A LIVING HISTORY BLOG.

18TH CENTURY LIVING HISTORY IN AUSTRALIA.

Wednesday, 8 June 2011

Re sealing My Leather Costrel.

I did read the article by the Reverend http://woodsrunnersdiary.blogspot.com/2011/05/whats-cooking.html about repairing leather costrels etc, & I already knew about not cooking leather. Many winters have I sat before a camp fire slowly drying out my moccasins without damaging them. I thought that to be on the safe side, as our wood burning oven is not very heat adjustable other than turning the fire down or opening the oven door, that I would close the fire down & open the oven door & wait for the oven to cool. This I did before placing my prized costrel in the oven, lower shelf with a tray above to even further protect it. IT DIDN'T WORK!
Not 5 minutes later my costrel was well & truely cooked. However, one has to be philisophical about these things. I had learnt the hard way. My wife said "oh well, order a new one". But I could not give up that easily. So I set about trying to clean it out & reseal it with beeswax. This I have done, & only time will tell if it has worked.


The damaged costrel



The tin I used to melt the beeswax.


I only had to melt the wax once, & I was able to apply 3 coats of wax inside, swilling it about with the plug in place & pouring the wax back into the tin each time. Fingers crossed!

4 comments:

Adinda said...

can anyone help out with how the old folks used to seal their wooden houses - any old recipes (besides tar!)

thanks!

Le Loup said...

Adinda. I know very little about this, but would have thought that those in wilderness areas would not have bothered painting clap boards or logs. However I did read somewhere a long time ago that milk paint was used on some houses.Check this link:
http://www.milkpaint.com/about_facts.html

sevenstarwheel said...

oh no, what a shame! I have been using my oven to wax and re-wax costrels I've been making. I fried one so that it ended up shriveled like this - becuase it was a little damp. The leather seems fairly heat tolerant as long as it's dead dry. I also don't push it above 200F for the most part.
cheers,
holly
sevenstarwheel.wordpress.com

Le Loup said...

Hi Holly. It is still usable, but holds a little less water I think!
This is learning the hard way!
Keith.