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Working with Hands - James E. Price


 
  Braces and Bits of Sweden and Norway 1 of 2  

Lately I have been exploring woodworking tools and their uses in The Baltic States and The Balkans as well as Scandinavia. Woodworking tools evolved differently in those regions compared to Western Europe.

The focus of majority of articles on this website is on Western tools development and use in unplugged woodworking in Great Britain, Canada, and the U.S.A. with some interest in Japanese saws and chisels.

However, large segments of unique traditions in tools development that were thousands of years in the making go wanting and lack description.

Many of my future posts will explore other ways of woodworking in ethnic groups elsewhere in the world with tools that look and function differently than those to which we are accustomed.

Lately I have been exploring woodworking tools and their uses in The Baltic States and The Balkans as well as Scandinavia. Woodworking tools evolved differently in those regions compared to Western Europe.

In this post I describe braces and bits of Sweden and Norway. I pulled out three braces and two sets of bits with characteristics that exemplify the traditional Scandinavian approach to these types of tools.

Keep in mind that Roman influence in tool design lasted a very long time on The Continent. Flat-tanged bits in T-augers started in The Iron Age, and continued through The Roman Period, The Viking Period, and even into the 20th Century.

These are three braces and two rings of bits typical of those
traditionally used in Sweden.

The upper arm of Scandinavian braces are almost always slanted and
the lower arm approximately 90 degrees to the central axis. The heads
of most braces are made of two wooden parts. The lower part of the
head is fixed to the top of the metal crank and the top part rotates,
creating a thrust-block bearing.

Bit tangs are almost all flat and tapered with a hole through them.
Braces have latches on them that move laterally and a projection
that goes through a hole in the bit tang.

This is another example that has a thrust-block head and a lateral
latch that is a spring.


 
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