<strong>Sawyer</strong>, <em>Book of Trades<em/>, 1807.
Sawyer, Book of Trades, 1807.

The sawyers supplied Abram, an enslaved carpenter, with wooden planks.  Abram planed the planks, pulling a block-like tool with a thin blade along the wood to make the wood flat and smooth.  He worked longer on some planks than others, depending on whether the wood was intended to be used for flooring, joists, or furniture.  After “roughing out” the timber, Abram stacked the boards in the shop to let them dry.  To allow air to flow between the boards, he placed spacers between them.  He probably lit a small fire on the floor of the carpenter’s shop to help dry the planks.