- --- In email@example.com, kit_houston@p... wrote:
>While power tools are fast and easy i want to start doing things byhand.
> I also want to start taking wood working / armouring / craft toshows and
> events to do in front of the public / fill my spare time.Excellent idea. There's no better way to get in touch with the
sawdust of our ancestors than to work with their tools and
techniques. And woodworking makes a great demo activity.
> The one major problem is with modern timber. I want to take myskill or
> authenticity as far as finished wood. ie. i don't have the time,
> know how to chop down trees (well i could do that bit) and makeplank's.
> So i will be starting with pre-cut timber.That's not really a problem. I'm not so much up on the 14th century,
but by the 15th century carpenters are working in both green and
seasoned stock. And not everyone is going from tree to finish piece;
many craftsmen are purchasing from timber mongers. See Ranulf's
article on the timber trade at:
He's also got a Compleate Anachronist on period tools that's worth
I suggest finding a good lumber yard or two in your area. Not a Home
Center; their stuff will be overpriced and overmilled. A real lumber
yard can sell you rough cut stock in varying thicknesses (measured
in "quarters" of an inch). If you buy 4-quarter stock, it will be a
true 1-inch thick and give you plenty of room to practice planing
and jointing a board. The result will look more like a period
piece, tool marks and all, than something that's been run through a
power planer. Lumber yards also frequently have a "shorts" bin with
scraps for very cheap (or free), good for practicing on.
> I'm doing the 14th century , is there a good manuscript orpainting with
> variety of wood tools form this century?. If not ill be using theThere are quite a number of period illustrations, though most of the
ones I'm familiar with start in the 15th century. Look for pictures
of Noah or Joseph, both biblical woodworkers who are frequently
illustrated at work.
> I have read through http://www.his.com/~tom/TOOLS.PDF and fromthat have a
> basic idea of the tools used.ask some
> I'm going to a blacksmithing convention this weekend and want to
> of the guys there to quote on making the tools.Well, as the author of that article I'd say it's a fair starting
> Is ther anything missing from he above that i should consider?
point, with a few provisos. The guys in that picture are doing large-
scale timber framing. If you're starting on small-scale carpentry,
you may want a slightly different tool set.
You probably won't need a lot of axes, but a good broad hatchet is
handy. Don't run out and buy a froe unless you're going to need one
(for some reason, everybody buys a froe). A good drawknife is also
You'll definitely want some good quality chisels and gouges. You
won't need a full set at first. I find I use by 3/8 and 1-inch
mortising chisels a lot, and the 1/4 is handy.
Saws can be a little problematic; while you can buy modern frame
saws that look close to period, I haven't found any commercial
models that come close to the "scimitar" profile of some period
ones. Be sure to have both a good crosscut and rip saw; I see a lot
of folks get frustrated because they're trying to rip with a
crosscut (which quickly drives them to the tablesaw).
Wood-bodied planes are still available both new and used. Do some
reading on their use and maintenance before buying, esp. used. There
are some that have been so abused they just aren't worth trying to
fix (they get sold for decoration).
While I can't document a shaving horse to the 14th century, it's
also very useful to have.
Many of the tools you'll need can be bought commercially, new or
used. Keep an eye open for old tool shows and auctions (PATINA has a
good one every spring in Maryland). In my opinion, it's better to
have a few good quality tools than many tools that are cheap or worn
out. I think hand-forged tools are great, but it's hard to find
smiths that know how to make them.
A tool box is a good first project, and it gives you something to
tote your stuff around in. Some simple stake-leg benches are also
handy as sawhorses.
I also strongly recommend Roy Underhill's "Woodwright" series of
books (and TV show) as an accessible introduction to using hand
tools. He won't give you measured drawings, but he's good at getting
into that pre-industrial mindset.
Hope that helps some. Feel free to drop me a line with questions.
Tom R. (Fin)
> > Is this worth it ? or will it just look like messyjust pretend you are a jointer or a cabinetmaker
> modern timber?
and you therefore purchase your lumber from a sawyer.
Baron Conal O'hAirt / Jim Hart
Aude Aliquid Dignum
' Dare Something Worthy '
Yahoo! Mail - PC Magazine Editors' Choice 2005
- --- In firstname.lastname@example.org, "Tom Rettie" <tom@h...> wrote:
> Saws can be a little problematic; while you can buy modern frameI've been looking for ages to find a period saw, I'm talking to a
> saws that look close to period, I haven't found any commercial
> models that come close to the "scimitar" profile of some period
blacksmith over here (UK) about having one made, his suggestion was to
get an old saw and then he'll get it cut down into the correct shape
by a colleague. A couple of my timber framing friends have done the
same thing and they look great, they do take a bit of getting used to
- --- In email@example.com, "James W. Pratt, Jr."
> Got any pictures of the "scimitar" profile saws?They show up several places, such as in the Bedford Book of Hours
picture of Noah:
There's also the "big bread knife" profile such as here:
There's a nice one of a frame saw/bow saw here:
- Good stuff!! Thanks!
----- Original Message -----
From: "Tom Rettie" <tom@...>
Sent: Friday, October 14, 2005 2:00 PM
Subject: [MedievalSawdust] Re: Authenticity
> --- In firstname.lastname@example.org, "James W. Pratt, Jr."
> <cunning@f...> wrote:
> > Got any pictures of the "scimitar" profile saws?
> They show up several places, such as in the Bedford Book of Hours
> picture of Noah:
> There's also the "big bread knife" profile such as here:
> There's a nice one of a frame saw/bow saw here:
> and here:
> Yahoo! Groups Links