Smaller provincial firms worked in similar materials
to the larger city firms but produced interpretations
of the many directories being produced at the
time, with a greater use of native timbers and
a lesser use of allied materials, such as gilding
and bronze work. Their furniture began to achieve
a regional style of its own. However, the tools
used for both makers were in most cases very similar.
They were beautiful works of art in their own
right and gave a great sense of pride to their
owners. However, some tasks were not so sought
The sawyer's mate had the unfortunate
job of standing within a pit beneath a newly felled
tree and together with his master, produced planks
for use by the cabinet makers and allied trades.
Just imagine the working conditions in this aspect
of the trade. The master, who stood on top of
the log, was called the Top Dog and his apprentice
stood beneath and was called the Under Dog. Both
sawing away, pushing and pulling an enormous saw
which spewed sawdust and bark all over the breathless
Under Dog's sweaty, sticky face and neck. A thankless
profession but always in demand.