Hand Tool Research - Page 4 - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
post #61 of 66 Old 09-24-2012, 07:10 PM
Ole Woodworker
 
BigJim's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Chattanooga, Tennessee
Posts: 4,555
View BigJim's Photo Album My Photos
That is really interesting, the old ways holds my attention as I was around a lot of the old things. Our small town was about 50 years or so behind times. Most of the folks back then didn't have cars so we traveled by wagon and a team of horses. Most didn't have electricity or running water either. In town there was a blacksmith shop and I remember well them making wagon wheels and such there.

Most of the saw mills around back then, were either steam or gas engine. I saw a documentary about two or three weeks ago about how a steam powered sawmill worked and still is working today. I am almost sure it was on one of Roy Underhill's programs. We appreciate you shearing your experience with us Tom.

http://www.diychatroom.com/
The Other
BigJim

If you do what you've always done, you will get what you've always got.
BigJim is offline  
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to BigJim For This Useful Post:
firemedic (09-25-2012), JBSmall (09-26-2012)
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #62 of 66 Old 09-24-2012, 07:52 PM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 1,874
View trc65's Photo Album My Photos
Thanks for that bit of history. It's of particular interest to me as most of my ancestors came from the Alsace Lorraine region sometime in the 1800's. As with the people in Louisiana, they were farmers and settled near rivers (although in Illinois) and many of us are still involved in farming of one sort or another.

I've always been told that my ancestors more closely identified with the French than the Germans but I'm not sure if that's true or simply an attitude that was adopted after WWII.

Either way, thanks for a very interesting look into the past and thanks for keeping alive a small bit of history and some of the skills that most have lost.

"Good Behavior is the last refuge of mediocrity" -- Henry S. Haskins
trc65 is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to trc65 For This Useful Post:
firemedic (09-25-2012)
post #63 of 66 Old 09-24-2012, 07:58 PM Thread Starter
In History is the Future
 
firemedic's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: South Louisiana - Gonzales
Posts: 6,423
View firemedic's Photo Album My Photos
Thanks guys, this is a bit embarrassing but I just noticed the forum post was cut off... Must be a max limit on letters... Here the rest!


...Once these smaller timbers were sawn they must be held together to form the structure. This construction style is referred to as timber frame construction... A system of mortices, tenons, half laps and other joints held together by both physics and wooden pegs. These pegs were made by rieving green oak or hickory into small billets with a froe and beetle then allowing them to dry. It was important to use dry seasoned wood for these pegs as green wood would shrink leaving the joints week. And exception to this was likely made on early structures. Building the structure with all green timbers would mean the timbers would also shrink compensating for this. The pegs were then shaped on a shave horse, a form of foot operated clamping bench, with a draw knife. These same tools wod have also been used to produce shakes, or wooden shingles, to cover the roof.

The 1780's & 90's would have been the first period of real commercial prospect of Cypress lumbering. At this time Louisiana was not yet a part of the American states and was under Spanish rule. This was the early days of the New Orlean's Cooperage industry, the trade of building barrels and crates and cisterns. The major market for Cypress was in the form of empty sugar boxes exported to the Spanish Caribean for the packaging and sale of sugar. Louisiana had small crops of sugar cane here and there for use in syrup making but the process of granualization had not yet been introduced. As the end of the 90's approached this export industry all but stopped due to political upheavals. While the export of Cypress dwindled the domestic use of cypress experienced a massive upswing due to the Good Friday Fire.

New Orleans was a well establish port city and in 1788 on Good Friday, a day of reverence observed by the wholly Catholic state the Friday before Easter, resulted in the burning of approximately 80% of the city. 956 building and residencies burned to the ground. Six years later in 1794 another fire broke out consuming approx 20% of the city or 206 buildings. This sudden need for lumber in the rebuilding of businesses and homes meant a rappid growth of the lumber industry. The demand for lumber was so high that many lumber yards in New Orleans were unable to acquire lumber quick enough and many builders resorted to using green, unseasoned lumber - a practice frowned upon by architects and builders alike. This shortage also lead to extensive poaching of lumber by unscrupulous fellers.

The pit saw was the predominate means of cutting lumber until the early 1800's. While the rest of the country was employing water wheel driven sash mills this wasn't an option for Louisiana Lumberers. The lack of mountains or hills here meant a lack of moving water sufficient to power a water wheel. In 1803 an industrious individual had the brilliant idea of digging a trench from the swamp to the river's levee. After the spring flood came and crested the levee's banks the water trapped in the swamp would normally find it's way out through the swamps. This time though after the river receded this man cut a trench through the levee as well causing this trapped water to rush back to the river. This allowed him to power a water wheel! The other ingenious aspect of this design was that this rapidly moving water gave him an excellent means of moving his logs from the draining swamp to the mill that would saw them!

1816 saw the first steam powered saw mill however the high price of steam engines made this cost prohibitive to most mills. As an illustration of this in 1835 an inventory of Evergreen Plantation in Edgard was done following a bankruptcy proceeding. In this assessment of assets the beautiful plantation home along with it's large furniture items was valued at $10,000. Compare this to the 16 horse power steam engine on the property assessed at $7,600! This was a poor quality steam engine from New York at that, the more reliable steam engines came from Pa and cost as much as $20,000.

Despite the high cost of steam power it eventually dominated the lumbering industry and was Louisiana's own Industrial Revolution.

Eventually almost every virgin Cypress tree in Louisiana and the entire South East was felled. Now all we have left of those old days are the subtle reminders found across the South. The once lost but found again sinker Cypress logs. Archeological excavations and most importantly the timber frame buildings which still survive and the tool marks found within.
firemedic is offline  
The Following 4 Users Say Thank You to firemedic For This Useful Post:
BigJim (09-24-2012), chicago (10-02-2012), JBSmall (09-26-2012), railaw (09-25-2012)
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #64 of 66 Old 09-24-2012, 08:07 PM Thread Starter
In History is the Future
 
firemedic's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: South Louisiana - Gonzales
Posts: 6,423
View firemedic's Photo Album My Photos
Quote:
Originally Posted by jiju1943 View Post
...
That's pretty wild, man! Little Mayberry!

Quote:
Originally Posted by trc65 View Post
Thanks for that bit of history.
The Alssas Loraine region is the triangular region between The French, Swiss and Germans but if I recall correctly it's mainly contained in France. The French there speak French these days but many would have been of German ancestry.

I can tell you first hand it's beautiful country and the beer from that area is outstanding. I didn't meet any German speaking individuals there but that's not to say they're aren't any. Anyway, the reason I say this is that it's very possible that they would have been German decent but feel more French due to the circumstances. It's also very possible that the they would be closely connected with the German/French here. Louisiana and the St Louis area have close ties going back to the early 1700's. I failed to mention it but the Germans brought to Louisiana did not come straight over, there were in the Americas prior to arriving here... Where they were alludes my memory at the moment though.
firemedic is offline  
The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to firemedic For This Useful Post:
BigJim (09-24-2012), Billy De (09-24-2012), trc65 (09-24-2012)
post #65 of 66 Old 09-25-2012, 08:14 AM
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 31
View Globba's Photo Album My Photos
Thanks for the history lesson. It is very interesting and hope to read more as you print it. My father comes from Bordelonville, not too far from Gonzales.

Mike Bordelon
Globba is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to Globba For This Useful Post:
firemedic (09-25-2012)
post #66 of 66 Old 09-25-2012, 07:05 PM Thread Starter
In History is the Future
 
firemedic's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: South Louisiana - Gonzales
Posts: 6,423
View firemedic's Photo Album My Photos
Quote:
Originally Posted by Globba View Post
Thanks for the history lesson. It is very interesting and hope to read more as you print it. My father comes from Bordelonville, not too far from Gonzales.

Mike Bordelon
That's cool being from a town named after your ancestors!

It's humbling to realize just how near the distant past was. The plantation I mention above, Evergreen Plantation, was "Becnel Plantation" before they lost it in 35. My grandfather worked there when he was pretty young repairing the fences original to it. Many years later I worked there doing work on some of the out buildings and maintaining the grounds.
firemedic is offline  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in










Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode



Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Hand Tool School glh17 Hand Tools 2 05-11-2011 07:37 AM
A personal hand tool list jamesicus Hand Tools 8 01-07-2011 12:52 PM
Hand Tool Essentials Ash Hand Tools 2 09-08-2009 02:14 PM
Hand planes from Hartville Tool lobos3737 Hand Tools 21 04-01-2009 12:05 PM
Hand Tool? slatron25 Hand Tools 7 11-25-2008 06:27 PM

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome