1971.22.97 | Crosscut saw

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Crosscut saw
About 1900, 20th century
22.9 x 137.2 cm
Gift of Dr. Berton A. Puddington Estate
This artefact belongs to: © New Brunswick Museum
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Keys to History

The successor to the pollaxe, the crosscut saw was operated by two men and became popular following its introduction in the late 19th century. It could fell twice the amount of trees cut by two axemen. As the stands of white pine declined, the crosscut saw was employed on the smaller jack pine, spruce and balsam fir. With the introduction of this saw, a new man appeared at camp: the saw filer.

Source : All in a Day's Work: Lumbering in New Brunswick [Web tour], by New Brunswick Museum (see Links)

  • What

    The saw filer filed, or sharpened, each saw according to the type of wood to be cut and the strokes used by the individual two-man teams.

  • Where

    In the eastern pine forests, two men with a crosscut saw could average 100 logs per day.

  • When

    Each night the sawyers brought a saw to the filer, exchanging it for a sharp one for the next day.

  • Who

    The saw filer was a specialist and sometimes, to keep his job secure, made a bit of a mystery out of his trade.