Some Wood working techniques and fittings

Some Wood working techniques and fittings


Felling, timber conversion and fittings:

The selection of wood for felling was an important process. Timber boards had to be cut from straight trunks of good quality which had sufficient heartwood with few defects (figure ) .These men are using bronze axes which have a curved cutting edge with integral projecting side lugs. The blade fitted into a groove cut into the head of the ash shaft. Wet leather thongs were bound around the lugs and shaft and as they dried they pulled and tightened the assembly together.
After felling, the branches were chopped away and the trunk was cut into lengths of approximately 1.70 meters. This made the logs easy to transport and of the correct length to convert into boards. The logs were brought to the courtyard of the carpenters' workshop. Set the ground in the centre of the courtyard there would have been a sawing post, to which the log was lashed with cord. Acarpenter would use a pull saw to rip down the green timber. As the saw cut down the log, the lashings had to be adjusted (figure ).

Timber must be seasoned to make it easier to work. The wet boards would have been rested against the walls of the workshop or stacked in wigwam fashion. It was important that air be allowed to circulate around the timber. The timber would not have been placed in direct sunlight and may have been covered with matting to prevent it from drying out too quickly in the hot dry Theban air, which would have seasoned it within a few months.

In many predynastic burials the crouched body was placed in a simple box or on a frame of wood which had been covered with plant stems. Much of this early timber has decayed but from surviving pieces showing the corners and edges it is possible to identify a number of woodworking joints. The majority of boxes have butt-jointed corners held together with wooden pegs or tied with leather thongs which passed through holes in the joining members (figure ). Other corner joints commonly used from the earliest times were the half-lap, simple mitre, shoulder-mitre, double shoulder-mitre, mitre-housing and the dovetailed mitre-housing (figure ). Carpenters used the most complex of these joints on the largest of boxes as well as the smallest ivory jewel cases.

Carpenters and joiners were unable to use long lengths of timber for the length was determined by the height of the sawing post it was converted against. Longer rails were manufactured by scarf-joining short rails together and locking them into position by using a butterfly cramp
(figure ).

The bark and sapwood were removed by axe to expose the heartwood. The surfaces would then be trued with an adze.
The earliest extant mortise and tenon joint(figure ) is seen in First Dynasty bed-frame construction , while dovetail joints ( figure )are identified on the roof bars of a Fourth Dynasty bed-frame canopy. 

The use of animal-based glues was not known until the Fifth Dynasty. The glue was made by boiling the skins and bones of animals in water and allowing the solution to evaporate, leaving a concentrated viscous adhesive. A carpenter is applying hot glue from a stone vessel with a brush to a strip of veneer (figure ).
Wooden dowels were used to hold joints together as the glue was allowed to set. Nails and small tacks, cast from copper and precious metals, were also commonly used to hold various covering materials in place.

Both wooden and gold butt-hinges were used on furniture. Barrel hinges made from interlocking cylindrical pieces of wood were also widely employed .


Egypt don't have types several wood, although the social wood could be enough the building and carving .But about hard and expensive wood, had been important by Egypt from Africa and Asia.

 THE KindS of wood :-

1-The acacia:

It was probably the most widely used of the native trees. It was used not only in the making of furniture but also in boatbuilding and large constructional projects. Anumber of tomb and temple scenes showing the acacia survive. A piece of wood from Kahun, Kew, where botanists have confirmed its identification as acacia.
2- The sycamore wood:

It used in doors of house industry. The Egyptian used it in field statues industry .The oldest wood statue is sheikh al- balad statue (fifth dynasty) and carved from sycamore wood.
The wood of Acacia and sycamore were usually used in simple sarcophagus industry, but good sarcophagus had carved from limestone or granite or basalt.
3- The tamarisk:
It was also available. It is a smaller tree and was probably not extensively used for timber production. This species has many defects such as knots and is usually found protecting desert villages from drifting and wind-blown sand. Willow , Salix safsaf , is also found in Egypt and was used in a limited way to make furniture .A fragment of a Ninth Dynasty coffin made from sidder , Zizyphus spina-christi ,has also been identified at Kew, as have a number of pieces of sycamore fig, Ficus sycamores, which date from the Eleventh Dynasty through to the Graeco-Roman Period. 

4- The El Akasia wood:
The Egyptians used El Akasia wood for lining huge flat boats.
5- The Pine-tree:
But Egypt don't have pine-tree , so was necessary importing it which grown on Libyan mountain , Also cypress from Syria and tamarisk wood all this wealth which the Egyptians imported against much money , Also from pine-wood made some elements in temples , some types doors , Also carved several small royal statues and several sarcophagus belong to old employee and your relations.
6-The black wood (Ebony):
From center Africa, the tribes who lived in Nuba brought presents to Egypt pharoni from expensive black wood (Ebony), also sandal wood. Pupil of the eye carved from flashing Ebony wood to give shine on eye, used it in large in cosmetic tools industry.
It called in ancient Egyptian "Heben", in Roman "Epenec" and in Latin "Ebenus".