Amgueddfa Cymru - National Museum Wales

The Sawing Sheds

There was woodwork every where, we needed doors, windows, and lots of things… there was plenty of work for carpenters.

The three sawing sheds at Gilfach Ddu held all kinds of specialist saws for different jobs of work, and like the carpenters' sheds are a clue to the great importance of wood in the workshops.

Firstly there was a large circular saw, used to cut lengthways through the great tree trunks brought here from Y Faenol estate. In the Vertical Saw Shed you can see a saw which is actually made up, properly speaking, of many parallel blades. This was used of course to saw the wood into planks, but it also produced the foundation timbers for the incline rails, beams for buildings, the mallets used by the quarrymen when splitting slate, and legs for the tripod cranes which hoisted the slate blocks in the quarry.

The Sleeper Saw Shed contains two special saws; probably both were made in Gilfach Ddu. One was used to cut slots in the hardwood sleepers that supported the 61cm gauge tracks on the galleries, and the other was used to saw the wedges used to keep the railings tightly together.

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