Dimensioning Lumber by Hand
Before power tools, 18th-century craftsmen wielded handsaws and planes to four-square lumber for furniture.
WILLIAMSBURG, VA–Preparing furniture parts before the age of machinery required sharp hand tools and keen woodworking skills. In this video, Mack Headley, the master cabinetmaker at the historic cabinet shop at Colonial Williamsburg, demonstrates how lumber was milled square and true in the 18th century.
Colonial Williamsburg is a living history museum that brings to life the the furniture making trade that took place here more than 250 years ago. For more information about Colonial Williamsburg and to find a schedule of hours and events, visit them online at History.org.
|The Colonial Williamsburg Video Series:
See more of the shop and learn how these craftsman use hand tools to reproduce furniture and musical instruments. Plus, go behind the scenes to see how the shop’s period hand tools are made.
Touring the Colonial Williamsburg Shop
The living-history museum celebrates a time when furniture was built only by hand
How They Did It: Dimensioning Lumber by Hand
Before power tools, 18th century craftsmen wielded handsaws and planes to four-square lumber for furniture
| How They Did It: Before the Router
18th century craftsmen used an array of hand planes to plow grooves and dadoes, and profile edges
| How They Did It: Before the Bandsaw
Handsaws of all shapes and sizes were used to cut curves and rough shape furniture parts in the 18th century
| Antique Tools are Modern Made
Tool makers reproduce 18th century handsaws, plans, and marking tools for the historic trade shops at Colonial Williamsburg