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Re: [medievalsawdust] Re: was honing a draw knife / now sharpening gouges.

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  • rmhowe
    ... Don t most people use a froe for this? I ve even seen axes used. Not to make fun at all but I have never read of using a drawknife for -splitting out a
    Message 1 of 3 , Apr 2, 2003
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      "James W. Pratt, Jr." wrote:
      >
      > For some uses( like bowyering) the draw knife is not sharpened...so that it
      > will split the wood rather than cut it.

      Don't most people use a froe for this? I've even seen axes used.

      Not to make fun at all but I have never read of using a drawknife for
      -splitting out a bow- I would think it's possible but a bit too
      light a tool for splitting with. For getting to the desired layers
      or carefully taking the bark off I can definitely see using a
      drawknife. For finishing to grain levels scrapers, rasps and files
      are generally used.

      There is a special type of multiple blade scraper that is used
      now by many bowyers to follow growth rings. Generally these things
      have about four blades set at straight or slightly skewed angles
      to each other and it is used like a spokeshave in practice. This
      deals with irregular grain quite well.

      I suppose I should point out that I have been collecting articles,
      magazines and books on archery and crossbows since the 60's in
      English and German on most types of archery equipment. I used to
      teach archery to students and summer camp counselors and compete
      in tournaments with clubs/teams prior to my SCA days. I attended
      the NAA instructor's course in Pennsylvania back around 1968 or 9.

      My mentor was a three time world F.I.T.A. champion, O.K. Smathers of
      Brevard, NC, USA, prior to sitting on the first U.S. Olympic Committee
      when it finally became an Olympic Sport around 1972 or so. I was
      from nearby Hendersonville, and we shot with clubs in Asheville and
      Brevard, and I later shot with clubs and on the university team in
      Raleigh, NC.

      While I was a good teacher I never would have been a champion shot.
      I taught eight styles at one time, and shot five in competitions.
      Thirty years later I have trouble recalling all the names of the
      styles now. I will buy just about anything remotely related to
      historical archery.

      Unfortunately I eventually developed a muscular/nervous system malady
      that has left me unable to shoot anything but a windlass-drawn crossbow
      for more than a shot or two.

      Inherited syndrome and too much manual repetitive motion making a large
      variety of things (furniture, plastics, cabinets, woodwork) disabled me
      years earlier than it should have. The fact that I can't do it has not
      stopped my interest in archery. It has answered my wonderment over
      why I still shook a bit regardless of shooting bows 20 hours a week.
      I shake now frequently. My scores were usually about 18 points less
      than some of the casual scores of the champions I shot with.
      About 278 vs 296+ out of 300.

      > Also in making baskets a frow or draw knife is used to split out
      > the strips of wood and again you want to split the wood not cut it.

      With white oak here (VA-NC, USA) the bark is taken off (generally
      with a spud) and then the still green tree trunk is pounded with the
      poll of an axe which is a labor intensive way of separating out the
      growth rings. To keep the thickness constant for making baskets a
      small rectangular box like tool with an adjustable thickness knife-edge
      is used. This tool is only used in basketmaking and derives from the
      ones used in England - most English crafts books which include chapters
      on basketmaking depict them. I am pretty sure Vanishing Crafts by
      John Seymour does. I know some of my basketmaking books do.
      For finer withes the stuff is often simply pulled between a leather
      pad on the thigh and a sharp knife edge held in the hand.

      > Queen Ann leg .... sharper the better.

      Quite true. An awful lot of the 18th C furniture contains curly
      grain like maple in it too.

      A long time ago I saw a demonstration on a program of how flintlock
      rifle reproductions were stained. I cannot remember the chemical used.
      It was applied to the wood and a red hot iron was waved over the
      surface. As heat hit the wet wood it turned a lovely shade of brown
      and the curly grain stood out in contrast. This is the only time I
      have seen/heard of a stain being applied in this manner. I am fairly
      sure it must be a very old method but none of my finishing books
      mentions it. It may have been a tannic acid/iron oxide solution
      reaction in the wood, but maple doesn't contain tannic acid, or does it?

      I know Maples didn't stain my hands like wood that does like Oaks, and
      I worked many thousands of board feet of it. I made a great deal
      of furniture for a living at one time. A good thousand + pieces and
      hundreds of cabinets, etc. I expected to still be doing it. Somebody
      up there has a very peculiar sense of humor.

      Perhaps someone here knows? Perhaps I have the wrong memory of the
      wood type used and it was a reaction with tannic acid and rust in
      solution responding to heat. Walnut has a lot of tannic acid for
      example. Used to give me purple hands for days.

      > James Cunningham

      Magnus
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