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CARPENTRAS, a town of south-eastern France, capital of an arrondissement in the department of Vaucluse 16 m. N.E. of Avignon by rail. Pop. (1906) town, 7775; commune, 10,721. The town stands on the left bank of the Auzon on an eminence, the summit of which is occupied by the church of St Siffrein, formerly a cathedral, and the adjoining law-court. St Siffrein, in its existing state, dates from the 15th and 16th centuries and is Gothic in style, but it preserves remains of a previous church of Romanesque architecture. The rich sculpture of the southern portal and the relics and works of art in the interior are of some interest. The law-court, built in 1640 as the bishop’s palace, contains in its courtyard a small but well-preserved triumphal arch of the Gallo-Roman period. Other important buildings are the hospital, an imposing structure of the 18th century, opposite which is a statue of its founder, Malachie d’Inguimbert, bishop of Carpentras; and the former palace of the papal legate, which dates from 1640. Of the old fortifications the only survival is the Porte d’Orange, a gateway surmounted by a fine machicolated tower. Their site is now occupied by wide boulevards shaded by plane-trees. Water is brought to the town by an aqueduct of forty-eight arches, completed in 1734.

Carpentras is the seat of a sub-prefect and of a court of assizes, and has a tribunal of first instance, communal college for girls and boys, a large library and a museum. Felt hats, confectionery, preserved fruits and nails are its industrial products, and there are silk-works, tanneries and dye-works. There is trade in silk, wool, fruit, oil, &c. The irrigation-canal named after the town flows to the east of it (see Vaucluse).

Carpentras is identified with Carpentoracte, a town of Gallia Narbonensis mentioned by Pliny, which appears to have been of some importance during the Roman period. Its medieval history is full of vicissitudes; it was captured and plundered by Vandal, Lombard and Saracen. In later times, as capital of the Comtat Venaissin, it was frequently the residence of the popes of Avignon, to whom that province belonged from 1228 till the Revolution. Carpentras was the seat of a bishopric from the 5th century till 1805.

CARPENTRY, the art and work of a carpenter (from Lat. carpentum, a carriage), a workman in wood, especially for building purposes. The labour of the sawyer is applied to the division of large pieces of timber or logs into forms and sizes to suit the purposes of the carpenter and joiner. His working-place is called a sawpit, and his most important tool is a pit-saw. A cross-cut saw, axes, dogs, files, compasses, lines, lampblack, blacklead, chalk and a rule may also be regarded as necessary to him. But this method of sawing timber is now only used in remote country places, and in modern practice logs, &c., are converted into planks and small pieces at saw-mills, which are equipped with modern machinery to drive all kinds of circular saws by electricity, steam or gas.

Carpentry or carpenters’ work has been divided into three principal branches—descriptive, constructive and mechanical. The first shows the lines or method for forming every species of work by the rules of geometry; the second comprises the practice of reducing the timber into particular forms, and joining the forms so produced in such a way as to make a complete whole according to the intention or design; and the third displays the relative strength of the timbers and the strains to which they are subjected by their disposition. Here we have merely to describe the practical details of the carpenter’s work in the operations of building. He is distinguished from the joiner by his operations being directed to the mere carcass of a building, to things which have reference to structure only. Almost everything the carpenter does to a building is absolutely necessary to its stability and efficiency, whereas the joiner does not begin his operations until the carcass is complete, and every article of joiners’ work might at any time be removed from a building without undermining it or affecting its most important qualities. Certainly in the practice of building a few things do occur regarding which it is difficult to determine to whose immediate province they belong, but the distinction is sufficiently broad for general purposes.

The carpenter frames or combines separate pieces of timber by scarfing, notching, cogging, tenoning, pinning and wedging, &c. The tools he uses are the rule, axe, adze, saws, mallet, hammers, chisels, gouges, augers, pincers, set squares, bevel, compasses, gauges, level, plumb rule, jack, trying and smoothing planes, rebate and moulding planes, and gimlets and wedges. The carpenter has little labour to put on to the stuff; his chief work consists in fixing and cutting the ends of timbers, the labour in preparing the timber being done by machinery.

EB1911 Carpentry - Fig. 1 - Lapped Joint.jpg

Fig. 1.—Lapped Joint.

EB1911 Carpentry - Fig. 2 - Fished Joint.jpg

Fig. 2.—Fished Joint.

EB1911 Carpentry - Figs. 3, 4 and 5 - Scarf Joints.jpg

Figs. 3, 4 and 5.—Scarf Joints.

Joints.—The joints in carpentry are various, and each is designed according to the thrust or strain put upon it. Those principally used are the following: lap, fished, scarf, notching, cogging, dovetailing, housing, halving, mortice and tenon, stub