Thursday, July 12, 2012

Hewing Beams at the Farmers Market on July 1 and What We Will Do on July 15


The Warwick Historical Society has been doing living history scenarios at the Warwick Farmers Market on South Street this summer. These include the use of 18th and 19th century tools. Newsday recently photographed the Society in action. The demonstration on July 1 was hewing a log using a broad axe and adze from the collection.

The broad axe was resurrected for the purpose; its distinctive single edge was sharpened and surface rust was removed. A fine sharpening was done with a hand whetstone. At some point in the life of this particular broad axe its also distinctive bowed handle was cut to three-quarter length, so a new handle was created by scratch using only hand tools---a hatchet and draw knife.

The surface of the axe handle was kept rough for the purpose of this demonstration; mainly because time ran out for it to be any different. This circumstance was likely a common situation in an era when everything had to be made from scratch. The question is always asked whether there was sandpaper or not? There were equivalents. It is likely that on the frontier handles, which frequently broke as they were in use on a daily basis, were left rough, as there was little choice concerning the matter. There were methods of creating a fine finish to a handle or other utilitarian objects but it was likely not a priority in a place like Warwick in the 18th century.

Glancing blows on the log is part of the hewing process

July 15, 2012 Warwick Farmers Market

This Sunday's hands-on activity will include a two man saw. there will be a four inch in diameter ash log provided by New York Heartwoods of Warwick for the purpose. A log will be positioned on a saw buck. A two man saw will be employed in the activity of creating slices from the log---suitable as a souvenir for young participants.

The activity requires some coordination as the two sawyers must work in concert with each other to force the blade back and forth through the log. There will also be a shaving horse set up, as we are always making hardwood handles at the horse with our trusty draw knife. Come and give a try and experience work from another time!

Also learn about our August 6-10 Summer history Camp for Kids 8-11. Sign up now. We also have a Blacksmithing Class on August 11-12, 9-5PM, and for those so inclined Mon. and Tues, August 13th and 14th will be offered to completing the weekend class for an extra 50 dollars per day. We also have our 95th Annual George Washington Picnic Day on Saturday, July 28, 6-8PM potluck picnic and history edu-tainment. In July, 1782 George Washington visted Francis Baird's Tavern ( which remains to this day)! In celebration we will be having a picnic at 6PM, a local tradition. Starting at 4PM the Civil War Re-Enactment group the New York 15th Volunteer Calvary will set up camp and share a moment in time, a time in Warwick's own past, as there were members of the original group from Warwick who fought in in the War of the Great Rebellion!

 More details in this blog about these upcoming programs or come in person to the A. W. Buckbee Center, 2 Colonial Ave., Warwick 10-2 weekdays.

1 comment:

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