Hand Tools

Re: decline of wooden plane - green vs dry lumber?

Warren in Lancaster, PA
The marking of green oak timbers by iron planes is not really an issue. The surface of the wood dries quickly, so any marks can be cleaned off the next day with one pass of the smoothing plane. And you want to wait a day because the dryer wood leaves a finer surface from the plane than green wood does.

There were sawmills in America long before the metal plane era. By 1700 there were more sawmills (maybe hundreds) in New England than in Old England. Here in Pennsylvania there was already a sawmill when there were but a few hundred settlers, twenty years before Penn acquired the land. And more were built by the Quakers in the late 17th century.

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