I never get tired of looking at old drawings from woodworking shops. They confirm some of things I know about woodworking, challenge some of my ideas and make me want – really, really want – a cool joiner’s cap.
This weekend, Jeff Burks shared a bunch of images with me from the book “Angenehme Bilder-Lust, Der Lieben Jugend zur Ergötzung also eingerichtet” by Peter Conrad Monath (1683-1747) of Nürnberg.
Jeff’s stab at the translation for the book is: “Pleasant Diversions with Pictures: Thus Fondly Arranged for the Amusement of the Young.”
Monath was a Nürnberg printer who was famed for his children’s books and adolescents’ literature. Among the plates in this book is “Das Schreiner Handwerck,” or the “Carpenter’s Craft.”
Things that are interesting to note about this Germanic plate (aside from the fact that there must have been a sale on those hats):
1. A shoulder knife in use. The user is working on one of these “slab workbenches” I discussed last week. He has a cool hat, but it is not as awesome as the hat on the guy ripping at the same bench, which leads us to:
2. Clamps in use on the bench. The more old images you see, the more you’ll find this simple wooden clamp, which is described in A.J. Roubo’s “L’Art du Menuisier.”
3. Sometimes mortising looks like you are singing an aria.
4. A nice Germanic bench with a shoulder vise and no stretchers in the undercarriage. Could be the fault of the illustrator. But who knows?
5. More sawbenches with curved legs. Gotta make some.
6. Vanilla Ice is a member of the undead. Check out the cap on the guy sawing on the sawbenches. He is either with the crips or the bloods. I forget which is which.
7. The casework on its back. It’s good to see this – this is how I work on casework.
One last detail: I really like how the two shoulder knives are crossed in the little illustration below in amongst the text.
As always, Jeff turns up the best stuff.
— Christopher Schwarz