Hand Tools

Subject:
Horsetail

Warren in Lancaster, PA
I was in an 18th century farmhouse on Monday, and there was a nice Chester County chest of drawers, walnut, about six drawers. The drawer fronts were highly figured, with prominent knots, and nice ovolo moulding. All the mouldings, in fact, and all the edges were still nice and crisp after 250 years or so.

I had to chuckle thinking that someone might think the surface was achieved by a cabinetmaker going over it with little pieces of horsetail. Or homemade glasspaper or sharkskin. I don't think it would take much experience with these materials to convince someone that it was easier to learn how to use a plane. And for someone facile with plane, even the carefully made sand paper of today is not that helpful.

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