Turning away, Henry held the saw up to the light, eyed the countertop on his left, then with a flash of his arm whacked the plate over the hard corner edge.
Worry-always an unexpected gut punch.
His eyes widened and he hitched in a breath.
My name is Henry Disston." "I don't give a good discount citroen parts goddam what the hell your name is, boy-.".Young Henry shook his head, inhaling deeply.Henry waved at the lad outside to cart in his wheelbarrow, in which Henry had crafted a beautiful saw till the week before, each plate of the dozen handsaws nestled in kerfs cut perfectly square into quartersawn and ammonia-fumed white oak, finished in garnet shellac.Not a half hour later, Old Billy wound up buying the entire lot that day from young Henry Disston.Henry allowed himself a tight grin.If you please, Sir.Then he would mill the fasteners, cut the handle to rough form and rasp an elegant contour to the final shape, lacquer them, then bolt the handle onto a finished saw.The basic materials were the easiest to source: Because LJ W was too poor of a business to pay him in wages due, they had been more than generous with quartersawn beech and apple, the brass rod hed need for milling fasteners, mild steel for.You here to look at another saw?The old man barked in a nasal, Yankee accent Henry found pushy, abrupt.Old Billy stopped swearing in mid-sentence, and arched an eyebrow at the saw till and a dozen gleaming, apple-handled handsaws.
Henry popped back smartly, remembering his old Eaton schoolmaster.
He willed the momentary self-doubt away, knowing perfectly damned well what he had made, and what his saws were worth.
Arriving at his spare lodgings, Henry dumped the coal onto a tarp next to the clay furnace hed built the week before, swept back a shock of thick brown hair, and considered the week ahead of him, replete with the kind of tasks that sent.The hours Henry spent in his backyard saw manufactory quickly blurred into days, days into a week, then another, and another.The ringing sound of poorly tempered metal snapped in the air like a crack in the Liberty Bell, and the toe half of the plate clattered onto the floor.That alone was the real trick many sawmakers never figured out-how to change imperfect metal into something that outperformed other saws: first came the heat treat in the oven, followed by a rapid quench at just the right moment.An eight-point crosscut should fit the bill quite nicely.".British by birth and American citizen by destiny, seven years previously, a 14-year-old Henry DIsston stared in horror as his father.
Henry flexed the saw, finding the tension where he knew it had a loose spot in the plate from his earlier visit a week before.
What in Gods name did you just do!
He had something else in mind altogether to set that old codger straight.