article - How to Make a Civil War Pipe Kit
- For Authentic Hard Core and Mainstream Civil War Reenactors,
How to Make a Pipe Kit for Your Civil War Haversack
by Paula & Coach McCoach
Every reenactor wants to have authentic articles in their
haversack. But as the old saying goes, "To do anything right, you
have to do it yourself."
Making a Pipe Kit for your haversack is not only authentic, it
is useful. You can make your pipe kit and smoke it too! And, it is
A pipe is one of the first materials you will need. No, you are
not going to make the pipe. But, following are some places where you
can look to purchase a quality pipe at a bargain price. Check ebay
on the web under Collectibles and Military items.
Sometimes there are nice pipes listed under Civil War
reproductions on ebay that are Guaranteed Briar and have never been
smoked. A good price for one would be anywhere from $9 - $20.
Another place to look for a nice pipe is in antique stores. In some
antique stores, pipes can be found for as little as under $5. Keep
looking. Check original photos for the right look.
To make the pipe kit, all you need are articles from around the
house: a brown paper bag or brown wrapping paper, some wire, the
width of the wire should be what will fit inside your pipe stem, so
you can clean it of old tobacco residue after each smoke, and small
branch from a tree that has a base as large as your pipe bowl.
If you want to make an authentic carrying bag for your pipe
kit, you will need some homespun cotton material and some string.
Keep the hanger around to pull the string through the bag.
During Civil War times, tobacco would be bought and sold
wrapped in something like brown paper. The paper can be waxed.
Measure and cut the brown paper to any size to make a square pouch. A
useable size is 12" by 12" for a perfect square. Fill with about 2
tablespoons of tobacco and fold into a packet. Stamp "Richmond Depot
1861" on it or some other Civil War manufacturer and the date of the
battle you are reenacting to make it more authentic.
For your pipe tamper, smooth the branch down with sand paper to
remove any debris that might get into your pipe. Hone it down and
make any type of smooth surface you want. Try it out in your pipe.
Measure and cut the wire to about 10" or so. Twist the end into
a small handle by wrapping around a dowel, so you can grasp it to
clean out your pipe.
Making a homespun cotton bag is simple. Fold, cut and measure
the material, so that it is about 3-4" wider than the pipe and about
2-3" longer. Fold inside out and sew edges. Sew a fold around the
top and use the remainder of your hanger to pull a regular piece of
string through to have a way to close the bag. Stencil "Tobacco" or
some other Victorian saying on it to make it more authentic looking.
For an additional detail, look for a camp hat which in modern
times we call smoking hats. Camp hats were made of soft material and
fit comfortably on their heads when they were in camp. Sometimes
they had a tassel or fancy decorative item on them.
For more information on making items for your Civil War haversack,
send an email to pipekit@...
Coach McCoach has been creating patterns and making Civil War
haversack items for 25 years. His Civil War uniform designs have been
seen in the movies GETTYSBURG, Antietam Visitors Center, ANDERSONVILLE
Coach's famous Civil War cookbook HARDTACK, CORNBREAD AND CHILI
contains recipes for reenactments as well in your own home kitchen.
For more information, contact coach@....
2003 permission granted to reprint this article in print or on your
website so long as the paragraph above is included and the contact
information is included to coach@....