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Re: historic hewing questionnaire [Re: D Wagstaff] #29882 12/06/12 03:08 AM
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northern hewer Offline OP
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Hello everyone tonight

Thanks Don for the additional photo showing what looks like a fairly adaptive type of wheelbarrow in the background.

I would say that he was transporting hay on it, or some other type of feed, maybe grain.

It does show quite readily the front wheel and the fairly substantial turned axle, as well as the front support for the crop he is hauling--it no doubt is or has a flat deck with no sides

You want me to "look at the arch of the bow", I really can't understand what you are referring me to, maybe you could clarify alittle

Maybe you cropped off some of the details, could you take another look Don

I hope everyone is enjoying these exchanges as much as I am

enjoy

NH

Last edited by northern hewer; 12/06/12 03:11 AM.
Re: historic hewing questionnaire [Re: northern hewer] #29883 12/06/12 03:23 AM
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northern hewer Offline OP
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Hello everyone tonight

Separate cellars-----

You mention that this is quite popular in Sweden,--I could be wrong but I don't think that they were very popular here-- in my travels here I only ran across one example, and it was located about 5 miles from where I live, in a small hamlet of Dundela Ontario---this is quite a famous little area-------Why?---well it was here that John Mackintosh discovered a lovely red apple tree growing in the bush on his newly acquired tract of land (approx. 1784)--One that he nurtured and developed into the world famous Macintosh Red apple--found in nearly every grocery store in North America

Well right across the road stand a lovely early home and in the front lawn is a small mound gently rising out of the lawn. The owner took me down in it and I was amazed at the coolness right in the middle of the summer's heat

hope you enjoy these reminiscings

NH

Last edited by northern hewer; 12/06/12 03:25 AM.
Re: historic hewing questionnaire [Re: northern hewer] #29891 12/07/12 02:56 AM
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northern hewer Offline OP
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Hello everyone tonight

It was aa nice sidetrip--talking about separate storage cellars, those old timers realy knew a thing or two about plain everyday living for sure---My uncle who farmed next to us never had electricity on the farm, no running water, no indoor plumbing, no road snow removal in the winter, things just sllllowwwweeeed downnnn come Decembuuuurrr, time to just regenerate a bit, visit the neighbours, keep that old wood fire burning so that the main room in the house was comfortable, the other rooms welllll you went to bed with your long john's on.

My father who had just returned from helping build the Alaska Highway (1943-44)--he constructed many log hospitals in strategic locations there--had brought with him army issue sleeping bags, bear skin coats, high felt boots, and what I loved best of all the down filled bed covers that when you slipped into felt like heaven, warm, and soft, on the coldest night just your nose was cold---

Everything you ate,came out of the cellar, and the meat well--the beef was hung up on the barn floor--froze solid,-- with a white sheet over it, you just cut off what you wanted--I want to tell you we ate well, I really remember the beef ribs roasted in the wood oven, man-- what a taste--today they would throw you in jail for operating an illegal slaughter house, imagine killing your own beef!!!!

It is my firm belief that everyone especially our young people should be taught on a regular basis certain aspects of plain living just for their own good--you never know--maybe that butcher shop and supermarket's supplies could overnight disappear--it make me shudder at the consequences

hope you enjoy as we make our way towards the Christmas festivities

I enjoy everyone who silently visits, just say hello and where you are looking in from--I am interested in hearing some of your tales--after all this is winter and time to reminisce about things gone by

The best part of winter is just around the corner--going to the bush, to cut next years wood supply, a few logs and maybe see the fawns from last winter playing and watching us as we work

Well enough for tonight

enjoy

NH

Re: historic hewing questionnaire [Re: northern hewer] #29903 12/09/12 08:55 PM
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northern hewer Offline OP
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hello everyone tonight

I've sort of made up my mind to reproduce 2 historic wheelbarrows this winter, the first will be a 16th century type, scaled down so that it holds nicely 2- 10" flower pots, this order was placed by my wife,and modelled after jim's submission, the second will be a full scale model similar to the one Don submitted

Thanks to both of you

Now to the drawing board to do some scaled sketches to work from, and then to visualize and organize how I am going about the actual work. The material is up in the hay mow where it awaits selection, this is a tradition that was instilled in me by my father, who was always squirlling away boards of all types on one side of the building, by the hay bales.


If any of you remember I restored 2 Garrrison carriages about a year ago now and all the ends of the oak pieces are up there awaiting a needed project, nothing is threw away

NH

Last edited by northern hewer; 12/09/12 09:01 PM.
Re: historic hewing questionnaire [Re: northern hewer] #29904 12/10/12 02:41 AM
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northern hewer Offline OP
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Hello everyone tonight

You know that as I am sitting here, my mind slips back in time about 70 years infact, I am just getting ready for school and mother who is now 101 and counting ismaking sure that I am bundled up warm, there is a noise--bells--and up drives our school bus of that time--a team of horses and farm sleigh, full of kids, I am jumping on for the short drive to ss#10 the one room school just up the road

There really was no excuse to not go to school, because this sleigh also carried the teacher, actually it worked quite well, we were just like one big family--I was just 4.5 years old at the time---going right into grade one--

With Christmas right around the corner the days now were filled with practices for the Christmas concert--that was after we got warmed up around the old pot bellied wood stove someone had started about an hour or so before we arrived--also had to thaw out the ink wells that froze overnight--but start we always did, lessons first students from each grade would recite or do work on the blackboards, us younger ones would study with wonder the complexity of the grades ahead of us, and wonder how we would ever master those things--

The cabinet at the side of the room contained all the various books needed to slowly get us to master the alphabet, and word sounds as we put together simple ones that rhymed as I remember it---

right next to it stood another cabinet and shelf with a very large dictionary, the pages of which had many years of leaves pressed, the smell of which I can still remember--it will never go away---so wonderful--you know in those daysback in the fall of the year--you would go on excursions to the bush to retrieve more leaves from the different trees and learn their different characteristics--another thing we did was pick the ripe milkweed pods for their silk, the bags of which was sent away for the war effort raging then in Europe--it seemed so far away--life went on as usual for us other than rationing, and local soldiers coming and going--

My mother decided to visit her mother in California--dad was up on the Alaska highway (1943) and away we went on the train from Morrisburg--quite a trip indeed--another unusual thing happened on this trip--

MORE TO THIS STORY!!!!

hope you enjoy

NH

Re: historic hewing questionnaire [Re: northern hewer] #29934 12/13/12 02:00 AM
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well hello everyone tonight

Getting to the train was by cutter, right at Christmas time, my uncle Tom doing the honours, he waved as we pulled away, I watched him turn and head back to the farm, bucking the large snow drifts.

Well we seemed to roll along for ever trains at that time stopped at every major and minor place along the route but eventually we crossed over into the USA at Detroit Michigan and then we came to Chicago.

This is where the story becomes weird--My mother wanted to show me the dressed up department store windows as she remembered them in San Francisco where she grew up, and get a good meal at the same time--unfortunately we missed the train which pulled away without us.

At that time there was 2 routes across the US one was the northern route, and the other the southern one, my grandparents expected us to arrive on the northern one, but as I said we missed it and had to catch the southern one instead,--no instant communications then to alert them of the change.

Fate must have been with us because the northern train was in a bad accident and many were injured and some killed, my grandparents were alarmed to say the least when they got the news, and were flabergasted when we arrived on another train later on unexpectedly.

My mother and I often reminisce about how this seemed to happen, as if fate wanted it that way--I seem to think that it was not our time.

One thing that I remember as part of the trip was the train loaded down with young soldiers heading to California to be shipped out to the war raging in Japan, Hawaii, and other locations, many of them knew that it would be a one way ride.

Mother and I rode in a car special for mothers and children but we had to pass through the cars with the soldiers to get to the dining car, and as we passed they would stuff my little pockets with coins--they did alot of gambling on the floor of the coach to pass the time.

I always said as my life unfolded, that there always appeared to be a reason for everything that seemed to happen

Never did I think that someday I would ever be important or lucky enough to be a host to such a wonderful group of professional people, that came to hear what I had to say at Montebello Que, or the gathering at Morrisburg a few years ago, It was a highlight of my career

Having said that, I think that I will sign off for tonight

enjoy

NH

Re: historic hewing questionnaire [Re: northern hewer] #29940 12/17/12 02:59 AM
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hello everyone tonight

Sorry for wandering off into olden days but I can't seem to help myself, what I am is where I've been, and what I've done is what I am, I certainly appreciate the opportunity to be with each one of you, and hope that you can gain some insight into what many common folks experienced, at least in my time

As many of you well know my love is working with wood, being fortunate enough to have had the opportunity to learn aspects of the historic trades directly, and many indirectly from other masters of the trades--I wish that all of you had had the opportunitities that fell on my shoulders--one thing for sure if you ever have the opportunity to slow down your world enough to go and experience a 4 or 5 day course in a hands on historic trade, I did and it was a wonderful experience, and I strongly recommend one that broadens ones overall knowledge base, it is very gratifying indeed!--you know that it really sharpens up your skill level because most of the old trade needed that keen edge at every point

Timberframing , hewing, adzing, using chisels, and mallets, appling one's knowledge to complete a difficult task, might need you to reach deeply into your bag of tricks, you might even have to work with other very knowledgeable persons and or tradespeople--I could throw into this mix historic millwrighting, an off shoot of timberframing, mechanics of old machinery, theories of fluid motion, belting, steam power and its related area of smooth transmission of that power to different locations and for different purposes

well I have to go for now

enjoy

NH

Last edited by northern hewer; 12/17/12 03:02 AM.
Re: historic hewing questionnaire [Re: northern hewer] #29941 12/17/12 09:43 AM
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D Wagstaff Offline
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Hello,

Nothing to excuse yourself for Richard because it's all pertinent and intresting. There are a few points about your wheelbarrow project I thought I'd bring up. The one was the question you had about that old picture where the wheelbarrow is standing. I mentioned the arched bow - using some boat terminology there, but a boat and a wheelbarrow do have much in common if you think about it - and that this is a very practical design element that will increase the carrying capacity. It's just that if you notice, and even other wise, if the front side of the box of the wheelbarrow rises from the sides toward the middle forming an arch, you can stack a higher load of say potatoes from the garden in there without adding proportionally so much more weight to the wheelbarrow as a whole.

And concerning the weight of the wheelbarrow, which, lets admit is a bulky thing as it is, when I rebuilt mine I used poplar wood for the box rather than pine, meaning that I could have even thicker sides and still come out lighter in weight. On top of this advantage poplar wood, being made up of extra long fibers is exceptionally resistant to wear and abuse and was used as floor wood in boxcars and for the floors in hay lofts.

While pine was the primary wood in my old wheelbarrow all of the braces were carved from oak and the frame work of the box was also oak, though I don't see why there other than for durability. These I faithfully replaced where needed.

Greetings,

Don Wagstaff

Re: historic hewing questionnaire [Re: D Wagstaff] #29946 12/18/12 12:40 AM
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northern hewer Offline OP
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Hello everyone tonight

Thanks for your thoughts Don---I always appreciate your input, and I know others also do--Also thanks for the clarification on the wheelbarrow construction it rounds out my understanding of the terminology you used, and what I thought you were saying as I carefully looked at the photo when you posted it a while ago.

Talking about poplar wood--its uses--it brings to my memory my father's choice for wagon bottoms--we used basswood--which is also a type of wood without long fibres, and wears well in high abrasion situations but maybe not well in strength. As I remember it the planks were about 1\3 thicker in cross section, I suppose to allow for its weaker characteristics in its structural character. I remember the planks being about 2 1\2" in thickness and about 12" in width

I examined a few barns that had basswood upper plates that were around 100 years old and were in great shape--except--where the roof had leaked at some point in time, you can't really blame basswood for not standing up, no type of wood would have.

I agree to another of your remarks about the weight, the basswood planks were quite light compared to hardwood planks.

I worked quite a bit on construction work early on, and the preferences for scaffolding planks were clear- and straight grained hemlock about 2\14" thick and about 10 to 12" wide--strong but light--

Well I have to go now

enjoy

NH

Last edited by northern hewer; 12/18/12 12:43 AM.
Re: historic hewing questionnaire [Re: D Wagstaff] #29947 12/18/12 01:58 AM
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Gumphri Offline
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When you mention poplar what kind of poplar are you talking about?


Leslie Ball
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