building the Bronze Age Dover boat part 7

Part of any craftsman’s work is tool maintenance and most serious craftspeople also want to make or adjust their own tools.We have the bronze heads cast for us from moulds made from original heads. One of the difficulties of this is that the originals were cast then hammered or “peened” to shape, work harden and sharpen them. This means they are spread slightly wider, if we cast from the peened tool then peen again it spreads even wider. Fortunately the bronze is really malleable and I can effectively cold forge it with care into whatever shape I choose,m this is final tweaking of an edge.

 another nice thing about being able to make tools on site is that we can make specific tools for specific jobs. This is a cleat on the original boat.

I have a number of these holes to punch through so made up a pair of tools to do the job, they work well. I start by swinging them as an adze then progress further by tapping on the back of the head with a mallet.

We only have a small tool store so it’s important to keep it organised, this is one wall.

 and the trick with bronze age tools is finding branches with just the right angle, ideally around 80 degrees which is not common. We have permission to scrump wood from a number of local sites and having found a small ash with very open grown habit in some scrub we collected a good number of handles.

 The haul, it was a very pleasant walk one evening after a hard days work too.



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