Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

Re: [medieval-leather] Re: Jason Townshend brewers' pitch

Expand Messages
  • Alasdair Muckart
    ... Where do you get it from? Speaking of the honey-colored pitch, the last time I saw a sample of the Jas Townshend stuff it was indistinguishable from pine
    Message 1 of 26 , Jun 24, 2007
    • 0 Attachment
      On Mon, 25 Jun 2007, legviiii wrote:
      > Hi Alasdair,
      >
      > I buy the honey coloured pitch a couple of pounds at a time for James
      > Townsend in the USA, and import the black in 10kg lots from the UK.
      >
      > Postage from the UK is extortionate, costing slightly more than the
      > pitch, 10kg worked out as the most cost-effective amount at the time.
      > US postage is negligible, but I do pad out to whatever the weight
      > point is with horn spoons, combs and wood ware.

      Where do you get it from?

      Speaking of the honey-colored pitch, the last time I saw a sample of the Jas
      Townshend stuff it was indistinguishable from pine rosin, which can be found
      for a fraction of the cost through goods & chattels in Brisbane.

      > I'll do a write up of the frame once I've finished this jack.

      I look forward to it.

      Thanks.
      --
      Al.
      http://where.else.net.nz
      http://wherearetheelves.blogspot.com
      Don't anthropomorphize computers. They don't like it.
    • Jarl Alfar
      Hi You said you get the black pitch from the UK, who is your supplier? Alfar _____ From: medieval-leather@yahoogroups.com
      Message 2 of 26 , Jun 25, 2007
      • 0 Attachment
        Hi



        You said you get the black pitch from the UK, who is your supplier?



        Alfar



        _____

        From: medieval-leather@yahoogroups.com
        [mailto:medieval-leather@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of legviiii
        Sent: Monday, 25 June 2007 2:39 PM
        To: medieval-leather@yahoogroups.com
        Subject: [medieval-leather] Re: Jason Townshend brewers' pitch



        Hi Alasdair,

        I buy the honey coloured pitch a couple of pounds at a time for James
        Townsend in the USA, and import the black in 10kg lots from the UK.

        Postage from the UK is extortionate, costing slightly more than the
        pitch, 10kg worked out as the most cost-effective amount at the time.
        US postage is negligible, but I do pad out to whatever the weight
        point is with horn spoons, combs and wood ware.

        I'll do a write up of the frame once I've finished this jack.

        Wayne

        --- In medieval-leather@ <mailto:medieval-leather%40yahoogroups.com>
        yahoogroups.com, Alasdair Muckart
        <silver@...> wrote:
        >
        > Sweet. Where'd you find pitch in this hemisphere? I've been looking
        for it and
        > haven't been able to find honest to go pine pitch in anything less
        than
        > industrial quantities.
        >





        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • legviiii
        ... I got it from a contact who put in a bulk order, I think it was with Traditional Materials, their site appears to be down at the moment.
        Message 3 of 26 , Jun 25, 2007
        • 0 Attachment
          --- In medieval-leather@yahoogroups.com, "Jarl Alfar" <alfar@...> wrote:
          >
          > Hi
          >
          >
          >
          > You said you get the black pitch from the UK, who is your supplier?
          >
          >
          >
          > Alfar
          >


          I got it from a contact who put in a bulk order, I think it was with
          Traditional Materials, their site appears to be down at the moment.

          http://www.traditionalmaterials.co.uk/html/substances.php

          Wayne
        • legviiii
          ... I ve just uploaded a dozen photos of the frame and other things I ve done to the photos area in an album called Leather Vessels .
          Message 4 of 26 , Jun 25, 2007
          • 0 Attachment
            --- In medieval-leather@yahoogroups.com, "legviiii" <legviiii@...>
            wrote:
            >
            >
            >...

            >
            > I'll do a write up of the frame once I've finished this jack.
            >

            I've just uploaded a dozen photos of the frame and other things I've
            done to the photos area in an album called "Leather Vessels".
            http://ph.groups.yahoo.com/group/medieval-leather/photos/browse/3ab6?
            c=

            That should give you something to get by on until I've finished. ;-)


            Wayne
          • Alasdair Muckart
            ... Nice, thanks for posting those. That s an approach to forming the things that hasn t occurred to me. Did you base those methods on particular sources or is
            Message 5 of 26 , Jun 25, 2007
            • 0 Attachment
              On Tue, 26 Jun 2007, legviiii wrote:
              > > I'll do a write up of the frame once I've finished this jack.
              >
              > I've just uploaded a dozen photos of the frame and other things I've
              > done to the photos area in an album called "Leather Vessels".
              > http://ph.groups.yahoo.com/group/medieval-leather/photos/browse/3ab6?
              > c=
              >
              > That should give you something to get by on until I've finished. ;-)

              Nice, thanks for posting those. That's an approach to forming the things that
              hasn't occurred to me. Did you base those methods on particular sources or is
              it a technique you developed on your own?

              I keep getting distracted by other projects but I've been planning on making
              some costrels and I'd just been planning to sand pack and force dry them.
              That seems to give quite a nice shape.

              --
              Al.
              http://where.else.net.nz
              http://wherearetheelves.blogspot.com
              Don't anthropomorphize computers. They don't like it.
            • legviiii
              Thatdesign s all my own work but based on 10 years of looking at photos of originals and other people s reconstructions. I was looking for a reliable, fast way
              Message 6 of 26 , Jun 25, 2007
              • 0 Attachment
                Thatdesign's all my own work but based on 10 years of looking at photos
                of originals and other people's reconstructions. I was looking for a
                reliable, fast way to make the neck and the shoulders without
                distorting the ends like sand moulding always seems to.
                I'm not entirely happy with the shape, there always seems to be a bulge
                in the body just below the neck, so I need to curve that surface on the
                iside part of the mould as well.

                When I make costrels, I do the top and one end seam, seal them by
                painting with molten pitch, then do the other end. That way I only have
                one end to really have to be careful with sealing. Once I've sealed the
                whole thing, I sew in the neck gasket and sit it in the oven at 60
                degrees for an hour or two to let the pinholes I get in the pitch come
                out.

                Wayne

                --- In medieval-leather@yahoogroups.com, Alasdair Muckart <silver@...>
                wrote:
                >

                >
                > Nice, thanks for posting those. That's an approach to forming the
                things that
                > hasn't occurred to me. Did you base those methods on particular
                sources or is
                > it a technique you developed on your own?
                >
                > I keep getting distracted by other projects but I've been planning on
                making
                > some costrels and I'd just been planning to sand pack and force dry
                them.
                > That seems to give quite a nice shape.
                >
              • Alasdair Muckart
                ... Interesting. Do the originals you have looked at not exhibit the bulging on the ends? I d always assumed it was inherent in the way they were made. I will
                Message 7 of 26 , Jun 25, 2007
                • 0 Attachment
                  On Tue, 26 Jun 2007, legviiii wrote:
                  > Thatdesign's all my own work but based on 10 years of looking at photos
                  > of originals and other people's reconstructions. I was looking for a
                  > reliable, fast way to make the neck and the shoulders without
                  > distorting the ends like sand moulding always seems to.

                  Interesting. Do the originals you have looked at not exhibit the bulging on
                  the ends? I'd always assumed it was inherent in the way they were made.

                  I will say in the defence of sand packing it sounds simpler than the method
                  you describe, though the way you do it certainly gets nice clean raised
                  decoration.

                  > I'm not entirely happy with the shape, there always seems to be a bulge
                  > in the body just below the neck, so I need to curve that surface on the
                  > iside part of the mould as well.

                  That quite organic smooth shape is the other reason I'd always figured they
                  were fully closed up then sand packed.

                  Cheers.
                  --
                  Al.
                  http://where.else.net.nz
                  http://wherearetheelves.blogspot.com
                  Don't anthropomorphize computers. They don't like it.
                • legviiii
                  ... bulging on ... made. ... The problem is that they seem to mostly be found flat and its hard to tell what s original and what s repairs done during
                  Message 8 of 26 , Jun 25, 2007
                  • 0 Attachment
                    --- In medieval-leather@yahoogroups.com, Alasdair Muckart
                    <silver@...> wrote:
                    >
                    > On Tue, 26 Jun 2007, legviiii wrote:
                    >
                    > Interesting. Do the originals you have looked at not exhibit the
                    bulging on
                    > the ends? I'd always assumed it was inherent in the way they were
                    made.
                    >

                    The problem is that they seem to mostly be found flat and its hard to
                    tell what's original and what's repairs done during restoration. The
                    one the black example is copied from is in the Mary Rose museum. It
                    and the others on display there looked flat at the ends, both in life
                    and in photographs. There's a similar sized one in the Museum of
                    London that looks like one end is bulging and the other flat, problem
                    is the bulging end is bulging at the edges rather than in the middle,
                    so may be damage rather than shaping. The museum placard claims that
                    one was made on a wooden former. There's a leather inkwell in the
                    same display that is dead flat on the base.

                    My brown one with the fleur-de-lys is copied from one in Baker, the
                    ends looked flat to me, but more importantly, there are similar marks
                    on the original to the line down the right side of mine from the
                    wooden stamp block.

                    Having defended blocking, there's a very small one with no decoration
                    in the MoL that bulges severly at the ends, Waterer thought it had
                    been sand packed and thought the different techniques were used
                    depending on the size and complexity of the vessel.

                    Wayne
                  • legviiii
                    Just checked my references, John Waterer, in _Leather in Life, Art and Industry_, (Faber and Faber, London, 1946) shows Oliver Baker s collection of costrels,
                    Message 9 of 26 , Jun 25, 2007
                    • 0 Attachment
                      Just checked my references, John Waterer, in _Leather in Life, Art
                      and Industry_, (Faber and Faber, London, 1946) shows Oliver Baker's
                      collection of costrels, jacks and bottels in plate 8. They date from
                      the mid-15th c onwards and are in original condition. Every single
                      one is perfectly flat at the ends.

                      And it was Waterer on pp35-6 that ascribed magical qualities to fire
                      smoke "once made, jacks and bombards were hung in the smoke from the
                      fire to cure".

                      Wayne


                      --- In medieval-leather@yahoogroups.com, "legviiii" <legviiii@...>
                      wrote:
                      >
                      > --- In medieval-leather@yahoogroups.com, Alasdair Muckart
                      > <silver@> wrote:
                      > >
                      > > On Tue, 26 Jun 2007, legviiii wrote:
                      > >
                      > > Interesting. Do the originals you have looked at not exhibit the
                      > bulging on
                      > > the ends? I'd always assumed it was inherent in the way they were
                      > made.
                      > >
                      >
                      > The problem is that they seem to mostly be found flat and its hard
                      to
                      > tell what's original and what's repairs done during restoration.
                      The
                      > one the black example is copied from is in the Mary Rose museum. It
                      > and the others on display there looked flat at the ends, both in
                      life
                      > and in photographs. There's a similar sized one in the Museum of
                      > London that looks like one end is bulging and the other flat,
                      problem
                      > is the bulging end is bulging at the edges rather than in the
                      middle,
                      > so may be damage rather than shaping. The museum placard claims
                      that
                      > one was made on a wooden former. There's a leather inkwell in the
                      > same display that is dead flat on the base.
                      >
                      > My brown one with the fleur-de-lys is copied from one in Baker, the
                      > ends looked flat to me, but more importantly, there are similar
                      marks
                      > on the original to the line down the right side of mine from the
                      > wooden stamp block.
                      >
                      > Having defended blocking, there's a very small one with no
                      decoration
                      > in the MoL that bulges severly at the ends, Waterer thought it had
                      > been sand packed and thought the different techniques were used
                      > depending on the size and complexity of the vessel.
                      >
                      > Wayne
                      >
                    • Arthur Kathan
                      There are several pieces at the Royal Ontario Museum, bottles, bombards and tankards. All of them have flat ends or bottoms, none display the bulge of sand
                      Message 10 of 26 , Jun 27, 2007
                      • 0 Attachment
                        There are several pieces at the Royal Ontario Museum, bottles, bombards and tankards.
                        All of them have flat ends or bottoms, none display the bulge of sand stuffing. Some
                        combination of internal and external molding was the only method I could come up with
                        that would lead to the shapes that I saw. The piece that absolutely convinces me these
                        techniques were used is the "dagg" shaped bottle. There is a line drawing of a similar
                        piece in Baker. To get the internal shape and molded external surface detail, I believe,
                        had to require stretching over an internal mold and clamping inside an external mold,
                        drying, removing from the molds and then sewing shut.
                        --Corin

                        ----- Original Message -----
                        From: legviiii
                        To: medieval-leather@yahoogroups.com
                        Sent: Monday, June 25, 2007 11:51 PM
                        Subject: [medieval-leather] Re: Jason Townshend brewers' pitch


                        --- In medieval-leather@yahoogroups.com, Alasdair Muckart
                        <silver@...> wrote:
                        >
                        > On Tue, 26 Jun 2007, legviiii wrote:
                        >
                        > Interesting. Do the originals you have looked at not exhibit the
                        bulging on
                        > the ends? I'd always assumed it was inherent in the way they were
                        made.
                        >

                        The problem is that they seem to mostly be found flat and its hard to
                        tell what's original and what's repairs done during restoration. The
                        one the black example is copied from is in the Mary Rose museum. It
                        and the others on display there looked flat at the ends, both in life
                        and in photographs. There's a similar sized one in the Museum of
                        London that looks like one end is bulging and the other flat, problem
                        is the bulging end is bulging at the edges rather than in the middle,
                        so may be damage rather than shaping. The museum placard claims that
                        one was made on a wooden former. There's a leather inkwell in the
                        same display that is dead flat on the base.

                        My brown one with the fleur-de-lys is copied from one in Baker, the
                        ends looked flat to me, but more importantly, there are similar marks
                        on the original to the line down the right side of mine from the
                        wooden stamp block.

                        Having defended blocking, there's a very small one with no decoration
                        in the MoL that bulges severly at the ends, Waterer thought it had
                        been sand packed and thought the different techniques were used
                        depending on the size and complexity of the vessel.

                        Wayne





                        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                      • Alasdair Muckart
                        ... There is a series of pictures in the photos section of this group showing a bombard that displays the characteristically bulged bottom of sand stuffing. It
                        Message 11 of 26 , Jun 27, 2007
                        • 0 Attachment
                          On Thu, 28 Jun 2007, Arthur Kathan wrote:
                          > There are several pieces at the Royal Ontario Museum, bottles, bombards and
                          > tankards. All of them have flat ends or bottoms, none display the bulge of
                          > sand stuffing.  Some combination of internal and external molding was the
                          > only method I could come up with that would lead to the shapes that I saw.

                          There is a series of pictures in the photos section of this group showing a
                          bombard that displays the characteristically bulged bottom of sand stuffing.
                          It is possible, given the size of the vessel, that the bottom bulged under
                          the weight of the liquid it held, but I think that would do bad things to
                          it's watertightness.

                          --
                          Al.
                          http://where.else.net.nz
                          http://wherearetheelves.blogspot.com
                          Don't anthropomorphize computers. They don't like it.
                        • legviiii
                          ... showing a ... stuffing. ... bulged under ... things to ... I m fairly certain the jack from Jamestown in the Smithsonian collection is sand moulded, it
                          Message 12 of 26 , Jun 28, 2007
                          • 0 Attachment
                            --- In medieval-leather@yahoogroups.com, Alasdair Muckart
                            <silver@...> wrote:
                            >
                            > There is a series of pictures in the photos section of this group
                            showing a
                            > bombard that displays the characteristically bulged bottom of sand
                            stuffing.
                            > It is possible, given the size of the vessel, that the bottom
                            bulged under
                            > the weight of the liquid it held, but I think that would do bad
                            things to
                            > it's watertightness.
                            >

                            I'm fairly certain the jack from Jamestown in the Smithsonian
                            collection is sand moulded, it bulges unevenly and doesn't show the
                            clearly defined curves that the ones in the ROM and MoL have. The ROM
                            photos in the photo section of this list also show the pull/stretch
                            marks around the neck and a similar lean on the handle to mine and
                            the MoL example. I can't get that much even twisting around the
                            vessel when sand ramming, without seriously distorting the handle.

                            I took those photos of the Warwick Bombards, and was able to handle
                            them for a good 20 minutes. The sagging happened recently, there's
                            one photo of the inside that I didn't upload which shows the pitch in
                            the bottom and the base have separated - the shape of the pitch
                            indicates the base was flat when it was last waterproofed. I think
                            Baker mentions both these bombards were repaired in the 1880s or
                            similar so that could be a good 100 years of sagging before the
                            photos were taken in 2003. He also had a whinge about the storage
                            conditions they were in when he saw them in the early 20th century.

                            Apart from Baker's drawing of the jack formers, what convinced me
                            that wooden formers/lasts were used was the bottel with the lady's
                            face on one side and rounded, but slightly concave on the other. The
                            slightest pressure when wet would have distorted it.

                            I'll upload that other photo now.

                            Cheers,

                            Wayne
                          • Gregory G. Stapleton
                            I know it s been a while since I chimed in here, but I have to add my 2-cents worth on this topic, as it s one of my favorites. :) After researching molded
                            Message 13 of 26 , Jun 28, 2007
                            • 0 Attachment
                              I know it's been a while since I chimed in here, but I have to add my
                              2-cents worth on this topic, as it's one of my favorites. :)

                              After researching molded leather vessels for about 15 years now, here
                              are the conclusions I've come too, for what they are worth.

                              The frame mold you made is great and it produces a great product.
                              Very nice work there. I made one almost exactly like it about 8
                              years ago. It works, but I don't think it's how it was done during
                              period. Sand molding, from the evidence I've seen, was most probably
                              done on some of the smaller items. Probably done also by craftsmen
                              working farther away from the main industrial centers, i.e. London,
                              etc., or by craftsmen new to the trade who hadn't yet built up a
                              great stock of molds.

                              Molds you say? Yes. I've researched this for a long time and have
                              held long conversations with Master Craftsmen such as the gentlemen
                              who man the leather and harness shop in Colonial Williamsburg, VA.,
                              and with Mark Beabey of "Bjarni's Boots" in the UK (check out his
                              vessels at: http://www.bjarnisboots.co.uk/). I've also visually
                              examined most of the better collections in England and physically
                              examined the collection at the Royal Ontario Museum. From this
                              reasearch I believe they used an internal, PUZZLE mold to create the
                              shapes of the vessels. A puzzle mold, for a baluster or pot-bellied
                              shaped bombard is made by cutting up a block of wood, the central
                              core here is the key as it is shaped as a long, truncated pyramid, so
                              that it can be driven into the center of the other pieces when they
                              are re-assembled, inside the bombard. You then glue the pieces back
                              together with a wood glue, with a piece of paper seperating each
                              piece of wood from the others. This creates a joint that can be
                              pried apart later. Once the glue has set up, I recommend overnight,
                              you then turn the shape on a wood lathe. Remove it from the lathe.
                              Pop the pieces apart with a chisle and you have your mold. Sew up
                              your bombard, leaving the bottom out. Then soak it in water,
                              thoroughly (i.e. a good half-hour). Place the outside pieces of the
                              mold into the bombard and then drive the central piece, acting as a
                              wedge, into the the bombard and it spreads the wood parts of the
                              mold, creating the shape you desire. You then let it dry. This is
                              where I think the "Hanging and curing in the smoke of the fire.",
                              comes in. They were using the heat from the fire to help dry the
                              leather around the mold. If I can find them, I've got some pics of
                              the process and will post them later.

                              Sincerely,

                              Gregory G. Stapleton
                              List Admin

                              --- In medieval-leather@yahoogroups.com, "legviiii" <legviiii@...>
                              wrote:
                              >

                              > I'm fairly certain the jack from Jamestown in the Smithsonian
                              > collection is sand moulded, it bulges unevenly and doesn't show the
                              > clearly defined curves that the ones in the ROM and MoL have. The
                              ROM
                              > photos in the photo section of this list also show the pull/stretch
                              > marks around the neck and a similar lean on the handle to mine and
                              > the MoL example. I can't get that much even twisting around the
                              > vessel when sand ramming, without seriously distorting the handle.
                              >
                              > I took those photos of the Warwick Bombards, and was able to handle
                              > them for a good 20 minutes. The sagging happened recently, there's
                              > one photo of the inside that I didn't upload which shows the pitch
                              in
                              > the bottom and the base have separated - the shape of the pitch
                              > indicates the base was flat when it was last waterproofed. I think
                              > Baker mentions both these bombards were repaired in the 1880s or
                              > similar so that could be a good 100 years of sagging before the
                              > photos were taken in 2003. He also had a whinge about the storage
                              > conditions they were in when he saw them in the early 20th century.
                              >
                              > Apart from Baker's drawing of the jack formers, what convinced me
                              > that wooden formers/lasts were used was the bottel with the lady's
                              > face on one side and rounded, but slightly concave on the other.
                              The
                              > slightest pressure when wet would have distorted it.
                              >
                              > I'll upload that other photo now.
                              >
                              > Cheers,
                              >
                              > Wayne
                              >
                            • legviiii
                              ... the ... Hi Greg, chime away. I ve seen some of your photos some time back, the puzzle mould was a rather elegant solution and definitely not beyond the
                              Message 14 of 26 , Jun 29, 2007
                              • 0 Attachment
                                --- In medieval-leather@yahoogroups.com, "Gregory G. Stapleton"
                                <gregsta@...> wrote:
                                >
                                ...
                                > Pop the pieces apart with a chisle and you have your mold. Sew up
                                > your bombard, leaving the bottom out. Then soak it in water,
                                > thoroughly (i.e. a good half-hour). Place the outside pieces of
                                the
                                > mold into the bombard and then drive the central piece, acting as a
                                > wedge, into the the bombard and it spreads the wood parts of the
                                > mold, creating the shape you desire. You then let it dry. This is
                                > where I think the "Hanging and curing in the smoke of the fire.",
                                > comes in. They were using the heat from the fire to help dry the
                                > leather around the mold. If I can find them, I've got some pics of
                                > the process and will post them later.


                                Hi Greg, chime away. I've seen some of your photos some time back,
                                the puzzle mould was a rather elegant solution and definitely not
                                beyond the technology they had. I'm still not completely convinced,
                                particularly with the simpler shapes like the one I'm doing.

                                Living where I do, it hadn't occured to me that you'd need to dry the
                                leather after moulding. In summer I can wet, mould, dry and be ready
                                for stitching in about two hours, even winter only takes 6-8.

                                Wayne
                              • legviiii
                                ... up ... as ... ... I ve just finished my second jack using the frame and realised the slope on the back seam that I was using as incontrovertible proof of
                                Message 15 of 26 , Aug 8 3:18 PM
                                • 0 Attachment
                                  --- In medieval-leather@yahoogroups.com, "legviiii" <legviiii@...>
                                  wrote:
                                  >
                                  > --- In medieval-leather@yahoogroups.com, "Gregory G. Stapleton"
                                  > <gregsta@> wrote:
                                  > >
                                  > ...
                                  > > Pop the pieces apart with a chisle and you have your mold. Sew
                                  up
                                  > > your bombard, leaving the bottom out. Then soak it in water,
                                  > > thoroughly (i.e. a good half-hour). Place the outside pieces of
                                  > the
                                  > > mold into the bombard and then drive the central piece, acting
                                  as ...
                                  >... I'm still not completely convinced,
                                  > particularly with the simpler shapes like the one I'm doing.
                                  >
                                  >

                                  I've just finished my second jack using the frame and realised the
                                  slope on the back seam that I was using as incontrovertible proof of
                                  the method is entirely due to uneven tension while stitching, not
                                  some unique characteristic of the moulding frame.

                                  Wayne
                                Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.