Reconstructing Tools

A functioning camp doesn’t work without tools. Over the years we have built or acquired a number of useful items.

Spades

The wooden part set in a shave horse

The wooden part set in a shave horse

Spades (and a maul)

Spades (and a maul)

Here you see a pair of spades and a maul. Our woodworkers produced the wooden parts and, like good medieval woodworkers, we went to a metalworker for the spade irons.  Once the overall shape is achieved (band saws make fine “powered apprentices”) the form is refined with a drawknife on a shaving horse. The spade proper has been shaped with an adze, hollowing it slightly while leaving thicker wood at the edge over which the spade iron will be fitted. When we finish, no marks from the power tools are left.

The offset handle is a style often seen in medieval illustrations. It allows a handy wide surface to set one’s foot upon. Incidentally, the wooden upper surface of the blade is kinder on those same feet than a thin metal blade when one is wearing thin-soled shoes.

Close up of the spade iron

Close up of the spade iron

One of the shovels has a cross at the end of its handle and the other does not. Both styles are seen in medieval illustrations. We’ve found the cross makes the tool much easier to handle for the tasks to which we set the spade.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Bellows

Our reconstituted bellows

Our reconstituted bellows

Not all of our tools are made completely from scratch. This bellows started life as a modern “decorative” version that we noticed had suitably shaped wood. We replaced the vinyl “curtain” with leather. We also tossed the cast brass nozzle, replacing it with one made of rolled copper sheeting. Viola! One functional, medieval style bellows.

Its arrival brought rousing cheers from our fire tenders.

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