We live in the best
of times when it comes
to having the hand tools we think we need to pursue, which for
most of us, is a hobby.
A simple click and our order is
instantly launched into cyberspace. A few days later the postman
brings us our new tool. Or, we haunt yard sales and flea markets
and find bargains on excellent user tools because the general
public considers them obsolete and of little interest.
But, what if we lived in another
time when money was scarce and we lived a subsistence existence
living mostly off the land? In times of necessity, humans eke
out a living using those resources that can be wrested from the
land and by recycling and repurposing metals to fulfill a need.
Over the years I have sought those
tools that exhibit the ingenuity of craftsmen from the past.
Today I post photos of an example of a drawknife that was made
from a crooked tree limb or sapling and a piece of steel that
was once a butcher knife blade.
This tool came from Appalachia and
is a good example of a tool made in an isolated culture from
simple materials. This drawknife works well even though it
appears to be primitive and is a tool you might consider copying
if you work at a shaving horse frequently.
The stock of this drawknife was
made from a green limb or sapling. Both ends of a portion of a
butcher knife were deeply embedded in the wood as it was bent.
The photo shows this tool with the blade bevel up.
This is the drawknife with the blade bevel
This shows stress fractures in the
wooden handle when it was bent. The original butcher knife
cutting edge is opposite the beveled edge.
The tips of the butcher knife blade were forced into the
wood. The blade was probably driven into the wood with a wooden
baton striking the original back of the blade. Then the bevel
was filed or ground on original back of the blade to create a
cutter with a single bevel.
This photo shows the knife blade fragment
embedded in the wood.
James E. Price