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The dangling spit was widely used

The dangling spit as described by Seymour Lyndsay in "Iron and Brass Implements of the English House" was hung in front of the fire :

A simple form of the dangle spit, the immediate forerunner of the botlle jack, has an adjustable hook or group of hooks suspended by a cord, the winding and unwinding of which provided the rotary movement which was assisted by two weight flyers at the top of the metal stem.

...page 24 (100)

 

seymour-lyndsay-100.jpeg?w=214 Symour Lyndsay's dangle spit drawing nº 100, left

 

It was thus used in England.

 

It was also used in France. We find a "generic" drawing  in Lecoq's "Les objets de la vie domestique", page 129 :

lecoq-p-129.jpeg?w=188 Similar to Seymour Lyndsay's

 

It was so widely used in France that the French of la Nouvelle-France are believed by some authors to have taught the technique to the Indians (Desloge, page 35).

 

The implement was also in use in New-England. There are two in Plummer's "Colonial Wrought Iron"

plummer-1-30.jpeg?w=213 With the one on the left, the cook would have had to rewind the twine quite often.

 

I will reproduce the one we find in Brears' "The Kitchen Catalog". This to me is the most elegant of these spits that I have seen. His drawings are to scale. I drew it to scale 1:1.

 

Brears dangling spit in his kitchen catalog, drawing nº 161

All dimensions are in millimiters. Total height, 480 mm.

 

The hand written text and the drawings with dimensions are taken from the book I (slowly) fill with drawings of the hearth and kitchen implements of la Nouvelle-France.

 

Brears' drawing :

tournerc3b4t-ficelle-brears-origi-1.jpeg Brears' Kitchen Catalog nº 161

 

Top part of the structure with the weights to be hung on it :

brears-dessin-gauche.jpeg?w=219

 

The dimensions of this part :

brears-structure-gch-dim-1.jpeg?w=248 Dimensions of the top part of the implement

 

The hook part :

brears-dessin-droite.jpeg?w=119

 

 

The hooks :

brears-dessin-bas1-e1399844991995.jpeg?w

 

This is a fun project. The main difficulty lies in the forge welding of the arms of the cross. I will make the weights with lead.

Cant wait for the first quails or chicken to turn in front of the fire!

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I have no way to up load a drawing...sorry. But think of it this way, if all you had was a piece of 1/4" x 2" x 8" how would you derive that form if you couldn't forge weld but had a hot chisel?

 

 

I'm not saying by the way that size material is what you should start with for this particular project. It's just an example from which could could make the general form desired.

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Just skimmed the plates in Scappi (1570) and while he shows a smoke jack and a very nice wind up jack that turns 3 spits simultaneously I didn't see a dangle spit even in his camp kitchen.  Just an odd factoid.

 

 They are mentioned and a couple shown in "Irons in the Fire" Rachael Field (warning there are several books with the same title but very different content.  Rachael's is the "a history of cooking equipment")

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Yves, as doc sugests, forging it as on peice wold work well. Id approach it like pitchfork or three tine cutivator. So assuming a 1 1/2" x 3/8" bar, fuller the sides of the bar below were you wish to split the 2 arms from the up right, this gives you a cleaner transition to forge the arms out to 90 degrees. This is the same tecknique used on forks and hand cultivaters. Then precede to forge down and draw out lower leg.
Im not much for the idea of food, fire and lead. Might i suggest sticking to forged steel weights?

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Just skimmed the plates in Scappi (1570) and while he shows a smoke jack and a very nice wind up jack that turns 3 spits simultaneously I didn't see a dangle spit even in his camp kitchen.  Just an odd factoid.

 

 They are mentioned and a couple shown in "Irons in the Fire" Rachael Field (warning there are several books with the same title but very different content.  Rachael's is the "a history of cooking equipment")

 

I also looked in Scappi and was surprised that there was no such spit. But he did have everything else ... What also wurprised me was that there were none in Sonn either. There is one implement that might be used as a dangling spit (pplate 316-3). Howeer, I did not include it here because the ring on top does not seem to be fixed and it looks more like a meat hook, dutch crown type.

 

As to Field's book, I do not have it and have not seen it either. I'll get a copy.

 

Thanks for the notes

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Charles,

 

The lead weights would not be in contact with food. The reason I thought of this is that looking at Brear's drawing, it seemed to me that they would be made of lead which in those days was of course not impossible.

 

Like I said to Doc, I will try this one piece approach not being a master forge-welder ... yet ... Trying to get there though ...

 

Thanks.

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Lead melts at 621 1/2 degrees farenhight. As my oven at home is calabrated to 550, its not a far streach that lead could become a safty concern. Historical accuracy not withstanding
My understanding is that a simpler device, a simple sckewer with an slitted eye in the end. Dependent on the mas of the meat to spin on the string was mor common, and was probbably overlooked.

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I can think of a couple options for the cross. First is a Fredric's cross, the second would be riveting the cross bar. either can be dressed up for a little decoration or the rivet filed till it's invisible.

 

I'd go with something other than lead, even if it isn't necessarily a hazard we must keep in mind what a lawyer would do to us about lead near food. Brass or copper would look well and iron is a why not, anything but lead.

 

Frosty The Lucky.

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The Frederic's cross could be done so that the center hole is sized for riveting the upright through though it would be a bit fussy getting it just right.  Perhaps this is the project to practice your forge welding on...

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I would like to reproduce that spit, and stick to the design as drawn by Brears.

 

  • Thomas Powers is right : it is time for me to realy practice forge welding. Not being very good at it I usually design stuff where it is not needed. It is thus a shortcoming for me. I will try to forge-weld the cross AND get the design as it was forged. No rush here as it is for me and not a commission.
     
  • Would it be easier to rivet the cross members and then weld them and file if necessary as Frosty suggested?
     
  • Fredric's cross is not an option in the case of a reproduction.
    However, it does make one think of another possible design for the same implement.
     
  • With regards to the lead : OK, I'll stay away from it. You guys are unanimous on this.
    I have a 12 foot by 5/8 round brass rod. Would that melt easily sort of like lead? These weights would be lovely if not realy a reproduction detail.
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Brass melts a whole lot higher than lead and has it's own issues---burning off zinc.

 

HOWEVER  no lead solder works a lot like lead and is non-toxic, most of it is tin.  If you want cast weights no lead solder would be a good way to go.  

 

Even 100 year old blacksmithing books suggest pre-riveting tricky welds to hold all the pieces together in the fire and at the correct orientation on the anvil   With a good forge weld you won't see any sign of riveting afterwards anyway,

 

I generally rivet the legs to my trivets before forge welding them on.

 

Not being afraid of forge welding will really help doing historical reproductions as they often used the process.

 

Are you going to do it in real wrought iron?

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Thomas,

 

No, I'm afraid not. Wrought iron is not available easily and not too expensively.

 

I'm not very good at keeping my money and not knowing very much about metals, I would tend to buy wrought iron from England at 8$ a pound before transport and taxes and whatever else instead of trying to find some in scrap yards. I do not know my way around scrap yards. And I only know of one scrap yard. Nah! Can't affoard wrought iron. 

 

I wrote an article to distinguish between reproduction and copy

For instance, I reproduced for a client a utensil rack from the Hotermans Collection , the following :

post-14003-0-55874500-1400018853_thumb.j

Here is my copy :

post-14003-0-55874500-1400018853_thumb.j

 

As the client asked, mine is a little wider; the central "brindilles" are forge welded like the original; it is forged from mild steel and not from wought iron. I gave letter to the client describing that it was a copy and not a reproduction. Would I have made it the same width, for me, it would have been a reproduction eventhough the wrought iron is replaced by mild steel.

 

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Are you familiar with "Savouring the Past" 'The French Kitchen and Table from 1300 to 1789' B.K.Wheaton; not as good for physical culture to reproduce but a good discussion on the rise and dissemination of french cooking and includes recipes. It is well footnoted to; so if you come across something interesting you can follow it back to the sources.

 

Anyway to get a USPS flat rate box across the border?  I can find wrought iron about a ton faster than I can use it...

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Here is my copy :

attachicon.gifDSC04008_1024.jpg

 

As the client asked, mine is a little wider; the central "brindilles" are forge welded like the original; it is forged from mild steel and not from wought iron. I gave letter to the client describing that it was a copy and not a reproduction. Would I have made it the same width, for me, it would have been a reproduction eventhough the wrought iron is replaced by mild steel.

Made a mistake : here is my copy

post-14003-0-33000600-1400028337_thumb.j

In my pevious post, I repeated the pic of the original.

 

This post because I could not find how to edit the previous post.

 

Thomas, I ordered the book so that I may better savor the past ...

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