Metalworking (rec.crafts.metalworking) Discuss various aspects of working with metal, such as machining, welding, metal joining, screwing, casting, hardening/tempering, blacksmithing/forging, spinning and hammer work, sheet metal work.

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Old July 21st 04, 11:59 PM
Eric Stevens
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Default Question re. Copper artifact Canadian ArcticformerCopperCasting In America (Trevelyan)

On Wed, 21 Jul 2004 13:57:59 -0400, "stevewhittet"

"Eric Stevens" wrote in message
.. .
On Tue, 20 Jul 2004 20:12:24 -0800, (Floyd L.
Davidson) wrote:

Eric Stevens wrote:
(Floyd L. Davidson) wrote:
Eric Stevens wrote:


The point is that in medieval times one of the tasks of an apprentice
on his way to becoming a journeyman was to make himself a set of
tools. This included the basic blacksmith work of forming ind
hardening chisel and plane blades.

The set of people who could work iron at a forge in medieval times
and whom might be considered "blacksmiths" would include farriers,
armourers, wheelwrights, shipwrights, alchemists, coopers, ironmongers,
bladesmiths, machineists millwrights and instrument makers.

I'm not exactly sure who the first manufacturer of tool steel was
or whether damascus steel exactly fits that label but the idea of
working metals and their alloys by folding and welding billets of
different steels and hammering them out at different temperatures
until they were properly placed so as to optimize their hardmess,
workability, durability, flexibility, corrosion resistence, etc; and
or percentages of austenite, pearlite, cementite, martensite etc;
must have reached a fairly sophisticated level by the time
the Vikings met the Skraelings.

I don't think its unreasonable that among a ships crew there
would be some with the skills of blacksmith and carpenter
sufficient to make tools from scratch,

That is a 'given' if the persons were master craftsmen or journeymen.

As you are demonstrating, the
amount of work entailed is inconceivable to the modern person who is
used to just going out and buying something. It is inconceivable that
someone of that era should take along a collection of planes as part
of their stock of trade goods.

I don't think that follows. Iron and steel were certainly being mass
even in Roman times. Most iron age civilizations could make nails, knives,
hammers, axes, adzes spears, swords, carpenters tools, farming impliments,
barrel hoops, wheel rims, and horseshoes. Most iron age wrecks include
collections of rusty tools.

My point is that not any old iron will do when it comes to carpentery
tools. The correct iron has to be selected and suitably hardened
(carburised or whatever). Not everyone knew how to do that.

All it takes to make a plane is a plane iron, a block of wood with a mortise
and a wedge to hold the iron in the mortise so it could bring a shaving
up through the mouth of the plane. All the fancy bits like fences,
mortising grinds, depth stops, handles, and combinations of cutters
and adjustment screws are refinements.

But even that requires a range of tools like saws and chisels and the
skills to use them for the task. Also the ability to select the right
part of the right wood for the task.

Yet you think they would gladly trade axes.

You equate the manufacture of a plane with that of an axe?

Why not? Actually the axe requires more steel and its the steel
making that is the hard part, not putting a handle on it.

A plane is more critical as to the type of steel then is an axe.


That does not mean that planes would never be traded but it would be
traded under special circumstances.

I'm not sure that a finished plane would have been as common a trade good
as a plane iron but judging by the inventories of the makers at Sheffield
the cargos of the wrecks of the fur traders who travelled by rivers deep
the interior of north america, axes, adzes knives, etc; often came both with
and without handles.

But that is 300 years later and in a different culture.

And when those special circumstance exist, the plane is a trade
item. Since we know they did exist, we know that a plane would
have at times been a trade item.


Another thing you have to consider is that that the inuit almost
certainly no tradition of the kind of carpentery which would benefit
from the use of a plane.

From: (Eric)
Newsgroups: comp.programming
Subject: The Decline of C/C++, the rise of X
Date: 21 Jul 2004 15:48:51 -0700
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References: [email protected]
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Jim Rogers wrote in message . ..
"JustSomeGuy" wrote in news:zvlLc.75029$ek5.29985

*Ada and Wirth's languages

If C++/C Disappeared.. Ada is what I'd choose.
Ada give a whole new meaning to typing!

Yea. Isn't it lovely?

:-). I think a trend we will see with future languages is more
sophisticated type systems, but we'll have to work on the complexity
of their definition. I am looking forward to safer and quieter type
systems. Safe means they are defined to prevent operations that are
statically provable to be dubious, while warning about operations that
may fail at run-time. The "quieter" aspect is the most challenging and
refers to making the type system useful without it appearing
pedantic....(oh and please people, lets not have that static vs
dynamic typing debate in this thread).

Some areas that could use work on better type safety:

*enum types

*union types

*aliased types (i.e those created via "typedef")

Any other nominees?

Jim Rogers

Eric Mutta :-)

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