Continuing with the series on pit sawing; this is my translation of André Roubo’s description of the process from L’Art du menuisier (1769-82). Roubo offers us a unique view of pit sawing not yet covered in the other passages, that is, the pit sawing of seasoned wood into dimensions more suitable for joiners work, which differs from the process of converting green timber into salable lumber.
The long sawyers were used by the joiners as a kind of jobbing sub-contractor. It was not uncommon to have a shop owner buy thousands of feet of seasoned wood from a timber merchant and then pay the long sawyers to rip and resaw the wood to set dimensions, rather than pay skilled joiners to do the same, when the specialists would produce better results in the same time, and the joiners could be more profitably used elsewhere.
Like my previous translations, this is not polished work, though I have endeavored to make the passages easy to understand. Many of the sentences are left in their original format, and can be understood even though they read awkwardly, whereas others have been rewritten to better communicate their meaning in English. If you want a better translation, you will have to wait for the professionals. (more…)
The Pit-ſaw is a great Saw fitted into a ſquare Frame; as in Plate 4. M is the Pit-ſaw.
The Pit Saw, is Set ſo Rank for courſe Stuff, as to make a Kerf of almoſt a quarter of an Inch, but for fine and coſtly Stuff they ſet it finer to ſave Stuff, The Whip-Saw is ſet ſomewhat finer than the Pit-Saw; the Hand-Saw, and the Compaſs-Saw, finer than the Whip-Saw; but the Tennant-Saw, Frame-Saw, and the Bow-Saw, &c. are ſet fine, and have their Teeth but very little turned over the Sides of their Blades: So that a Kerf made by them, is ſeldom above half a half quarter of an Inch. (more…)
If you want to get more tools into your Dutch tool chest, check this out.
Mike Siemsen, host of the forthcoming “The Naked Woodworker” DVD, built a Dutch tool chest with (at least) two interesting twists.
1. He added an extra tool rack to the fall-front of the chest to hold small tools. Many students have threatened to transform their fall-fronts into something useful, such as a shooting board or bench hook. But I have yet to see any who succeeded. Mike’s idea definitely works. (So far, the only other successful adaptation has been to use the fall-front as a cheese board.)
2. Mike transformed his two sliding locks into winding sticks. Actually, they always were winding sticks. But he painted one stick black to make them easier to use.
Caleb James, a planemaker, chairmaker and (I hope) soon-to-be-author, made a nice Dutch chest that he brought along to the Lie-Nielsen Hand Tool Event in Charleston, S.C., this spring. (He also brought along a knock-down Nicholson workbench that I didn’t get to photograph. Curses.)
Caleb did something very cool with his sliding locks. He made them into notched battens that he could use with holdfasts on his workbench. You can see one of the sliding locks on his workbench in the photo above, but the notched section is covered by a handplane.
If you cannot visualize a notch there, check out this entry that explains things.