A LIVING HISTORY BLOG.

18TH CENTURY LIVING HISTORY IN AUSTRALIA.

Monday, 15 April 2013

To Every Man A Gimlet. Part 2.


The gimlet and auger I made.


" Young as I was, I was possessed of an art which was of great use. It was that of weaving shot-pouch straps, belts and garters. I could make my loom and weave a belt in less than one day. Having a piece of board about four feet long, an inch auger, spike gimlet, and a drawing knife, I needed no other tools or materials for making my loom. It frequently happened that my weaving proved serviceable to the family, as I often sold a belt for a day's work, or making a hundred rails. So that although a boy, I could exchange my labour for that of a full grown person for an equal length of time".
Doddridge. 18th century.

Has anyone got any ideas on the sort of loom that Dodridge could have made with just a four foot
board? I was thinking some form of inkle loom. A board with pegs in it?



My sincere thanks to Jenny for giving me this quote from Doddridge. I found this quote many years ago but managed to lose it again in my maze of files!
Thank you Jenny, very much appreciated.
Regards, Keith.

6 comments:

Gorges Smythe said...

People don't realize that most weavers were men, in those days.

Jenny said...

Wonderful! I'm happy to be of service!

A board with pegs does make sense - that would explain the inch auger and drawknife. He does seem quite particular about not needing any other tools or materials - which implies if this is case case, he cut the pegs out of the same board with the drawknife?

Another option is something along this pattern - but then we can't explain the inch auger. (I assume in this case the gimlet would have made each single hole and started the slits, then the drawknife used to make the slits themselves, though that seems more awkward than a plain knife used from the face.)

http://www.lindarosenantiques.com/inventory/18th-century-tape-loom

Also, I'm not yet aware of a peg-type loom being found from our period - I'd love to find an example though!

Cincinnatus said...

Could have been a peg loom or even a frame or hanging loom (which does not necessarily have pegs). This is a very interesting quote since home woven textiles were much narrower pieces of fabric that commercially woven, because of the size of the loom. I have a blanket of my great-grandmother's that is pieced from two home-woven pieces of wool. http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5258/5418449209_142cd02626_b.jpg This is a reprduction rug-loom. Interestingly the words "blanket" and "rug" were used interchangebly as bedcovers in the 18th c. Any thoughts?

Le Loup said...

It seems his loom was built to weave just narrow bands. But I have yet to find any mention of a loom made from a board anywhere. The search goes on!
Keith.

Gordon Henderson said...

The auger would be for the big holes like framing joints ect. The gimlet would be used to make locking peg holes, and any other small diameter holes.The drawknife works as a plane. I work green wood and with the addition of an axe and a knife (which are like bread and butter tools) you could very easily do it. I've made lathes to work benches using these very simple hand tools, in period context that's what pretty much every woodworker used to make anything.

Keith H. Burgess said...

Thanks for your feedback, much appreciated.
Keith.