To every Man, A Watch-Coat,
A Musket and Bayonet,
A shod Shovel or Spade,
A broad Hoe,
A narrow Hoe,
After my previous post on settler's supplies and tools I decided to do some research on the GIMLET. Wood screws were made by hand using files to cut the threads in the early to mid 18th century and I could not imagine these settlers carrying wood screws. So what did they need a gimlet for I asked myself. I immediately thought of wooden pegs being the most likely item, but had never heard of a gimlet being used for this purpose. As it turns out I was right; the gimlet was used for making holes for nails, wooden pegs, and in one case at least for the string to lift a door latch. Here then is what I found. Not all primary, but enough info to convince me I was right.
I made the handle for this gimlet this afternoon. This handle made from wattle wood.
Detail of the end peened to secure the bit in the handle.
Handle found in 18th century shipwreck.
Replicated hand forged wrought iron nails.
18th century hand forged nails.
When you start thinking about how you could use a gimlet in a wilderness survival situation, you realise how many tasks there could be that would benefit from the use of the small 18th century hand drill. any construction or repair that requires a hole to thread cordage through or to insert wooden pegs or pins. Knife handle repair, gun stock repair, trap making, loom making, powder horns; I am sure you can think of more.