Saw marks
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.



Sawmarks Striations in this timber from the Belle reveal the signature cut of a pit saw.


Ship construction 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.