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tombear
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Joined: 21 Jan 2011
Posts: 18
Location: Rossendale Valley Lancashire
Real Name: Tom Ready

PostPosted: Tue Jan 25, 2011 6:59 am    Post subject: New member Reply with quote

Hi folks
I've been a long time lurker and since I hope to actually start some trekking in the spring thought I'd introduce myself.

Over the last year or so I have developed a interest in the material culture of the 18th century, especially with regards to the colonial frontiers. To this end I started doing some research, a little buying of kit and a some period making. One month I beacame interested in rushlights which led to making mutton tallow and then on to sulphur matches, all of which I have put tutorials up on a UK bushcraft site which seamed the most relevant place at the time.

I then started sewing which has proved addictive. I started off with the normal thing, a blanket shirt then onto a heavy wool caped hunting shirt that made me look like a one of santas pixies on steroids and which has proven too warm to ware except for standing around. I then optained some decent flax linen and made a pull over smock.



Then a couple of flax shirts, the second of which came out pretty good.




Breeches followed, to which I had to add some conjectual braces, as they had a tendency to fall as I am way too fat.



In the mean time I had collected some gear together and made other stuff myself, a linen lined leather snapsack, salt horn etc.



Most of the bought stuff I have had to get from the US with the help of friends over there. To that lot can now be added a brass kettle from Crazy Crow and a Monmouth cap the wife has humoured me by making.

I've just finished some short spatterdashes



To disguise the hobnailed ammunition boots which I intend to use until I can afford some correct footwear and whcih I have since treated with a a beeswax and tallow waterproofing goo I made.

The one advantages of being over here is that Witney Blankets are freely available from charity shops for a few pounds a pop. Unfortunately they tend to be coloured but white ones do turn up. Also we have some great museums to study original 18th C clothes and kit. Outside of some reenactment groups i have not seen much evidence for period trekking over here yet.

When I can I hope to get my kit more authentic and once I can find somewhere nice and quiet hope to practice my 18th century outdoors skills somewhere a bit more interesting than the back garden!

All the best

Tom
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 25, 2011 1:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

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tombear
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Joined: 21 Jan 2011
Posts: 18
Location: Rossendale Valley Lancashire
Real Name: Tom Ready

PostPosted: Mon Jan 31, 2011 6:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the welcome Flatlandscout!

I've just finished the sailcloth shelter sheet by sewing 10 grommets on the edges and giving it a final boil wash and dry to shrink it as much as it will go. From its weight and size, nearly 3 lb and 99 inches by 85 the fabric is about 7oz a square yard which i hope will be heavy enough to keep some of the wet off.

I'm now thinking about a blanket to roll inside it and from the charity shop jobs I have aquired the most likely candidate is the slightly used one of a pair of off white 84" by 76" blankets I picked up for a couple of quid each. They weigh 4 lb each and the labels, which look to be pre war, say ""Beano" Manchester All Wool Guaranteed pure finish". Theres natural salvage on two sides and the others are machine blanket stitched in the same colour as the body.

I am vaguely aiming at a ex military persona, early to mid 18th C who has taken his discharge in the colonies so may have a mix of civilian and ex military gear. So how best to alter the blanket, if it's at all suitable, into something more early 18th C ish? the label and machine blanket stitch will have to go but what else can I do?

ATB

Tom
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 31, 2011 1:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

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tombear
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Joined: 21 Jan 2011
Posts: 18
Location: Rossendale Valley Lancashire
Real Name: Tom Ready

PostPosted: Mon Jan 31, 2011 2:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cheers! It occurs to me I need to make a strap for carrying the blanket roll. Most of the rest of my kit will be going in a snapsack



based on the one on page 67 of Pierre Turners lovely "Soldiers Accoutrements of the British Army 1750-1900". I had enough mid weight flax to make the lining and boot pocket



I wish I could have run to some hairy hide but they want silly money for it over here. Luckily theres a old fashioned tripe shop in a nearby town and they sell recycled pint pop bottles full of raw neats foot oil which I used to waterproof it. It took the best part of a fortnight to dry but it was worth it.

From the off cuts I made a belt pouch/hawk carrier



this shows the change in colour from before using the raw neatsfoot oil



As part of my collecting together of kit I do need to make a second pair of draws, the first pair from the Reconstructing History pattern, from linen. The first pair I made from a lenght of cotton callico bought at the Queens Street Mill museum in Burnley just up the road where they produce lenghts when demonstrting the weaving machinery. I appeciate its realy a 19th c material but cailico was coming out of India by the 18th

They are a bit draughty to say the least!



ATB

Tom
For some reason the pictures are not opening despite my doing them in the dead same way as before, baffling! I will try and rectify it... Now cured...

Also finished the shelter sheet made from 7oz cotton canvas, ex a apir of charity shop curtains



They weigh in at 2 lb 13 oz

more pics to follow now they are working.
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tombear
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Joined: 21 Jan 2011
Posts: 18
Location: Rossendale Valley Lancashire
Real Name: Tom Ready

PostPosted: Thu Feb 03, 2011 6:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi All
As you can see by the previous post I now have got the photo thingy to work.

I'm curently searching over here for a suitably huge fur felt hat blank (about 62 NATO) to make myself a hat. In the mean time since I had a 50p charity shop wedding wool felt hat to play with I decided to make a practice job.

After gutting it and ironing it flat with spray starch



the crown was still way to high so I was forced to make a crown top to it rather than have a dome top.

On the next one I will make a drawstring linen liner as the rubish bit of scrap leather I used didn't work very well



Not having any worsted wool for the trim I used a old legal document strap.



I'll be getting the proper materials and shellac to do the proper job and as soon as I have this thing will be relagated to the kids dressing up box but overall it was worth doing as practice, and I've seen worse in films



On the making things front while we were down doing the museums in Portsmouth I was inspired to make some biscuit for the kids to blunt their teeth on. To this end i knocked up this cutter



which worked well enough after I gently rubbed it on a belt sander so all the pins (nails with heads cut off) and edges were level.



The ones I saved (admittedly in a zip lock bag) are 5 months old now and haven't degraded. I have some round ones made at least 13 years ago that also look about the same as the day after they were made but another batch I made inbetween barely lasted a month before they crumbled.

Finally for anyone who has fancied trying rushdips or the resinous wood splints that the Scots used insted but was put off by the lack of metal working skills to make the nips a while back I obtained a copy of "The Rushlight and related holders" by Rober Ashleyand bodged a copy of one of the extremely rare but probably once extremely common)rushlight holders



this one was cobled together from a off cut but soon i will whittle one from a bit of oak like the original. Very easy to make, the only fiddly bit was the tapering peg it pivots on and the corresponding hole in the moving arm. shorter lenghts of dip are no way as fragile as they look and easily carried inside anysort of tube, even rolled up paper.

ATB

Tom
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