Friday, March 18, 2016

Miniature Pencil-Shaped Plumb Bob with Brass Winder

Sometime after the discovery of graphite in the 16th century, an early version of the pencil was produced in Italy by hollowing out a stick of wood to insert a graphite stick. Sound familiar? The essence of the pencil has not changed very much. It's utilitarian nature and sleek design inspired us to create a miniature brass version that is also a working plumb bob. 

This hand-crafted pencil shaped brass plumb bob is the smallest of our designs to date. It measures just 1/2" from cap to tip. It has a steel tip and a brass winder. We have one in our Etsy shop and can make more on commission. ‪ 

Tiny Pencil Shaped Brass Plumb Bob with Steel Tip and Brass Winder

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Mining Plummets

To meet the challenge of bringing enough working light into a mine, an underground surveyor of yore made use of a mining plummet: a hollowed out plumb bob filled with lamp oil and a wick. While the work was dangerous, the ingenious design produced a fascinating tool.

From my machinist perspective I've spent time studying the mining plummet and recreated this piece in miniature in my workshop. This is a working plumb bob and comes with a wick - though it is designed to be a collector's item. 

It measures just over 2” from cap to tip and weighs in at 2 ounces including the hanging chain.

The body is approx ¾” diameter and the gimble ring is 1” in diameter.

It is now for sale in my ETSY STORE

For more information about mining plummets and their German and American variations, we refer you to the excellent online newsletter, Wolf's Plumb Bob News. Edited by Wolfgang Ruecker, it is dedicated to all things plumb bob. This link will take you to Issue No. 03 that focuses on Mining Plummets.   

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

June Sale!

Throughout the month of June we are having a sale on all items in our Etsy shop
10% off the price of all plumb bobs. 
You must use the code to receive the discount.

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Museum Mondays

As we explore the world of the plumb bob we're not surprised to find them in the collection of museums across the country and across the globe. From ancient artifacts to contemporary art the plumb bob has served as a practical tool and an object of inspiration. It has been used as a divining rod, as a symbol for the Free Masons, and as an aid for artists and sculptors. George Washington used one during his time as a surveyor. 

Starting tomorrow on Facebook we will feature a plumb bob in the collection of a museum or art gallery every Monday. If you see an item you think we should feature, pass it along. 

For those reading the blog, we provide you with a preview of our first Museum Monday entry: an ancient Egyptian plumb bob in the collection the Fitzwilliam Museum, the museum of the University of Cambridge, in Cambridge, England. It is described in their online collection database as a "Basalt Ceremonial Plumb Bob" from ancient times. Learn more about it on the museum's website.

Collection of The Fitzwilliam Museum, University of Cambridge, UK
Title: Basalt ceremonial plumb-bob
Category:measuring/weighing equipment
Name: plumb-bob
Date: circa 332 B.C. circa 30 B.C.
Period: Ptolemaic period
Description: plummet
Place (legacy): Egypt, production, country
Find Spot: Egypt
Technique: carved
Material: basalt
Dimension: height, 15.5, cm
Acquisition: bequeathed; 1949; Gayer-Anderson, R. G. (Major)
Alternative Number(s): GayerAnderson; IX.60
Accession: Object Number: E.GA.287.1949
(Antiquities) (record id: 61985; input: 2003-03-25; modified: 2015-04-02)

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Why is it Called a Plumb Bob?

Some of you may ask, from where does the word plumb derive? Well, as I was reminded by my cousin over the past weekend, Pb (an abbreviation of the Latin, plumbum) is the symbol for lead. As lead weights were used from an early date to establish a vertical, the tool used to do so were eventually known in English as plumb bobs, plumb lines, or plummets. (Plumbing also derives from this element in connection with lead pipes).

While contemporary times provide us with a multitude of ways to establish a vertical, the plumb bob remains a tried and true reliable tool. Our miniature brass plumb bobs, available on Etsy, provide you with a true vertical without the need to carry around a bob of lead!

Friday, May 1, 2015

Youtube Sampler

Our latest video with a sampler of Plumb Bobs hand crafted by artisan David Hale' for Quality in Vermont.
Quality work from the Green Mountain State.