West Virginia State Farm Museum
One of the buildings on display at the West Virginia State Farm Museum is one that was of distinct importance in rural areas in the country a century or two ago. This is the carpenter shop.
Probably one of the first things that attracts attention inside the shop is the spring pole wood lathe. The workman would operate the machine by foot power and a spring pole.
Nearby is the shaving horse, which has a wooden head with a foot pedal to power the tool. It was once used to hold a piece of wood while the workman cut or shaved the piece with draw knives (both wood and metal draw knives are on display). The operator would then use spoke and shave to finish the piece to the desired smoothness. Sometimes, he would use cut glass to scrape the piece.
Other items include a large wooden punch and two timber morticing drills. The base or bottom of the drills was wooden while the tops were metal. The piece was set on the timber while the operator pressed down on the handles to operate the drill. There are two large wooden vices containing wooden screws, which are said to be at least 200 years old. There is also an all-wood morticing machine.
Every community had a cabinetmaker, and they were known for the quality of their work. They not only used many of the above machines but also a variety of hand tools that are on display at the shop.
Most carpenters had a bushel basket full of various sized wooden planes, including molding planes. Some of the other tools might include buck saws, squares, miter boxes, hand saws, wooden levels, large hand augers of various sizes, braces for drill bits, crow bars, two man cross-cut saws, double blade broad axes used for hewing, etc. Also, on the carpenter shop wall, there is a framed rip saw for squaring pieces.
Pictures and information were provided by West Virginia State Farm Museum
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