Issue 8 T.O.C. – “Tool Marks Tell Stories” – Michael Updegraff

This is part of a blog series revealing the table of contents of upcoming Issue Eight. As is our custom, we’ll be discussing one article per weekday in order to give you a taste of what is come. 

Please note that the subscription window which includes Issue Eight is open now through March 25th.



“Tool Marks Tell Stories” – Michael Updegraff

How can we put together a well-rounded and detailed understanding of the techniques a cabinetmaker or chairmaker employed to create their wares centuries ago? We have resources such as journals, ledgers, and a few valuable firsthand accounts, but the best information might actually be written with steel on wood, rather than ink on paper. 

Join author Michael Updegraff as he explores the fascinating world of tool marks – often intentionally sanded away on modern handmade furniture, but almost universally present on period pieces. From the scientific discipline of traceology (reading macroscopic markings on artifacts to glean new insight) to the experimental archaeology practiced at open-air and living history museums, Updegraff extols the value of learning how an operation was done historically by trying to do it ourselves, at our benches, informed by the thought process physically manifested in the plane tracks and saw cuts left behind. 


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