The Wheelwright s Shop
64 pages
English

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64 pages
English

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Description

This volume contains a detailed insight into the life and work of the wheelwright. The object of “The Craftsman Series” is to make this literature available in a form convenient for school use. The series consists entirely of books in which the craftsman speaks for himself, and in every volume the text is solely that of the author. George Sturt, the author of this volume, was a lover of the English countryside. Before the publication of 'The Wheelwright’s Shop' in 1923 he had written several other books on rural topics, including 'The Memoirs of a Surrey Labourer', 'The Bettesworth Book', and 'A Farmer’s Life'. The chapters of this book include: 'The Wheelwright’s Shop', 'Timber – Buying', 'Timber – Carting and Converting', 'The Sawyers', 'Timber – Seasoning', ''Wheel-Stuff'', 'Hand-Work', ''Bottom-Timbers'', 'Wagons', 'Learning the Trade', 'Wheels – Spokes and Felloes', 'The Smith – ''Getting Ready''', et cetera. This volume is being republished now complete with a specially-commissioned biography of the author.

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Publié par
Date de parution 16 avril 2013
Nombre de lectures 0
EAN13 9781447493020
Langue English
Poids de l'ouvrage 1 Mo

Informations légales : prix de location à la page 0,0500€. Cette information est donnée uniquement à titre indicatif conformément à la législation en vigueur.

Extrait

The Craftsman Series
SELECTIONS FROM THE WHEELWRIGHT S SHOP
The Craftsman Series
Edited by
A. F. C OLLINS , B.Sc.
The next two volumes will be
The Building of the Bell Rock Lighthouse
by ROBERT STEVENSON
and
The Autobiography of James Nasmyth, Engineer
PLATE I

SIDE-VIEW OF SURREY FARM WAGGON, 1919
THE WHEELWRIGHT S SHOP
BY
GEORGE STURT
( GEORGE BOURNE )

Passages Selected and Edited by
A. F. COLLINS, B.Sc.
Inspector of Handicraft and Science Birmingham Education Authority
PRINTED IN GREAT BRITAIN
CONTENTS
Editor s Preface
Introduction
I.
The Wheelwright s Shop
II.
Timber: Buying
III.
Timber: Carting and Converting
IV.
The Sawyers
V.
Timber: Seasoning
VI.
Wheel-Stuff
VII.
Hand-Work
VIII.
Bottom-Timbers
IX.
Waggons
X.
Curves, Tapering and Shaving
XI.
Learning the Trade
XII.
Wheels: Dish
XIII.
Wheels: Spokes and Felloes
XIV.
Stocks, and Ringing the Wheel
XV.
The Smith: Getting Ready
XVI.
The Smith: Putting-On and Boxing-On
XVII.
Iron-Work and Jobbing
Glossary
Index
ILLUSTRATIONS
PLATES
I. Side-view of Waggon
II. A little Timber in 1922
III. Dung-Cart
IV. Side-view of Waggon (Details)
TEXT-FIGURES
Notation for plank measurements
Bottom Frame-work of Two-wheeled Carts
Draw-shave
Chalk Marks, in Primitive Numeration
Dish of a Wheel
Face-view and Section of a Spoke
Traveller
Design on Iron-work
EDITOR S PREFACE
An examination of the literature suitable to the needs of adolescent readers and available for their use, especially in schools, brings to light the fact that it includes few books which reveal the personality of the craftsman as well as the interest of his work. Yet no reflective person can fail to realise how great a part the development of constructive activities in the sphere of material things has played in the progress of mankind.
That young people are interested in craftsmen and their work is clear from the popularity, particularly among boys, of books dealing with the more spectacular achievements of the engineer and inventor. But such books are for the most part written more with the aim of presenting technicalities in a popular and readable form than of showing us the craftsman himself-the man behind the work. Moreover, their literary standard is such that they are not usually regarded as subjects for other than purely recreative reading.
Records of their work written by practising craftsmen, or by those who, while directing the work of others, show an intimate knowledge of a craft gained only through an arduous apprenticeship, are not common. Such records, however, do exist, and contain literature of real worth, full of human as well as of technical interest.
The object of The Craftsman Series is to make this literature available in a form convenient for school use.
The need for books of this type is especially obvious at the present time, when so much attention is being given to the practice of crafts as a part of general education.
The Series consists entirely of books in which the craftsman speaks for himself. In every volume the text is solely that of the Author, abridged it may be, but strictly in the literal sense of the term. Apart from the work of selection and arrangement the Editor s contribution is limited to an introductory chapter, and, where necessary, occasional notes and linking-up passages, the authorship of which is clearly indicated.
George Sturt, the author of this volume, was a lover of the English countryside. Before the publication of The Wheelwright s Shop in 1923 he had written several other books on rural topics, including The Memoirs of a Surrey Labourer, The Bettesworth Book , and A Farmer s Life . His last book, A Small Boy in the Sixties , was issued in 1927, the year in which he died.
The original edition of The Wheelwright s Shop is much larger than this volume. The whole of it is fascinating reading, but not every part is equally easy for young readers to understand.
That a writer of George Sturt s capacity should find in the trade which circumstances compelled him to enter such scope for his literary powers is itself no mean testimony to the living interest of his subject. The knowledge displayed in the book belies his modest estimate of his own ability as a craftsman also.
In The Wheelwright s Shop he has left us something that stands by itself-a record of his craft by one who, both in study and workshop, was a master craftsman.
A. F. C.
1930
INTRODUCTION
In The Wheelwright s Shop you will read much about tools and their users in the later years of the nineteenth century.
No one knows how long it was after the appearance of man on the Earth that he discovered how to make even the crudest tools, but it is certain that many thousands of years have passed since that time. The improvement of tools and of the methods of working with them has been a very, very slow process.
The men of the Old Stone Age used chipped flints as tools. At first these were rough and clumsy; as the centuries went by an improvement was made here, another there, until in the New Stone Age men became expert in sharpening, polishing and using tools of stone.
Again many years passed before the use of metal was understood. Not until about 3000 years before Christ, countless generations after the first tool-users, were metal tools developed to such an extent that their users, the ancient Egyptians, could construct chairs, tables and beds much like those of the present day.
From that period until the time of which this book speaks-the time of our own grandfathers-the tools of the craftsman, and especially of the craftsman in wood, changed very little. The use ofsteel has brought about improvements in cutting edges, and there have been a few other changes, but in their essentials these tools are much the same as those used by the early Egyptians.
In the days of the Old and New Stone Ages each man used his own simple tools for his own purposes, but as time went on, and men began to collect in larger and more settled communities, those who were most expert in tool-using became the makers for the others. Thus began that division of men into craftsmen and others, and later of the craftsmen into stone-workers, wood-workers, metal-workers and the like, which persists into our own time.
There were no books then, and men learned to use tools, and to use them very cleverly indeed, without ever learning to read or write. Boys worked with men to learn their crafts. Some knowledge they could pick up by watching their masters at work, but their real skill came only through long practice and experience.
Such workmen, the craftsmen of the Middle Ages and of later days almost up to our own time, were proud of their trades and jealous of outsiders. They kept their knowledge to themselves and to their apprentices. They formed themselves into trade societies or groups and had their own rules and secrets, some of which they preserved in the form of verses.
In the later Middle Ages in Europe these societies of craftsmen became the craft gilds. The gilds had great power, and were often granted special privileges by those who governed the countries in which their members worked. They were rightly jealous of the reputation of their crafts, and did much to preserve ideals of fine workmanship.
In the days of the gilds practically all craftsmen carried on their trades in small workshops, but, by the middle of the eighteenth century, factories containing crude machines driven by water power had largely displaced the small workshops in trades such as spinning and weaving.
The next century saw steam power applied to industry, and an enormous increase in the number and size of factories. These still further absorbed the small workshops in all but a few trades which had to be carried on where their products were required.
Such a trade was that of the wheelwright, which is described in this book.
With the coming of factories the craft gilds disappeared, and with them their influence on many trades. But as you read this book you will realise that the old gild spirit of pride in fine craftsmanship was not entirely gone in workshops such as Mr Sturt s up to thirty years or so ago.
Now, however, even the wheelwright s trade has fallen before the advance of the factory system; or perhaps it would be truer to say, before the advance of the motor-car, the child of the factory system. Motor-cars and tractors are commoner now in country roads and farms than carts were forty years ago.
And so the wheelwrights of this book are among the last of their race. The fine work that they did is not being reproduced in factories; the demand for it has passed, and the craftsmen of to-day have different problems to solve. Yet we must remember that without the age-long growth of experience and skill in crafts such as this our modern machines could not have been developed; nor can they continue to work without the skilled craftsman behind them, inventing, improving, and directing. The machines are tireless; they can do heavier and quicker work than men, but they cannot originate; they can merely reproduce what craftsmen set them to do.
It is fortunate that George Sturt lived in time to write us this book about his dying trade. He tells us how the timber was grown, felled, selected, seasoned and used for its particular purpose; how wheels were built up and tyred; and how waggons were designed and built. And he tells us all this with the love for his trade that was a mark of the old master craftsman.
CHAPTER I
THE WHEELWRIGHT S SHOP
To say that the business I started into in 1884 was old-fashioned is to understate the case: it was a folk industry, carried on in a folk. method. And circumstances made it perhaps more intensely so to me than it need have been. My father might just possibly, though I don t think he would, have shown me more modern aspects of it; but within my first month he took ill of th

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