Monday 2 February 2015

Mystery tools

This month (and the previous one) will be a bit meagre in posts from me. I am moving house and most of my attention goes to painting and construction (and installing a workshop), instead of blogging or medieval woodwork. I thought the following image of Noah building the Ark from the Bedford Hours of 1423 (British Library Add. MS 18850) would be appropriate for this situation. 

The illumination shows a lot of woodworkers and their tools. Part of this image is in fact also used in the title of the St. Thomasguild blog. Hammers and mallets are shown most, 4 and 7 times, respectively. But there are also 6 augers, 1 brace, 3 chisels, 2 saws, 3 planes and 4 axes. But there are two other interesting objects shown on this illumination: one man on the roof is nailing wooden boards. He has a special shaped box for holding his nails with a hook that prevents it from sliding down.

The other mysterious object is with the man in the house. What is he doing and what is the black object he is working with? Is it a reel for a (chalk or strait) line or is it his purse? Does anyone have an idea? 


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  2. A leather nail pouch that has a loop on it for his hammer.

  3. The carpenter at far right looks to have a similar pouch? at his waist and a tool in it - it's hard to make out from the screen shot. If he carries on boring that peg hole at that skyward angle he will be having trouble to come!