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-   -   Almost Forgotten Skills (http://www.firearmstalk.com/forums/f51/almost-forgotten-skills-69731/)

TLuker 08-06-2012 02:19 AM

Almost Forgotten Skills
 
I was just wondering what some thoughts were on the most important almost lost trades would be for EOTWAWNI, or even for just being more self sufficient. I'm referring to trades such as blacksmith, cooper, or even tailor.

A lot of the old trades are almost gone now. Many of those trades are difficult to learn and require specialized tools. I'm thinking this would be a good time work on acquiring some of those tools and skills. I'm an ok machinist and cabinet maker now. Those are nice skills to have but neither would very useful for EOTWAWNI. I'm thinking many of the older trades would be much more useful. I just need to decide which ones would be the most useful?

dog2000tj 08-06-2012 02:30 AM

farming, hunting, food prep, basic medicine would be good to learn

texaswoodworker 08-06-2012 02:32 AM

Woodworking WITHOUT power tools, and blacksmithing the old fashion way are two skills that would be really good to have in case of EOTWAWKI.

Tanning hides, and crafting them into useful things would also be good things to know how to do.

Let's not forget about learning how to keep food good for a long time without a fridge.

stoppingpower 08-06-2012 02:41 AM

Prepping your kill as far as smoking it and making jerky. Canning, learn to can everything that is perishable.I think basic mechanic skills would be a plus. I think learning about electric set up as far as making a generator from scratch. What about how to make ethanol for fuel... and drinking. Ummm... what about tanning hides and reloading ammo??
Idk just some thoughts.. good thread btw

JonM 08-06-2012 03:04 AM

using a spinning wheel to make thread for cloth out of various raw materials.

using a loom to weave thread into cloth.

woodcutting without power tools.

farming without prepackaged seeds, fertilizers, insecticide, machinery

building a fire without modern tools ie rubing sticks together

hunting with primitive weapons

TLuker 08-06-2012 03:20 AM

I've got most of the basic skills like hunting and farming. I'm referring to skills like texaswoodworker mentioned, woodworking without power tools and blacksmithing. Just to expand on that, how many could make a hand plain to use for wood working without power tools or pedal powered lath?

Most of us generally think of the same basic things for prepping but those are usually short term emergency skills like hunting and fishing. Those are great skills but long term would require many more skills. For example, its good to be able to tan hides but then you need all of the skills that go with making cloths in order to do something useful with that hide. Some heavy needles would also be useful and maybe even an old Singer? Smoking meat is good but it would useful to know how to make bricks to build a smoke house or fire bricks for a chimney.

A lot of the skills I'm referring to really aren't useful now like barrel or glass making. That's why those skills are almost forgotten. I'm just trying to figure which of those skills would be the most useful to learn now.

TLuker 08-06-2012 03:23 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JonM (Post 894426)
using a spinning wheel to make thread for cloth out of various raw materials.

using a loom to weave thread into cloth.

woodcutting without power tools.

That's what I'm talking about. I hadn't even thought about a spinning wheel and loom. Those were two of the most important pieces of equipment found in colonial homes.

c3shooter 08-06-2012 03:49 AM

Take a look at some of the old Anglo-Saxon surnames that came from a man's work.
Farmer
Smith (black AND white- y'all DID know there is a whitesmith- right?)
Cooper
Mason
Joiner (carpenter)
Turner (lathe work- for that spinning wheel)
Miller
Baker (know how to make sourdough starter?)
Sawyer
Vinter (wine, beer, shine anyone?)
Tanner
Collier (maker of charcoal)
Weaver
and Miner or Minor

And unmarried women were, of course- Spinsters.

Yep- I can (and have) made a plane for woodworking, starting with forging the iron- to see if I could. And have made wood chisels (#4 rebar, forge, 2 lb hammer) and a spring pole lathe. Worked suprisingly well.

Gone_South 08-06-2012 03:53 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by c3shooter
Take a look at some of the old Anglo-Saxon surnames that came from a man's work.
Farmer
Smith (black AND white- y'all DID know there is a whitesmith- right?)
Cooper
Mason
Joiner (carpenter)
Turner (lathe work- for that spinning wheel)
Miller
Baker (know how to make sourdough starter?)
Sawyer
Vinter (wine, beer, shine anyone?)
Tanner
Collier (maker of charcoal)
Weaver
and Miner or Minor

And unmarried women were, of course- Spinsters.

Yep- I can (and have) made a plane for woodworking, starting with forging the iron- to see if I could. And have made wood chisels (#4 rebar, forge, 2 lb hammer) and a spring pole lathe. Worked suprisingly well.

We named our oldest boy Tanner.

TekGreg 08-06-2012 04:33 AM

Some of these skills need to be further analyzed. If we get to EOTWAWKI, is every farmer going to grow food, or do we also need marijuana, opium poppies, willow trees (bark is basis for aspirin), belladonna and other medicinal herbs? I never condone drug abuse, but I can't imagine some hard-working guy gashing his leg open and not having pain medication so the doc can sew him up.

Also, how many people have the skill to take flax from growing it in te fields all the way to wearing it on their backs? The loom and spinning wheel are great ideas, but useless without the raw materials and skill to process it.

We will all be living in much smaller communities where work and survival is shared, but this also means that each person needs more than one skill to be useful. In colonial times, everyone hunted and gardened or farmed. That was part of your individual skill set, but hardly marketable. Everyone will need at least one skill that is hard to find or uses complex items, i.e. blacksmithing.

TekGreg 08-06-2012 04:43 AM

Oh, also from the list of surnames:

Fletcher - mounted the feathers on the back of arrows expertly and sometimes made arrows.

Boyer - a maker of bows (but surprisingly not the arrows)

Potter - clay pots, anyone?

Mason - a stone cutter and engineer.

Tailor - A professional at fitting clothes.

Hatter - maker and fitter of hats. These will become very important as heaters and air conditioning go away and we spend much more time outdoors.

texaswoodworker 08-06-2012 05:49 AM

1 Attachment(s)
Quote:

Originally Posted by TLuker (Post 894442)
I've got most of the basic skills like hunting and farming. I'm referring to skills like texaswoodworker mentioned, woodworking without power tools and blacksmithing. Just to expand on that, how many could make a hand plain to use for wood working without power tools or pedal powered lath?

Quote:

Originally Posted by c3shooter (Post 894480)
Yep- I can (and have) made a plane for woodworking, starting with forging the iron- to see if I could. And have made wood chisels (#4 rebar, forge, 2 lb hammer) and a spring pole lathe. Worked suprisingly well.

I have never made a hand plane before (haven't gotten around to it yet), but I have seen how their made. It is not too difficult. I would recommend making one before TEOTWAWKI, because making a good quality plane by hand is a little more difficult than doing it with power tools.

This video give you a pretty good idea about how it's done.


Here's what I use. :)

Stanley No. 5 jack plane that I restored.

I also have a Stanley No. 4 bench plane and a Shelton No. 05 jack plane (I don't have any pics). They usually get the job done. ;)

texaswoodworker 08-06-2012 05:52 AM

Another good thing to know is how to cast metal parts. Look up some of the stuff about backyard foundries. It would also be a good idea to learn how to carve wood so you can make molds too.

hiwall 08-06-2012 01:23 PM

things won't be quite like the 1800's. for many many years there will be scavengers- people who find and make useful items out of all the stuff around us. Some places will have electric power for many years as the hydro-electric plants will keep producing electricity for years to come(mechanics and electricians needed). For awhile wild game populations will drop(I think) but when they return hunters and trappers would be needed.

bkt 08-06-2012 11:04 PM

This is a great thread and there are some good suggestions. A site I found might give some folks some help or ideas: http://www.saveourskills.com/

Seems pretty cool.

Tackleberry1 08-06-2012 11:26 PM

Beyond immediate survival skills the next most important skills will belong to those who can reestablish power and sanitation. Which is one reason I work for a commercial electrician and have many friends who are plumbers.

Tack

downsouth 08-06-2012 11:34 PM

Tack hit on something about sanitation. Human waste piles up quick and can make a bad situation MUCH WORSE if not handled properly. Pest, disease, contamination, all manner of problems fast. A slip trench in the proper location and lime go a long way in this matter.

srtolly1 08-07-2012 12:00 AM

As they say, knowledge is power. We grow some veggies and spices. Plant identification will be a necessary skill for food and medicine. Then knowing how to process it into other things like wheat into flour, corn into corn meal, oats into oatmeal...

I have made several tools out of necessity. Learning gunsmithing and blacksmithing.

TLuker 08-07-2012 01:34 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by hiwall (Post 894715)
things won't be quite like the 1800's. for many many years there will be scavengers- people who find and make useful items out of all the stuff around us. Some places will have electric power for many years as the hydro-electric plants will keep producing electricity for years to come(mechanics and electricians needed). For awhile wild game populations will drop(I think) but when they return hunters and trappers would be needed.

I agree with your point and I realize that it isn't really practical to make a lot of things. I could theoretically get enough black sand from a creek and make a knife from it. And of course I would have to make several to eventually make a decent one. Or I could just go down to the store and buy a good knife that would last me a life time.

But there is something that has just been driving me nuts lately, and that's how disposable everything is becoming. It seems like every time I turn around I'm having to run to the store and buy a replacement something. Not too long ago you bought something and if it broke you bought a new part and fixed it. Now you're going to break 5 more plastic parts just getting to the part you need to replace. That drives me nuts on so many levels and for so many reasons.

The alternative is to buy older products, and the hand planes that texaswoodworker mentioned are the perfect example. You can buy older products like that Stanley No. 5, add a few spare parts, and then you're good to go for a long time. The problem is if you run out of those spare parts. That No.5 has will always need blades. Not very often but it will need them and they will need to be the right size and so on. The further back you go the simpler tools become and the easier they are to repair/maintain/make.

I figure start around the colonial period with the most basic tools and skills then work my way forward. I can figure out what works best along the way. Besides it's fun using and learning about old tools, and its fun getting the occasional surprise. I got an old style planter's hoe this year. I was stunned at how much better it works than new styles hows. Now I just have to figure out which trades I want to learn more about and try my hand at.

And on a side note, I do a lot of metal detecting and relic hunting, and all of this just fits right in with that. The reason I got a planter's hoe to try is because I found so many metal detecting. After researching them I learned they go all of the way back to the colonial period. That's pretty much the style hoe everyone hear used up until the 20th century. Now I know why they used that style for well over 100 years. It is vastly superior to a normal how. :)

c3shooter 08-07-2012 02:25 AM

Go to Amazon, get a copy of Old Ways of Working Wood. Will run you about $5 including shipping.

Tackleberry1 08-07-2012 02:46 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by downsouth (Post 895170)
Tack hit on something about sanitation. Human waste piles up quick and can make a bad situation MUCH WORSE if not handled properly. Pest, disease, contamination, all manner of problems fast. A slip trench in the proper location and lime go a long way in this matter.

Yes it does. Burial is preferred but if your older/inferm and digging is out then the next best option is burning. Diesel fuel and a plastic can liner is how we did it in the service.

Short of diesel then next best option would be a shallow fire pit and grate to set the whole metal container on. Once the moisture is evaporated of the remaining solids and ash can be buried.

Tack

Tackleberry1 08-07-2012 02:50 AM

Also valuable would be land navigation skills. Batteries wil eventually run out rendering GPS useless.

Gps was just coming online midway through my term of enlistment and if I had a Nickle for every time some cheese dick butter bar walked us 10 Klicks out of our way I'd be a rich man.

Tack

Gone_South 08-07-2012 02:55 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Tackleberry1
Also valuable would be land navigation skills. Batteries wil eventually run out rendering GPS useless.

Gps was just coming online midway through my term of enlistment and if I had a Nickle for every time some cheese dick butter bar walked us 10 Klicks out of our way I'd be a rich man.

Tack

Good maps will be a must if navigation is in the mix.

Gone_South 08-07-2012 03:01 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Gone_South

Good maps will be a must if navigation is in the mix.

And reliable compasses obviously.

Tackleberry1 08-07-2012 03:12 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Gone_South (Post 895388)
And reliable compasses obviously.

The protractor comes in pretty handy too when triangulating your position and plotting your route.

Of course when you break out that compass remember to check your maps "angle of declination". This is the number of degree difference between true North and magnetic North in your location.

Forget ^^THIS^^ step and you'll feel like I did following them butter bars and their new fangled GPS. :eek:

Tack

rocshaman 08-09-2012 04:32 PM

Knowing how to make soap is a pretty handy skill to have and one I'm sure most of the ladies would appreciate. Fortunately it's fairly easy as long as you have access to oil and alkali. In other words, animal or vegetable fat and wood ash.

TLuker 08-10-2012 12:55 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by rocshaman (Post 898252)
Knowing how to make soap is a pretty handy skill to have and one I'm sure most of the ladies would appreciate. Fortunately it's fairly easy as long as you have access to oil and alkali. In other words, animal or vegetable fat and wood ash.

I hadn't thought about that one either. I should had because I can still remember my great grandparents talking about how to make soap. I hadn't thought about that years. It really brings back some memories, including how my great grandpa used to salt cure pork.

rocshaman 08-10-2012 01:05 AM

I can still remember my grandma making lye soap. She had a huge cast iron kettle she made it in. And as far as salt pork, man they lived on that stuff. I still have a taste for it and homegrown eggs but you can't find the home cured salt pork of those days anymore.

mountainman13 08-10-2012 01:09 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by rocshaman
Knowing how to make soap is a pretty handy skill to have and one I'm sure most of the ladies would appreciate. Fortunately it's fairly easy as long as you have access to oil and alkali. In other words, animal or vegetable fat and wood ash.

If you attempt it. Wear gloves or kiss all your arm hair goodbye. Lol

rocshaman 08-10-2012 01:13 AM

I don't doubt that one bit lol

mountainman13 08-10-2012 01:20 AM

Yeah lye is nasty stuff. Lol

downsouth 08-10-2012 01:25 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mountainman13
Yeah lye is nasty stuff. Lol

So rendered lard plus wood ashe makes lye. Or do you get lye from an outside source. Does lye occur naturally?

c3shooter 08-10-2012 01:27 AM

Lye is sodium hydroxide. Easiest way to produce your own is to trickle water through wood ash, which gives a dilute form. Then boil it to concentrate it. Lye plus fat equals soap. The term is saponification. That is your $10 word for the week. Try to work THAT into a conversation!

mountainman13 08-10-2012 01:29 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by c3shooter
Lye is sodium hydroxide. Easiest way to produce your own is to trickle water through wood ash, which gives a dilute form. Then boil it to concentrate it.

Yep dead on. Didn't know you had old world skills. ;)

capto56 08-10-2012 01:29 AM

What the heck is ETOWAWKI or whatever letter combination was used?

mountainman13 08-10-2012 01:30 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by capto56
What the heck is ETOWAWKI or whatever letter combination was used?

Lol
End
Of
The
World
As
We
Know
It

rocshaman 08-10-2012 01:31 AM

I wondered that to but figure it means: the end of the world as we know it

downsouth 08-10-2012 01:32 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by capto56
What the heck is ETOWAWKI or whatever letter combination was used?

END of THE WORLD AS WE KNOW IT

rocshaman 08-10-2012 01:34 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by c3shooter
Lye is sodium hydroxide. Easiest way to produce your own is to trickle water through wood ash, which gives a dilute form. Then boil it to concentrate it. Lye plus fat equals soap. The term is saponification. That is your $10 word for the week. Try to work THAT into a conversation!

I use that word every day in conversation, doesn't everybody?

downsouth 08-10-2012 01:38 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by c3shooter
Lye is sodium hydroxide. Easiest way to produce your own is to trickle water through wood ash, which gives a dilute form. Then boil it to concentrate it. Lye plus fat equals soap. The term is saponification. That is your $10 word for the week. Try to work THAT into a conversation!

Thanks c3, If I used your 10 dollar word in conversation the other person would ask for change back.


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