- I did some pattens a while back out of some scrap fir I had from a house project. It worked alright, but died young due to splitting.
I'd advise elm as well, but as has been said, it's hard (but not impossible) to track down. I'd say get out the phone book and call a couple woodcutters (or see if someone in your kingdom does this sort of thing for a living) and ask them if they've got an elm to take down any time soon, and, if so, could you have a chunk that's maybe a foot across and a foot and a half long for a project your wanting to try.
You may get the "G'way kid, you bother me" response a couple times, but you may be able to get your wood for free (except of that painful cutting boards from a log part).
I'd also say white oak is a pretty good choice.
Oh, one other thing you can try: drill a hole across the grain and glue a dowel in it. This will re-enforce the structure of the wood and help prevent splitting.
Hey Thanks everybody for all your intelligent responses.
My pattens were about a half inch thick and were hinged at the ball of
the foot with inlayed leather. I used tacks like Geoffrey used (see his
pics), but didn't think to pre-drill! That's likely where I went wrong,
I think it got cracked by the tack. Now I'll have to consider all the
woods that have been considered by my friends here before I proceed in
starting over on my project. Hmmmmm!
Perhaps I'll stay with my wood and just predrill. At least it won't be
plywood, which evokes an extraordinarily negative response. I'm ok with
this and realize that it looks un-period, so I'll keep at it. You guys
seem like you've done it all before, which is very good for me. I don't
have to re-invent the wheel.
Thanks again, and I'll try to get some pics, if I can get the hang of
- Aside from alder and poplar the "Shoes and Pattens" book also notes
members of the Salicaceae family which would also include willows.
It'd also be light and easy to work. I've been looking around for
some to try for this purpose and a hopeful Coppergate box
reconstruction, but all the wood around here is covered in snow at the
moment and will be till about May.
Cedric of Thanet (new to the list)
--- In firstname.lastname@example.org, "Bill McNutt" <mcnutt@...> wrote:
> Is there a new-world equivalent? Or is alder available over here
> at ruinous shipping rates from the Olde Countrie?
> From: email@example.com
> [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org] On Behalf Of James Barker
> Sent: Friday, January 30, 2009 9:48 AM
> To: email@example.com
> Subject: RE: [MedievalSawdust] Pattens
> If I recall "Shoes and Pattens" has a couple of paragraphs on poplar
> pattens and that they only used one specific type as the rest was to
> and didn't hold up. I have tried poplar a couple of times because I
> on hand and I have broken them each time, thickness and running the
> different ways has done nothing to fix the problem. Jeff J. pointed
> me a while back that alder is the most common wood in the London finds.
> > To: firstname.lastname@example.org
> > From: cuvien1438@...
> > Date: Fri, 30 Jan 2009 02:47:13 +0000
> > Subject: [MedievalSawdust] Pattens
> > Hello,
> > I'm working on a pair of pattens to wear on my shoes to keep me out
> > of the muck and wet. It's a period solution to the problem of keeping
> > dry and clean in a world made out of water and dirt.
> > Now the problem I have is that my first attempt has failed. One of
> > the poplar platforms I used has broken. I stepped on a rock and they
> > are apparently too thin to withstand the strain.
> > I could either start over and use a thicker piece of wood for the
> > platforms or . . .
> > Could I add a layer of 1/2" plywood to the ones I have, glue and nail
> > the whole affair? If so, what kind of glue would you suggest
> > considering the difficult stresses it will be exposed to, and the
> > moisture? What else do I need to know?
> > Thanks for your help,
> > Cuvien
> > ------------------------------------
> Windows LiveT: E-mail. Chat. Share. Get more ways to connect. Check