And I don’t even need a degree to call myself an Experimental Archaeologist. I have even done some Experiential Archeology, but I won’t get into that now. I even think I am going to add ‘Experimental Archaeologist’ to my business card.
This is an experiment I did with a formula from The Universal Receipt Book 1824 for cutler’s cement.
When I asked for yellow potter’s clay at the local pottery supply house, the salesperson recommended kaolin pipe clay, the stuff they have is white but when a liquid is added it is yellow. This was 1/2 teaspoon of iron filings to 3 teaspoons of kaolin pipe clay and enough Moses T’s Gunstocker’s Finish [75% linseed oil] to the consistency of putty.
I fastened two small carving gouges and an awl into maple handles. I had tried hide glue, hot shellac, hot pitch, nothing worked they all eventually worked loose. So far the gouges have performed admirably and the awl is very secure. They have dried for 30 days before I tested and used them. I did leave a sample to dry and the thin parts dried in a couple of weeks, thicker material took longer but did harden up.
I am going to affix the wrought iron shaft of this mulling iron made by Master Blacksmith Mark Schramm to a curly maple handle. The iron was etched with garlic. This will be subject to repeated heating’s so I want to see how it holds up.
I also attached a handle to a jeweler’s saw, when I got the saw the handle was attached to the end of the adjustable part of the saw. The handle has a basswood shim to fill the large void. I barbed the edges of the tang and etched it with a clove of garlic.
The kaolin pipe clay will act as a drying agent for the linseed oil in the cement as well as the filling material. The iron filings also behave as a metallic dryer as well as providing mechanical entanglement for the cutler’s cement.