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_Sheathes and Scabbards in England AD400-1100_ and Cuir Bouilli

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  • Peter Adams
    There is a very interesting discussion of leather hardening in this book, along with a good deal of experimental data. If you are interested in hardening
    Message 1 of 4 , Apr 19, 2001
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      There is a very interesting discussion of leather hardening in this book,
      along with a good deal of experimental data. If you are interested in
      hardening leather for any purpose, I reccomend you get it, I got mine from
      David Brown Booksellers, here in the US, and it took a while to arrive, but
      has proved well worth the wait. As in my previous post, most of the
      information below is quoted or paraphrased from this book.
      Cameron's conclusions appear to be that *no* simple or combination
      application of heat, moisture(boiling or steaming) and/or straight wax
      products will offer effective hardening of leather. The process which she
      advocates for hardening leather involves a compound of beeswax and rosin,
      and seems virtually identical to the process refered to at Colonial
      Williamsburg as "jacking". Interestingly, her historical reference is to a
      bootmaking technique for "botte forte" ("hard boots" ah... jack boots!)
      documented in 1767 by Francois P. de Garsault in _Art de Cordonnier_

      The general process is to slowly heat your leather item, and maintain the
      heat throughout. _Sheaths and Scabbards_ refers to a mixture of 2 parts
      rosin and 1 part (bees?)wax which is kept melted to the side, and is rubbed
      on. Cameron quotes the original source as applying 6 coats over the period
      of an hour. One note of caution from me, this is a very flammable mixture!

      Greg Stapleton of the folks on this list I know has jacked one of his
      leather jugs (hey- a jack, eh? this is starting to hang together...) using
      the CW formula. This made a quite hard item.
      Greg, could you post the formula for us again?

      And those of you who have kindly in the past posted the rosin suppliers,
      could you do so again for those new to the list?

      Cameron, Esther A., _Sheaths and Scabbards in England AD400-1100_ BAR
      British Series 301, 2000

      Get this book.

      Seriously.


      Peter

      (ok it was hard to be serious but get that book!)
    • Marc Carlson
      ... Unfortunately, unless we can get some chemical analyses of medieval cuir bouilli , to see how they were done, we are stuck with differing opinions of
      Message 2 of 4 , Apr 19, 2001
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        At 10:28 AM 4/19/01 -0400, Peter wrote:
        >>...Williamsburg as "jacking". Interestingly, her historical reference is to a
        >>bootmaking technique for "botte forte" ("hard boots" ah... jack boots!)
        >>documented in 1767 by Francois P. de Garsault in _Art de Cordonnier_

        Unfortunately, unless we can get some chemical analyses of medieval "cuir bouilli",
        to see how they were done, we are stuck with differing opinions of "leather experts",
        and a recipe that may be totally anachronistic to the Middle Ages or earlier.

        It's easy for modern people to forget that just because 1750 and 1500 are both "before
        now", that they are as far apart in time from each other, as the later one is from us.
        Cameron's book, while excellent, is supposed to be covering a period *twice* as far
        back as the 1500 mentioned above, or _750 something_ years before Garsault was
        writing. So, while it's an interesting point, and should be kept in mind -- I haven't
        seen anything that suggests we can just blindly assume that she's any more "right"
        about early medieval Cuir Bouilli processes than Waterer's "moulded leather" was.

        Marc
      • kathy1@law.com
        Hi, I just joined this list, and I m interested in learning more about period leather tooling/design, etc. My next project is to attempt to make a knife
        Message 3 of 4 , May 8, 2001
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          Hi,

          I just joined this list, and I'm interested in learning more
          about period leather tooling/design, etc. My next project is to
          attempt to make a knife sheath, and I saw the posting about a book
          entitled Sheathes and Scabbards in England AD400-1100. This is
          exactly the time period I'm interested in researching, but I cannot
          find this book. A search of "books in print" did not even reveal its
          existence. Does anyone have any more information about the title,
          ISBN number, or any other information that might help me locate a
          copy? Also, any leads of publications with pictures of
          archeaological finds involving leather tooling would be appreciated.

          Thanks,
          Kathy


          --- In medieval-leather@y..., "Peter Adams" <AdamsPF@e...> wrote:
          > There is a very interesting discussion of leather hardening in this
          book,
          > along with a good deal of experimental data. If you are interested
          in
          > hardening leather for any purpose, I reccomend you get it, I got
          mine from
          > David Brown Booksellers, here in the US, and it took a while to
          arrive, but
          > has proved well worth the wait. As in my previous post, most of the
          > information below is quoted or paraphrased from this book.
          > Cameron's conclusions appear to be that *no* simple or combination
          > application of heat, moisture(boiling or steaming) and/or straight
          wax
          > products will offer effective hardening of leather. The process
          which she
          > advocates for hardening leather involves a compound of beeswax and
          rosin,
          > and seems virtually identical to the process refered to at Colonial
          > Williamsburg as "jacking". Interestingly, her historical reference
          is to a
          > bootmaking technique for "botte forte" ("hard boots" ah... jack
          boots!)
          > documented in 1767 by Francois P. de Garsault in _Art de
          Cordonnier_
          >
          > The general process is to slowly heat your leather item, and
          maintain the
          > heat throughout. _Sheaths and Scabbards_ refers to a mixture of 2
          parts
          > rosin and 1 part (bees?)wax which is kept melted to the side, and
          is rubbed
          > on. Cameron quotes the original source as applying 6 coats over
          the period
          > of an hour. One note of caution from me, this is a very flammable
          mixture!
          >
          > Greg Stapleton of the folks on this list I know has jacked one of
          his
          > leather jugs (hey- a jack, eh? this is starting to hang
          together...) using
          > the CW formula. This made a quite hard item.
          > Greg, could you post the formula for us again?
          >
          > And those of you who have kindly in the past posted the rosin
          suppliers,
          > could you do so again for those new to the list?
          >
          > Cameron, Esther A., _Sheaths and Scabbards in England AD400-1100_
          BAR
          > British Series 301, 2000
          >
          > Get this book.
          >
          > Seriously.
          >
          >
          > Peter
          >
          > (ok it was hard to be serious but get that book!)
        • Marc Carlson
          ... Oxford, England : Archaeopress, 2000 ISBN: 1841710652 Marc
          Message 4 of 4 , May 8, 2001
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            At 03:50 PM 5/8/01 +0000, Kathy wrote:
            >...find this book. A search of "books in print" did not even reveal its
            >existence. Does anyone have any more information about the title,
            >ISBN number, or any other information that might help me locate a
            >copy? Also, any leads of publications with pictures of
            >archeaological finds involving leather tooling would be appreciated.


            >> Cameron, Esther A., _Sheaths and Scabbards in England AD400-1100_
            >> BAR British Series 301, 2000

            Oxford, England : Archaeopress, 2000
            ISBN: 1841710652

            Marc
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