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Old ways of wood working and building. Answered

I am into learning how to build furniture and structures in the way it was done in the past. I.E with out nails and with hand tools because I find that these old ways produce very high quality furnite, and because I like the rough look. Dose anyone know of any good books websites forums etc that talk about this kind of thing?


Hey me and my brother (bad grammer) Make english longbows with traditional tools, drawknife spokesheaf etc. I wonder would that be a good instructable for my first? Anyone interested

How is the instructable for a longbow coming along? I also would love to see it come into being. My son needs to complete his archery requirements for his boyscout badge. He to make a bowstring and fletch six arrows. Then he has to practice and pass a test. I was told to least expensive bow would cost me $200. I could probably make one given the right instructions. I have done some wood working for several years and I have been falling in love with using primitive tools lately. I am working on a spring pole lathe. Next will be a shaving mule. I hope you are still working on an instructable for a bow!

I would like it if you did an instructable on how to make a longbow.I just tried to make one,and when I pulled the bow back it broke in two.

I agree--a longbow would make a great instructable!

ok ill do it. Sedgwick17 i know it is a complete bummer for the stave to snap. Yew is the kindest, maple is good and ash is the easiest to work and easiest to replace..The best starter wood you can get i reckon Ill post it soon and send you a message.

Have you used a froe? When I use mine even in the softest wood it feels like I am trying to split apart a piece of iorn, and the piece of wood keeps pushing the froe out like a spring. If you like Eric Sloane you would probably like a book called The Forgotten Crafts by John Seymour.I will PM the PDF to you maybe there is something in it that you can use.

Yes, but just for splitting fire starters ;-) . It depends greatly on the type of wood, and the clarity of the grain...

I have The Forgotten Crafts ! I don't believe Seymour did the illustrations, but they are stellar! Nothing in great depth (like Sloane) but fantastic anyway!

Especially enjoy the stuff we don't see in the US, like thatching and the section on the coracle.

BTW, I wasn't actually going to make a plane, just show how to use one (sharpen, set the blade depth, technique, differences between types, etc.)

That would be a good.I have trouble getting a sharp blade.

Thanks my friend. It seems your nom de plume is a good choice for you, Im new in town and positive comments really help a guy out.. Your servant sir.

You are quite welcome. I am not really old timer as far as these parts are concerned (just a bit old), to be truthful. I have yet to make time to put together my first instructable...one of these days...

Getting married in four weeks and i work nights...Time is hard to come by..(Its 2:45 in ireland now..Yawn) But as they say.."Watch the skies" It will be there soon

Yeah, I work nights too, not quite that late, only until half past zero dark hour (0:30) which is an hour and a half away.

Oh bugger! Now i got to get busy and drag some of that oregon yew out of the shed and get busy...

Thanks for all the info.I have two of Roy Underhills books,and a lot of Eric Slogn books.I have quite a few old tools, but some like the froe or the scorp I am at a loss on how to use.I whould like to see an instructable on how to make a wood plane.I have a good PDF on how to make molding planes if you want it.I was going to to do a instructable on relief carving in the future.

I guess I can not send it through PM.What is your email?

The froe is a great tool for making wooden shingles. I have never personally used the scorp, although I have seen them around.

I have done more "finishing" work than anything. I have a used quite a few spoke shaves, and mitre planes when younger and the hands worked better.

About the plane, is this kind of what you were looking for ? Building a wood plane

Or something more like this: Making a wood plane

I like Eric Sloane very much! My folks gave me one of his books when I was only 5 or 6 yrs old, and I still have it... Somewhere I have 2 or 3 more, but they are shrunken paperback versions of the originals (the illustrations are still great.)

The wood plane instrucable idea was just starting to brew, nothing's done yet. Don't expect it for a couple weeks, at least.

I thought I had two or three molding planes, but can find only one (and that's a half-round.) Doesn't mean they aren't here...just can't find 'em. Sure, I wouldn't mind seeing the PDF.


10 years ago

Good idea. I was considering making an instrucable on hand wood plane use.

Re: references:

Roy Underhill had a show on PBS called The Woodwright's Shop that specialized in this. I have one of his books, published in 1981, (Univ of North Carolina Press) and it's excellent.

I know there are lots of books on boatbuilding that illustrate traditional techniques and tools, so there must be many more on traditional furniture construction.

Other than that, all I can suggest is searching the web for terms like:

Dovetail joint
Mortise and tenon
Treadle lathe

And tools like: drawknife, froe, bores, spokeshave, plane, chisel, japanese (pull cut) saw, adze, scraper, gouge, etc... You'll find info on their usage.