<img class="lazy" height="1" width="1" style="display:none" src="data:image/svg+xml,%3Csvg%20xmlns='http://www.w3.org/2000/svg'%20viewBox='0%200%201%201'%3E%3C/svg%3E" data-src="https://www.facebook.com/tr?id=376816859356052&amp;ev=PageView&amp;noscript=1">
 In Shop Blog

We may receive a commission when you use our affiliate links. However, this does not impact our recommendations.

There are some woodworkers who say that shavehorses weren’t used in chairmaking – according to the historical record. But shavehorses were definitely used in the mining industry.

Check out this 1556 illustration of a guy working at a shavehorse from the Latin text “Georgius Agricola: De Re Metallica.” The gentleman looks like he is not-so-merrily shaving away at a chair spindle. Not so.

The guy is making “bertte” – translated as “beards.” These are sticks of wood that are shaved so that all the shavings are still attached. They literally look like beards or a Christmas tree perhaps (after too much egg nog).

These bertte were important to the mining industry because they were used to light fires in the mines that would help make the rock crumble.

Thanks to Gerd Schlottig for the image and the text. He was in my workbench class at Dictum in Bavaria this summer. He holds the distinction of being able to eat an entire piece of bread slathered with a thick skin of marmite.


By registering, I acknowledge and agree to Active Interest Media's (AIM) Terms of Service and to AIM's use of my contact information to communicate with me about AIM, its brands or its third-party partners' products, services, events and research opportunities. AIM's use of the information I provide will be consistent with the AIM Privacy Policy.

Start typing and press Enter to search