This Leonardo's study dates from his first years in Florence and refers to the study of a type of automatic saw used in that period. Besides the drawings of hydraulic saws by contemporary engineers like Francesco di Giorgio Martini, a remarkable one among the previously documented examples is that drawn by French medieval architect Villard De Honnecourt in his notebook two centuries earlier. Leonardo' study is thus to be inserted into an age-old tradition of working machines, contributing by documenting and enriching it, rather than being an original invention.
The saw was actuated by hydraulic energy, which is transformed through a complex system of gears and mechanical elements to produce the vertical movement of the saw at the same time as the synchronized advancement of the cart on which the tree trunk to be cut is placed. This is effected by means of a connecting rod and crank system and a hook engaging a toothed wheel, which moves the cart with the trunk as an entire unit by means of cords and pulleys. The advancement of the unit is synchronized with the cutting of the saw. The connecting rod and crank system is an essential element for the mechanical transformation of rotating motion into alternating rectilinear movement.
Length: 207 mm Width: 128 mm Height: 152 mm Parts: 78