There is more than one way to do almost anything … once you understand the why behind how things work.
As an artisan I have always been interested in mastering the hand skills that move and shape and fit materials together as well as understanding the chemical and physical natures of the materials.
As a young apprentice in the 1960’s I worked for a number of old-time craftsmen: Poles and Italians, Englishman and Germans, Frenchmen and Greeks, the Japanese and more. They were all masters of their trade and more often than not they used the same tools but in different ways to achieve identical results.
To each of them, the way they had been taught was the only way it could be done. For instance in the musical instrument shop, and then in the furniture restoration shop, and later in the pattern shop we made our own scrapers for smoothing out wood. The master in each shop had their own way of making them. I learned each way and became interested in why each one worked. This led me to begin reading and experimenting. Right angle, hooked, rolled, double rolled, shaped, annealed, etc. were just some of the types of scrapers I was making. I had to learn more and more about steel alloys and tempering processes, grain size and the physics of shearing, cutting, abrading, and pushing ductile steel and the physics as it related to the geometry of the angle of the shaft and the angle of the hook on any particular type of wood. Then this lead to more investigation of wood types, grain direction, minerals and extractives and more.
I have basically followed this pattern of inquiry and self-education throughout the last 40 years in every trade and materials I have worked in.
This Blog and the PreservationScience.com website are a resource for sharing much of what I have learned from all those who came before me and the innovations and unique linkages that I have developed along the way.
I don’t really have time to respond directly to questions, but if you send an email to info @ preservationscience.com I will try to address as many queries as possible in the form of future blog posts.