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Culture

19 – The Forest in Nivernais – Squared timber

13 December 2018

The nineteenth postcard of the series “The Forest in Nivernais” depicts a man squaring timber with an axe in the forest of Bertranges.

The nineteenth postcard of the series “The Forest in Nivernais” depicts a man squaring timber with an axe in the forest of Bertranges. The logger is standing on the log lying on the ground. This mode of working suggests that the logger is squaring timber for pitsawyers. 

Squaring timber consists of converting a log into a squared piece of wood with a minimum size side of 15 cm. The logger peels bark and sapwood from the log and carves it in the heartwood. Squared timber is mostly used by carpenters.

Achille Millien complements the postcard with verses of poetry about this toil whose practice has almost disappeared: “L’équarrisseur debout sur sa pièce fend l’air / De son grand geste et sa cognée au tranchant clair / S’abat et mord le chêne en dardant un éclair.”

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