Vail Cutter

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Project by posted 10-25-2011 07:12 PM 2064 views 0 times favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I was commissioned to give this antique one horse cutter a new life. The owner discovered it’s skeletal remains in a swamp on his 750 acre country retreat. I beleive it to be closely related to the Portland cutter sleigh, though I did not find any model that shared all of it’s components exactly. This sleigh was probably built in Granby Quebec in between 1860 and 1900 but there is no true confirmation of it’s origins yet. It is beleived that the last horse pulling the sleigh sunk in a marsh hole and the sleigh was left there for some unknown reason. Notice the tree that grew up through a part of one ski brace, a very good indicator of the minimum number of years that the sleigh layed still.

When I was asked to do this project it sounded as if it was a sleigh that needed some repairs. I was quick to say no problem. I was quite surprised to see the pile of twisted metal and well aged wood pieces when they arrived. The owner requested I use as little new wood as possible and assemble everything in a way that it gives the viewer only an idea of what used to be. It is now an artistic private museum piece that holds with in it many untold stories. Thank-you for the opportunity Mr.Favretto.

-- "Safe woodworking isn't just about avoiding injury, it is also about avoiding extinction." CKG

8 comments so far

View ElmoSr's profile


241 posts in 2992 days

#1 posted 10-25-2011 07:43 PM

what about a finished picture?

-- ElmoSr,Ga. Life is Hard by the Yard,,,But a Cinch by the Inch

View mcoyfrog's profile


4145 posts in 3560 days

#2 posted 10-25-2011 09:17 PM

Can’t wait to see finished pics, looks like quite the challenge

-- Wood and Glass they kick (well you know) Have a great day - Dug

View Timothy's profile


60 posts in 3806 days

#3 posted 10-25-2011 10:48 PM

I think those are the finished pictures. It is assembled in the first couple of pictures and a pile of scrap in the last few. “Use as little new wood as possible.”

View B13's profile


463 posts in 2659 days

#4 posted 10-26-2011 02:49 AM

Great storie. great job from start to finish. thanks! for sharing.

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10880 posts in 3081 days

#5 posted 10-26-2011 07:30 AM


thankĀ“s for sharing


View vipond33's profile


1405 posts in 2463 days

#6 posted 10-26-2011 11:58 AM

I wouldn’t know where to start with these pieces. You’ve done a fine job of bringing it back to life and making it simply evocative of times gone by. Maybe it’s the time of year, but given the story it seems a little spooky to look at too. Nice photography.

-- gene@toronto.ontario.canada : dovetail free since '53, critiques always welcome.

View's profile

262 posts in 3375 days

#7 posted 10-26-2011 03:22 PM

It does have a little spookiness vibe to it. Yes there are before and after pictures. Thanks for making that clear Timothy. Thanks for the comments. The finished look is not for everybody but I personally love it. It is an antique with history and left as natural as possible. The owner mentioned to me before I started that if he wanted a traditional looking sleigh as a decoration he would go buy one. This is a piece of art on display in his country house born from the land and history of the Eastern Townships.

-- "Safe woodworking isn't just about avoiding injury, it is also about avoiding extinction." CKG

View mcoyfrog's profile


4145 posts in 3560 days

#8 posted 10-26-2011 07:05 PM

AHHH now I see it, very cool and of course it will be a great conversation piece for them also, what great history

-- Wood and Glass they kick (well you know) Have a great day - Dug

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