Hand Tools

Moxon's Joinery
Response To:
Bill and David ()

Warren in Lancaster, PA
The Joinery section in Moxon is maybe the shortest and the worst. The Carpentry, Turning and Blacksmith sections are all much better. Moxon himself was trained in printing, which was the most comprehensive section. The Joinery section was so short that he lifted the mortising description from Carpentry and put it in Joinery, thinking no one would notice. Either Moxon was too busy or did not get along with the joiner he was interviewing or something.

Moxon's work was written just before the term cabinetmaker started to be used, so joiner referred to all woodworkers who worked at a bench. The term double screw was used for both a vise that screwed into the front of the bench and for a loose clamp similar to today's handscrew. The term vise was then used for iron contraptions used by blacksmiths, etc, and it would be around two hundred years before that changed. As you say, the double screw illustration is an obvious mistake; something went wrong between seeing it in a shop and making the engraving.

Moxon's illustration of joiner's tools was obviously copied in part from Felibien's illustration of a few years before. However there is original material in both illustrations and text. Again, it looks like he just did not do much work on this section. The other sections, carpentry, smithing, turning, are more independent of Felibien.

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