The marks left by the sawyers and shipwrights who fashioned the ship can provide us
with valuable information about contemporary tools and technologies. Saw marks
on this timber, for example, came from a pit saw, a tool generally used to
roughly cut a timber to size in the forest.
Striations in this timber from the
Belle reveal the signature cut of a pit saw.
Contemporary drawing of workers slicing a timber using a pit saw.
Normally the bottom worker would stand in a hole in the ground over which the
timber was laid, hence the name "pit saw."
Photos: (1) courtesy of the Texas Historical Commission; (2) Musee De La Marine, Paris.