Reply To: Timber conversion in 18th century dockyards.
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Michael Taylor: I would suggest, although I am not certain, that it would have been done manually using a saw-pit with two sawyers. One would work the top handles of a long vertical saw and the other would be in the pit working the lower handles from below the log. They must have been very strong and fit!
Chris Lowther If you visit Chatham Maritime Centre you will see planks being sawn using a saw pit with the apprentice standing in the bottom getting all the saw dust which reminds me that when MMS Otter went into Western Shiprepair yard in Birkenhead for a docking the yard used tree trunks as stabilisers to keep the boat upright. They offered the piece up between dockside and SM and sawed to length using a 2 man handsaw.
Tim Cannon I agree with you Michael Taylor there was a lot of hard manual labour in those days and considerable expertise.