Thursday, February 19, 2009

More pole musings

We had one warm day, so biting the bullet I went ahead with the bending. The McKennawerks is now once again uncomfortably cold. The steam bending went pretty well but it's going to be a very long post, and I'm still editing and adding things in so it will be another day before I get it done. It's late. I'm tired and heading off to bed so I'll just put this up now.

It occured to me while sitting there waiting for the poles to finish steaming that there is another argument in favor of steam bending the poles.

In period illustrations of both wheelbarrows and plows you can see arching handles or shafts. Some of these are apparently cut to curves from wider boards, but some appear either steam bent or cut from tree stock of the correct curve. Thus, we can reasonably infer that curved and compound curved pieces of farm equipment would be recognizable to our period craftsman, and considered as a solution to minimizing the weight of the cart without enlarging the wheels.

Here's a few illuminations to illustrate my point.

The wheelbarrow is from the Lutrell Psalter, the same book which has the illumination we are using as our inspiration piece. The two plows below are from later in period books of hours. The bottom plow picture also shows a double tree and swingle tree. We will be using a swingle tree in this cart, as on the one covered earlier.


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