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I Forge Iron

Interesting Coincidence, trammels, cants

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I stopped by a friend's shop the other day who is a timber framer. I showed him the trammel hook I made. He thought it was pretty neat as he had never seen one before. Later that day he was going to go back and work on an old log toll house that he is cataloging and disassembling. He then moves the structures and rebuilds them on the new owners property. They went to work removing the cinder blocks that had been blocking off the original fire place (first picture at the left along with cabinets they found behind some walls). When they got it all opened up, they found a fireplace crane, a pot, and two trammel hooks. One was very similar to the one I had shown him. This blew him away because up until that day he had never seen one in his life. He grab some pictures to show me as he figured I would be interested in seeing the differences between the two. The saw tooth one was pretty cool. So then on the way back to his house yesterday, I stopped at a flea market and found a cant hook for $5 with a bunch of holes punched in it making it look adjustable. He said he had never seen one that was adjustable. Has anyone here? I'm trying to figure out how that would work. I think the shaft would interfere with the end of it if you used the other holes. Anyway, just thought folks might get a kick out of the pics. Rob.

fireplace_block.jpg hole_trammel.jpg saw_tooth_trammel.jpgcant_whole.jpg

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Piglet, thank you indeed for the pics. I hope they can take some more shots (perhaps closeup of the joints in the crane). If you could get the close date of manufacture of the log house it would be very good as well. I'd say there is a good chance the crane would be wrought iron but of course I can be wrong. I would be very interested in seeing the hearth in front of the fireplace as well. I have been at original 1840's buildings like this but the ironwork was not the same.

The shaft end on the can't hook would have a pike(point) or perhaps another hook (dog) on a forged (or cast) end that the handle would go into. Yes I have seen adjustable can't hooks.

Thanks again for the pics.

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The adjustable hook could also be one side of a log carrier.

You NEVER know what your gonna find when you start tearing into an old house like that, been involved in a few old house projects and found some interesting stuff....still waiting to find that hidden treasure though, you know, the big jar full of money, a stash of gold, some rare valuable documents, ect.


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It's wild when these kinds of coincidences happen. Sometimes I wonder if I've been looking at something without seeing it because I didn't know what it was, then when I learn I start seeing them all over. Still, you'd think he'd remember seeing a crane, trammels and such in a fireplace had he seen them before.

Was the pot actually still hanging from the trammel?

Cool stuff.


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In the larger of these types of fireplace there are sometimes stone seats at the sides and cavities in the walls for storing dry goods. It's amazing how often the fireplace equipment was left in situ when the open hearth was blocked. In this country the next step towards civilisation (from mid 19th cent) was usually a built-in cast iron range with an open fire and a variety of ovens and hot plates controled by choke plates in the various flues. I have the impression that the occupants didn't trust 'progress' and wanted to keep their options open.
It's a common job to remove these and reinstate the lovely draughty, inefficient and dirty open fire. It's usual after a couple of winters to go back and fit a modern woodburner.

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