8. Peter Ross, the blacksmith wunderkind of Colonial Williamsburg, will be speaking at WIA. Peter makes some of the finest historic tools, and locks and hinges and hardware I’ve ever seen. He’s going to be talking at WIA on lots of subjects where the blacksmith’s art crosses paths with that of the woodworker – including fixing tools that have been overheated and some of his insights into historic tools.
Peter should know. He was one of the few craftsmen at Williamsburg to inspect and record all of the contents of the Benjamin Seaton tool chest during its U.S. tour. His work and drawings are in the newly revised “The Tool Chest of Benjamin Seaton” book. It is a must-have for history and tool nerds. (Nerd alert: I’m going to ask Peter to sign mine.)
Prying Peter out of his shop in North Carolina is a major coup for WIA. Don’t miss this.
The Thanks of the Society were voted to R. Knight, Esq., for a Collection of Hone-Stones and Grind-Stones, presented by him; together with the following Descriptive Catalogue of them.
Sir, Foster Lane.
In compliance with your request, I have sent, for the Society’s acceptance, a collection of all the principal stones used in the mechanical arts, and of which the following is the catalogue. I have arranged them under two heads, viz. arenaceous and schistose: the few that do not come under either of these heads are separately described, and I shall be happy to give you any further information I am able on the subject.
I am, &c. &c.
1. Grit or Sandstone.— Of this variety the universally known and justly celebrated Newcastle grind-stones are formed. It abounds in the coal-districts of Northumberland, Durham, Yorkshire, and Derbyshire; and is selected of different degrees of density and coarseness, best suited to the various manufactures of Sheffield and Birmingham, for grinding and giving a smooth and polished surface to their different wares.
2. Is a similar description of stone, of great excellence. It is of a lighter colour, much finer, and of a very sharp nature, and at the same time not too hard. It is confined to a very small spot, of limited extent and thickness, in the immediate vicinity of Bilston, in Staffordshire, where is lies above the coal, and is now quarried entirely for the purpose of grind-stones. (more…)