Almost Forgotten Skills
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Old 08-06-2012, 02:19 AM   #1
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Default 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?

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Old 08-06-2012, 02:30 AM   #2
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farming, hunting, food prep, basic medicine would be good to learn

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Old 08-06-2012, 02:32 AM   #3
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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.

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Old 08-06-2012, 02:41 AM   #4
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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

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Old 08-06-2012, 03:04 AM   #5
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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

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Old 08-06-2012, 03:20 AM   #6
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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.

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Old 08-06-2012, 03:23 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JonM View Post
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.
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Old 08-06-2012, 03:49 AM   #8
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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.

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Old 08-06-2012, 03:53 AM   #9
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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.
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Old 08-06-2012, 04:33 AM   #10
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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.

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