Sunday, 17 November 2013

The most amazing fretsaw I have ever seen


When watching this student cut out the shapes in this plank of wood, I was wondering where you could buy fretsaw blades 14 inches long, and how much they would cost. The blade broke and the young man had to make another blade.
I have seen the work produced by these saws and they will produce a good cut, obviously the better craftsperson you are the better the result. The frame is bent bamboo. The wire is just steel wire. I have made my own blades, and used them on my small frame saws.
This amazed me because of just how simple, assessable it was, and because it showed me, yet again, what could be made with materials around us. No need to rely on expensive consumables, or the latest highly designed tool. It also showed me that we can make our own tools. That also it is not something that needs years of training to do. 
Do not get me wrong I love a well designed and made tool and I do have a few in my workshop. I also have lots of mass made tools of varying quality. These tools, with a bit of time and knowledge, can be made to work as well as any top line tool.

The Handicraft centre in Gangtok. Set up in 1957 to preserve and teach traditional Sikkimese crafts.

In the shop at the handicraft centre I bought a couple of beautiful hand cut and carved carvings. These are of traditional designs and painted. 


The museum at the centre has the most amazing craft of Sikkim displayed in it. Photography was forbidden, unfortunately, as I would have loved to have shared some of the awe-inspiring artefacts I saw. It is well worth a visit if you are ever in Gangtok.