I have been visiting some relatives in southern part of my country. I'm interested in history so when I was there I took the opportunity to visit some historical places. Of course I took a special interest in woodworking related things. There was a lot to learn, from viking age house building technique to 18th century wagon making.
One of the most interesting places I visited was Skokloster, a manor house built in the mid 1600's by the count and field marshal Carl Gustaf Wrangel.
The manor is situated in a rather remote place on the shore of lake Mälaren and the building was quite challanging. All materials had to be shipped in on the lake, but the biggest difficulty was to find labour. In this period Sweden was more or less constantly at war so many able bodied men were enlisted. The commissioner himself spent most of his time as field marshal of the Swedish army during the 30-Year War in Germany.
Wrangel settled only with the best for this building and he knew that the best available tools of this time were made in Holland so he turned to the master tool maker Jan Arendz of Amsterdam and ordered the toools that would be needed. In 1664 200 planes, chisels, axes, saws and other tools arrived.
The unique thing with this is that they are preserved to present day. Normally craftsmen used their own tools and when the job was finished they took the tools with them. In this case the tools belonged to the commissioner and was left in the house and has been used only for repairwork on the house since then.
As you can see al the planes are very nice decorated. Note also that the longer planes are made for a right handed user, with the handle offset to the right and the tote to the left so you can apply an even pressure on the plane. The longest plane is 40".
The chisels and mallets seems to be well used. Note the decorations on the front end of the saws.
More to come..........