|Antiques Digest||Browse Auctions||Appraisal||Antiques And Arts News||Home|
The Practical Mechanic:
Every Man His Own Mechanic
Broken Window, How To Mend It
Knowledge Must Be Paid For
Kinds Of Woods Used In Carpentry
Toosl Used In Carpentry
The Glue Pot
The Carpenter's Bench
How To Hold And Handle Tools
Divisions Of The Building Trade
Soldering And Brazing
Indoor And Outdoor Painting
Varnishes And Recipers For Making Varnishes
Polishing And Recipes For Polish
Wall Paper Hanging
( Originally Published 1902 )
An able author and artisan, describes the tools used in carpentry in groups as follows, namely, " Striking tools, saws, cutting tools, planes, boring tools, pincers, guides, and auxiliary appliances." It seems possible, however, to render the classification more complete by the following arrangement:
I. STRIKING TOOLS.
II. RASPING TOOLS, OR TOOLS THAT ACT BY ABRASION.
III. PARING TOOLS OF ALL KINDS.
IV. BORING TOOLS.
V. HOLDING OR GRASPING TOOLS.
VI. TOOLS OF GUIDANCE AND DIRECTION.
VII. MISCELLANEOUS TOOLS NOT SUBJECT TO CLASSIFICATION.
Of hammers, the amateur should possess three-namely, an ordinary joiner's hammer for heavy work, a lighter one of the same form for medium work, and a light hammer with a small face, usually known as a "ladies' hammer," for driving brads and small fine nails into small light work. If he determines to do any veneering, there is a special kind of hammer used for this purpose which must be obtained.
Many other kinds of hammers are used for various kinds of work, but those named will be sufficient for the amateur's purpose.
In striking a tool with a wooden handle, as a chisel, the wooden mallet, not the hammer, should be used, a convenient size having a head 6 inches long and z 1/2 by 3 1/2 inches wide in face. The amateur must remember that tools of a medium size are always likely to be most useful to him.
The tools that are used for cutting as well as striking, whose blow severs or splits as well as drives forward, are the adze and axe, or hatchet. The adze is not likely to be required by the amateur; it is used chiefly by shipwrights in ship building, and sometimes by the carpenter. It is with the Axe or HATCHET that the amateur artisan is more immediately concerned, and this is a tool that he cannot do without, for it may be made useful in a variety of ways. In framing timber together it can be used as a hammer, instead of the heavy carpenter's hammer, which the amateur need not place among his tools; and for sharpening stakes or cutting down timber to the size required in the rough, or for splitting pieces of wood; it is invaluable. It should be kept well sharpened; for a blunt axe is useless for any purpose, so far as cutting is concerned, except splitting firewood.
RASPING TOOLS are those which act by abrasion or rubbing away the material to which they are applied.
There are many kinds of saws in use, but those which the amateur artisan will most require are the HAND SAW, TENON SAW, DOVETAIL SAW, KEYHOLE SAW, and Frame SAW. These are sufficient for all ordinary work. To these, in order to save wear and tear of the hand saw, a saw called a rip, or ripping, saw may be added. This saw has large, triangular teeth, and is used for sawing along the grain. It is therefore useful for sawing planks, battens, and boards the way of the grain; the work being done more expeditiously with a rip saw than a hand saw.
The HAND SAW is generally useful, and will serve the purpose of a rip saw or a panel saw, a finer kind of saw used by joiners.
The TENON SAW is used more especially for cutting across the grain of the wood, and leaves the surface of the wood that is divided by it as smooth as is possible when the nature of the operation is considered. The blade is of necessity thin and fine, and, in order to keep it straight when in use, it is inserted into a back of iron or brass. It is worked by means of a handle differing in form from that of the hand saw. A tenon saw to be really useful should be from 14 to 18 inches in length.
The DOVETAIL SAW and the SASH SAW are nothing more than tenon saws of small size, being identical with these in shape and make. They range from 8 to 1 a inches in length.
The Keyhole SAW consists of a long narrow movable blade. The handle is pierced throughout with a narrow slit sufficiently large to allow of the easy passage of the saw. It is useful for cutting out curved work, while rough coarse fretwork may be done with it, and perforated work for rough carving.
RASPS, generally speaking, are used in carpentry for cutting away or smoothing wood, or for wearing away the sharp edge left in a circular hole that has been cut out with the keyhole saw, so as to impart a bevel to it sloping from above to the under part. A rasp is flat on one side and slightly convex on the other, and is covered with fine projecting points beaten up by a mallet and punch. They are of different degrees of roughness.
The FILE, whose ridges are finer than those of the rasp, is used for cutting metal and sharpening saws.
PARING TOOLS, or tools which are used for cleaning away the rough, ragged surface left by the teeth of the saw and rendering wood smooth and even, or otherwise for cutting wood into various forms and shapes, are frequently called edge tools, as they present a sharp, keen edge. Indeed, if they are blunt in the least degree they are not fit for use. Watch an artisan at his work, and you will see him frequently rub his planeiron or chisel on the oil-stone in order to sharpen it. An amateur, especially a beginner, in nine cases out of ten either does not think of doing so, or altogether forgets that there is any necessity for it, and this is one of the chief reasons why amateur's work is often so badly done.
It is important for the amateur to buy none but good tools, and to keep them under lock and key. He must supplement this by keeping them clean and free from rust, and
learning to whet the edges of all cutting tools when they show signs of dullness. The tools that are comprised in the first group of paring tools are Planes. Of these there is a great variety, as formerly, before molding was made by machinery, every different pattern required a different plane or plane-iron. The planes that are most necessary to an amateur are a jack-plane and a smoothing-plane.
The JACK-PLANE is from 15 to 18 inches long and 2I2 inches broad, and about the same in depth. Near one end is a handle projecting upwards, and near the other a hole for the reception of the plane-iron, which is held in its place by a wedge. Planes of this description, and smoothingplanes also, are usually made with double irons; that is to say, with two irons held together by a short screw.
The SMOOTHING-PLANE is different from the jack-plane in shape, being about 8 inches long and 2 1/2 inches to 3 inches broad, in the widest part where the iron issues from the wood, tapering to a width of about 2 inches in front and 1 Y4 inches behind, so that it may be more easily held in the hand. The jack-plane is used for taking the rough surface from the sawn timber, and when this has been removed the smoothing-plane is used to make the surface of the wood perfectly smooth and even.
The Spokeshave and the DrawingKnife are the tools that are comprised in the second division of paring tools. The drawing-knife is useful for reducing the size of any piece of wood that it may be inconvenient to cut down in any other way. The spokeshave, as its name implies, may be used for imparting a smooth surface to the spokes of wheels, but it is also useful for smoothing down any surface that is not required to be perfectly flat. Thus, a beveled edge may be given to a round hole of any large size cut in a piece of wood. The drawing-knife is always worked towards the operator, but the spokeshave may be used in a direction either towards or from the person who is using it.
The third and last division of paring tools comprises CHISELS and Gouges In reality the plane in its simplest form, as seen in the jack-plane and smoothing-plane, is nothing more than a chisel of considerable width set in a block of wood, which serves as a guide, and by means of which the operator is enabled to work the tool with greater ease and accuracy. A chisel is a flat and thick piece of steel, of which the cutting end is ground to a bevel, in order to obtain a keen edge, while the other is fashioned into a tang, with a projecting shoulder, which fits close against the wooden handle into which the tang is in serted. The gouge differs from the chisel in being hollow instead of flat. Chisels are distinguished as firmer chisels, paring chisels, mortising chisels, and turning chisels. It must be said, however, that the lastnamed variety differs from the other kinds of chisels in being ground to a bevel on both sides instead of one side only.
It may be mentioned that the tool called a cold chisel is a long piece of steel, beveled on both sides at one end to a blunt edge, used by carpenters and others to knock out a hole in a wall of stone or brick for the insertion of a wedge, the end of a piece of timber, etc.
About half-a-dozen chisels and the same number of gouges will be the utmost number that the amateur will require; and, for both chisels and gouges, the widths to be selected may be placed at 3/8 in., 1/2 in., 3/4 in., 1 in., 1 1/4 in., and 1 1/2 in. The ordinary carpenter's chisels should be purchased first of all. A few paring chisels can be added to the stock at any time if required.
The tools comprised in the first division of boring tools are bradawls, gimlets, and augers. These tools are, for the most part, extremely simple in construction, the bradawl being a piece of steel sharpened at the end and fixed for convenience of use in a wooden handle; and the gimlet a piece of steel so fashioned at one end that it may take hold of, and cut its way into, timber, and having a small piece of wood or iron attached crosswise at the other end, which serves as a lever to turn the steel shank of the tool, and press it into the wood. The auger is only a gimlet on a large scale, the cross handle being turned by the operator with both hands, which are transferred from end to end of the handle at every half-turn of the tool.
The Bit-Brace or STOCK-AND-BIT, is the principal boring tool, and, indeed, the only tool of this kind with which the amateur artisan need concern himself. There are breast-drills, fitted with a plate to hold against the breast, steadied with a handle held in the left hand, and having a chuck at the further extremity, in which the drill is placed and caused to revolve at a rapid rate by a large toothed-wlleel working in a smaller wheel, the former being turned by a handle held in the right hand. Other Tools.
In good carpentry everything depends on accuracy of measurement of parts, and fitting the parts together at right angles, or at the required angle or bevel. For the at-tainment of these most necessary requisites, tools of guidance and direction of various kinds are used, without which it would be impossible even for a skilled carpenter or joiner to do his work, and fit the various pieces together with the nicety that is essential in all operations of this nature. Thus, for setting out a long, straight line in ripping a slip of wood from a board, a line and reel is required; and for the measurement of any length into parts, or to measure any required length, breadth, and thickness, the carpenter's rule is needful. For cutting off the end of a board at right angles to the edge, or for mortising, etc., the square must be used, and for cutting wood at any given angle to the edge, the proper line of direction for the saw must be marked by aid of the bevel. For cutting notches in wood, or for cutting or planing down pieces of wood to the same thickness, the necessary guide lines must be marked by a marking gauge, while in mortising the mortise gauge. is used.
For joining pieces of wood at right angles, as in making a picture-frame, recourse must be had to the mitre box; and for subdividing any given space into smaller spaces, or marking out circles and sweeps of various diameters, the compasses must be used. In turning, to make sure of having the diameter of various parts of the work in harmony with the pattern, these diameters must one and al! be tried and regulated by the callipers as the work goes on. In bringing horizontal bars, shelves, etc., to a true level, the spirit level must be used; and in fixing a post in the ground, or a piece of quartering to the wall, the upright level with cord and plumb-bob. A straight-edge is useful for testing the nicety and accuracy with which has been planed up, and for other purposes. We name these, though the amateur is not likely to need them all. There are many miscellaneous tools and appliances used in carpentry and joinery which are not subject to classification. Among these we may include the screwdriver, the nail-punch, the reamer or rymer, the scribe, the cramp, the glue-pot, and the oil-can. Sand-paper and emery-paper must also be noticed. There is another appliance called the bench holdfast, which is used to hold wood firmly down on the carpenter's bench when necessary.
These tools are so simple and easily obtained that a description of each is not necessary. In there selection cheapness is not to be considered, but accuracy and convenience.