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

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  • James W. Pratt, Jr.
    A big drawknife is just the thing for taking the bark off and working down the back to single grain layer. Mine is a foot from handle to handle and the
    Message 1 of 2 , Apr 2, 2003
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      A big drawknife is just the thing for taking the bark off and "working down"
      the back to single grain layer. Mine is a foot from handle to handle and
      the blade 2 inches wide and 1/4 inch. But it is not a spoke shave.

      James Cunningham


      > 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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