
                              binocular microscope.

                              How would the marks of an adze differ from those left by a broadaxe, for
                              example?

                              Just to offer another question that might be addressed this way: It is
                              possible to create the hollows in linenfold panels in two different ways -
                              with a carving chisel (gouge), or with a hollowing plane. Which method was
                              actually used (or were both)? Seems like the chisel would leave different
                              tracks than the plane - you should be able to see the tiny ridges left when
                              the gouge stops before being struck again, whereas the plane leaves a level
                              and smooth surface.

                              Cheers,
                              Colin


                              Albion Works
                              Furniture and Accessories
                              For the Medievalist!
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                            • Bruce S. R. Lee
                              Colin Have you looked at the book by Leonard Lee on sharpening? He goes into some detail on the types of wood failure/cutting from chisels, planes & scrapers -
                              Message 14 of 18 , Feb 10, 2005
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                                Colin

                                Have you looked at the book by Leonard Lee on sharpening? He goes into some
                                detail on the types of wood failure/cutting from chisels, planes & scrapers
                                - type 1 & type 2 as they are referred to. At the microscopic level I think
                                the surface difference is mainly due to the cutting angle of the blade &
                                wether there is a 'mouth' opening to confine the shaving.

                                regards
                                Brusi of Orkney

                                snip
                                >How would the marks of an adze differ from those left by a broadaxe, for
                                >example?
                                >
                                >Just to offer another question that might be addressed this way: It is
                                >possible to create the hollows in linenfold panels in two different ways -
                                >with a carving chisel (gouge), or with a hollowing plane. Which method was
                                >actually used (or were both)? Seems like the chisel would leave different
                                >tracks than the plane - you should be able to see the tiny ridges left when
                                >the gouge stops before being struck again, whereas the plane leaves a level
                                >and smooth surface.
                                >
                                >Cheers,
                                >Colin
                              • kjworz@comcast.net
                                Leonard Lee is also full of some hooey. His book is good, but has some errors, and is a bit dated. He insists that block plane performance is compromised
                                Message 15 of 18 , Feb 10, 2005
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                                  Leonard Lee is also full of some hooey. His book is good, but has some errors, and is a bit dated.

                                  He insists that block plane performance is compromised because the "lever cap/cap iron" is too far back, but this is irrelevent with a bezel up plane blade. His experiments on skewed plane blades, HE says, are conclusive, yet you can drive a truck through the holes in his methodology.

                                  It's dated in his obvious omission of new development that came after he published. ScarySharp (tm) techniques aren't well known to him at printing, nor those Japanese Shapton stones.

                                  That said, without Mr. Lee, my tools would have been much duller. CrO is the good stuff.... So I owe him the CrO tip and the basic hand sharpening technique I started with, and his treatise on grinder wheels is wonderful.

                                  --
                                  -Chris Schwartz
                                  Silver Spring, MD


                                  >
                                  > Colin
                                  >
                                  > Have you looked at the book by Leonard Lee on sharpening? He goes into some
                                  > detail on the types of wood failure/cutting from chisels, planes & scrapers
                                  > - type 1 & type 2 as they are referred to. At the microscopic level I think
                                  > the surface difference is mainly due to the cutting angle of the blade &
                                  > wether there is a 'mouth' opening to confine the shaving.
                                  >
                                  > regards
                                  > Brusi of Orkney
                                  >
                                  > snip
                                  > >How would the marks of an adze differ from those left by a broadaxe, for
                                  > >example?
                                  > >
                                  > >Just to offer another question that might be addressed this way: It is
                                  > >possible to create the hollows in linenfold panels in two different ways -
                                  > >with a carving chisel (gouge), or with a hollowing plane. Which method was
                                  > >actually used (or were both)? Seems like the chisel would leave different
                                  > >tracks than the plane - you should be able to see the tiny ridges left when
                                  > >the gouge stops before being struck again, whereas the plane leaves a level
                                  > >and smooth surface.
                                  > >
                                  > >Cheers,
                                  > >Colin
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  > Yahoo! Groups Links
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                • Tim Bray
                                  Brusi, ... No, I haven t felt the need; never had much trouble getting things sharp. But I m seeing a lot of references to it and beginning to understand
                                  Message 16 of 18 , Feb 10, 2005
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                                    Brusi,

                                    >Have you looked at the book by Leonard Lee on sharpening?

                                    No, I haven't felt the need; never had much trouble getting things
                                    sharp. But I'm seeing a lot of references to it and beginning to
                                    understand there's more to it than just how to sharpen. Maybe I'll look
                                    for a cheap used copy.

                                    > He goes into some
                                    >detail on the types of wood failure/cutting from chisels, planes & scrapers
                                    >- type 1 & type 2 as they are referred to. At the microscopic level I think
                                    >the surface difference is mainly due to the cutting angle of the blade &
                                    >wether there is a 'mouth' opening to confine the shaving.

                                    Yes, and there's also a difference in the way they are used, which ought to
                                    leave traces in the wood.

                                    Cheers,
                                    Colin


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                                    For the Medievalist!
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