Fine Woodworking Guide

Fine Woodworking Guide


          When frost will not suffer to dyke and to hedge, then get thee a heat with thy beetle and wedge: A short saw, and long saw, to cut a-two logs, an axe, and an adze, to make trough for thy hogs; A grindstone, a whetstone, a hatchet and bill, with hamer, and english naile, sorted with skil; A frower of iron, for cleaving of lath, with roll for a sawpit, good husbandrie hath.
—after Thomas Tusser,
Five Hundred Points of Husbandry, 1557

            Clearing land, splitting fence rails, shaving shovel handles, bending oxbows— there are few aspects of woodworking unfamiliar to the countryman. He fells the hickory, splits it and shaves it to make a chair, strips its bark to weave the chair bottom, and sits in it by a fi re fueled by the limbs. The faller may never hold a plane; the cabinetmaker may not know where wood comes from—the countryman sees it all.
            It begins in the grain of the wood. We learn to exploit the weakness of the grain when we work wood, and to exploit the strength of the wood when we use it. Wagon spokes, chair rungs, hayforks—anything where strength is essential—all are riven from the log. Sawing would take more energy and investment. Worse, it ignores the path of the grain, too often cutting across it. Sawn stock—weaker and costlier. Riven stock—cheaper and stronger.

Fine Woodworking Guide

Fine Woodworking Guide

Fine Woodworking Guide


Fine Woodworking Guide

Fine Woodworking Guide



Fine Woodworking Guide



Fine Woodworking Guide

Fine Woodworking Guide

Fine Woodworking Guide

Fine Woodworking Guide

Fine Woodworking Guide


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