The Shop - See “Tour the Shop” Post. To zoom tap images, to mega zoom, tap-tap, tap.

Saturday, July 6, 2019

Colonial Williamsburg No Longer Using Vintage Tools

The craft shops at Colonial Williamsburg (CW) have recognized that using old tools wears them out, which is counter to the desire to preserve knowledge of vintage tools and the tools themselves. A modern toolmaking shop was created in CW in the 1980’s to build reproduction tools for use in the shops. From photos of this operation, I would guess 100 years-worth of repro tools were made. This shop is no longer in operation.

Don't think tools can be worn out? Look at the thickness of the soles on wooden planes. A too wide cutter mouth is an indication of wear. I had a Stanley #5 iron jack plane from my grandfather.  The sole was worn down to nothing, you could see through it. I parted that one out. Narrow blades are an indication that a saw has been sharpened many times. I have an early Disston D15 Victory hand saw that has lost at least 1-1/2” to sharpening.

When I acquired my first 100 plus year old wood bottom planes, I tuned them and used them.  I have come to agree with CW,  old tools should be preserved by not using them. As satisfying as using vintage tools is, I now do not. Well, upon occasion, I might take a careful test drive.

No comments:

Post a Comment