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Rhettbarnhart

Turpentine hack

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I was commissioned to forge a turpentine hack for a guy the other day and it was an interesting project I thought so I decided to share it here.The customer gave me an old hack to use for comparison,I got some steel and got started.Here is what I got,comments and critique welcome
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It will probably work very well. It is to be mounted on pole. The tang bent tip is inserted into a hole and the tang is wire wrapped or banded to the pole. Then one would find a pine tree, peel bark to allow the gum to run into a gum cup. That is the first stage of making turpentine or to get raw rosin.
 see: http://www.wikihow.com/Tap-a-Pine-Tree

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Huzzaa It is fun to make useful tools. I have never herd of such a thing. Just looked them up online. It would be nice to see a photo of it handled and in use. Maybe you will find a good market in Louisville for hand tools! haha good luck friend

 

M Martin

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Well there is a niche for the fellow who is the "go to guy" for oddball tools once you get known for them

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Thanks for the explanation tran!
Thomas I made it out of a railroad clip...I have saw a metallurgical report that these are 1060 and I assumed that is what this was....it forged like hc...
Mac we need to forge together again......and I have already delivered this to the customer,he did not pay me to handle it so I did not.
Justin that is exactly what they look like with a handle,thanks
Thanks for the compliments guys I just thought this was out of the ordinary so I thought y'all might enjoy it :)

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That's a great bit of work, Rhett.  I love trying to duplicate something like this, bringing an old tool back to life.  Looks like I have a new project.....

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I get this sort of thing all the time, I was looking at a hay stooking fork and noticed that the centre tine is angled on its profile compared to the other two, I think it is to stop that one from flexing and breaking but have no idea why that should happen.

 

My dad talks about using a shoot hook to stop trees from regrowing in newly cleared land, so I know that they snip the fresh shoots off below the ground but I would not recognize one if I saw it, nor could I use one, manufacture or sharpen one without something to copy.

 

A lot of the books I have, assume some basic practical knowledge that has disappeared from our lives.

 

But then again, I get some funny looks when somebody asks for a can opener and I hand them this.

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Would be interesting to see a sapping hack being used.

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Thanks Vaughn and Thomas,the hack probably will never get used but I figured if I was gonna make it I might as well make it right and use a good spring type steel

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@ Yahoo2 I was looking through a book I had and seen a tool that resbles your root cutter. It's not Austrailan but early Americanpost-23601-0-12425400-1386198840_thumb.j

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The best description of a shoot hook I can give is a cross between a long handled trenching shovel and a debarking spud, it has a v shaped blade that is razor sharp. Sorta like a giant white asparagus cutter.

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here is an artical about turpentine production in my area but have not run across and of the hacks yet

Turpentine From Pine Woods
Author: Ann Shank, former Sarasota County Historian
Source: Sarasota County Historical Resources
Photo Credit: Sarasota County Historical Resources

Little remains of an industry that once spread throughout much of the pine woods of Sarasota County.

The harvesting of gum from trees for the purpose of distilling it into turpentine had moved into Florida as the forests of Georgia became exhausted. In the first two decades of the last century, R.S. Hall and George McCloud, in separate operations, leased thousands of acres of pine forest from Alligator Creek south of Venice to Cow Pen Slough east of Bee Ridge.

The labor force in the turpentine camps was almost exclusively African American, and many of the workers followed the industry into this region from Georgia and north Florida. Supervising the camp and enforcing the law of the camp was the “woodsrider.” Under him workers specialized; some cut “cat faces,” V-shaped grooves, into the side of a tree. From these cuts oozed gum, into a clay pot or “box” cut into the base of the tree. Other workers transferred the accumulated gum into barrels, which others then transported by wagon to a still.

The “stiller” brought to a boil approximately 10 barrels of gum in a large copper kettle over a wood fire. Distillation resulted in turpentine (about 20 percent) and its by-product, rosin (about 80 percent). A turpentine company in Jacksonville purchased any turpentine or rosin which was not sold locally.

Many camp operators built “quarters” for their workers. In Laurel, the worker’s houses were north of Laurel Road and east of the railroad. A commissary stocked basic food and household supplies and often carried families on credit between pay periods. The Mt. Zion Baptist Church also housed elementary school classes during the week and served as a meeting place for the Masons. A community cemetery was on high ground near the still. Workers in the cooper’s shop, who made barrels for the shipment of turpentine products from the camp, also made burial caskets. They made the caskets from wood for barrels and lined them with cotton batting, which the stiller used to strain the rosin.

In the 1930s, B.T. Longino Sr. established a turpentine camp on 12,000 acres at Sidell and, with Luke Grubbs, another camp at Bee Ridge. Longino hired Albert Jones to organize and run the camps as woodsrider. Jones recruited workers from other turpentine operations around the state. The Sidell camp was on the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad about a mile south of State Road 72 (then called Sugar Ball Road). In addition to 30 houses for workers and the still, there was a cooper’s shed, commissary, school and church. The Sarasota County Board of Public Instruction sent a teacher out to the school and Jones or his brother preached in the church.

The Bee Ridge camp was just south of Clark Road and east of the Seaboard Air Line Railway. Near the still were two – to four room houses for the workers, a cooper’s shed and commissary. Slightly west on Clark Road was the Mt. Moriah Baptist Church, which doubled as a school. Bee Ridge workers could find weekend recreation at Charlie Pinkney’s nearby “jook.”

All the turpentine camps in Sarasota County were closed by the early 1950s. Demand for the products had severely diminished and many of the pine woods no longer existed. After being turpentined, trees typically became by-products of local sawmill operations.

For more details on the turpentine industry, read the historical markers at the Laurel and Bee Ridge camp sites.

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Hi, just wondering if you could please repost the photos of this interesting tool. I would like to forge one myself at our local museum blacksmith shop and use it to help explain the turpentine industry in our parts here. 

 

Also curious how to forge a curved blade. I guess you just do all the finishing edge work while it's straight, then curve it, harden it and temper?

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You generally leave enough thickness that it doesn't self destruct in quenching and then finish it after heat treat and yup finishing gouges can be tedious at times!  As this is a form of gouge I suggest you read up on how other gouges are worked.  IIRC Weygers has a chapter of forging gouges in "The Complete Modern Blacksmith"  If you are in the USA you should be able to ILL a copy at the local public library.

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