Monday, January 4, 2010

Drawknives

While remers have incorporated many modern power-tools into their trade, they still find certain ancient implements irreplaceable. We've looked at the ascia and the cavalletti, now let's investigate another traditional tool: the drawknife.

I took the above photo in Franco Furlanetto's shop. Hanging on the rack are an assortment of these two-handled knives.
They are used on both remi and forcole. The wider ones for remi, the narrower ones for the inside curves of the forcole.
Without a doubt, the most important surface of a forcola is the morso (the area where most of the rowing takes place), that C-shaped area is usually sculpted in part with the smaller, narrower drawknives.

Remers tend to pull or "draw" the tool towards themselves, which is where the tool gets it's name.
Now in Venice they may call it a fero a do maneghi, or maybe by another name if they are angry, but in the english speaking world it is a drawknife. Many drawknives in other trades may have a curve, but in a remer's shop they are almost always straight and flat.