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Gordon Clark




Location: Purcellville, VA
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PostPosted: Tue 07 Feb, 2006 5:41 am    Post subject: Medieval tools         Reply with quote

This is not arms and armour related directly, so moderators, please move if required.

I am interested in putting together a collection of tools that a 15th century soldier would have possibly carried / used.
I am thinking of things like a utility axe for wood chopping, possibly some kind of hammer, ...

I would like to know if people have any resources indicating what these tools might be, and any pictures of historical artifacts that indicate how they looked.

Also, I would be interested in links to companies producing high quality versions of such things.

Thanks

Gordon
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Wolfgang Armbruster





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PostPosted: Tue 07 Feb, 2006 6:27 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

A lot of people would carry their own eating knife, sometimes a fork as well.
As for real tools, I'm not sure if a soldier in the middle ages would have have carried tools for building trenches and palisades like the Romans did.
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Craig Johnson
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PostPosted: Tue 07 Feb, 2006 6:33 am    Post subject: Tools         Reply with quote

Hey Gordon

There are some tools scattered here and there in Museums. They have a tendency to be a small portion of what is displayed. There are a couple of finds that are significant. A tool chest that was found in Iceland, carpenter I believe. A grave of a blacksmith from Estonia. Things like that. As for a soldier specifically it would depend a lot on what there occupation would have been in civilian life. Most of these skills would have been needed on campaign and each trade would have had those who practiced it supply that service at different levels through out the army.

I think one of the Men at Arms books details the kit from some of the info that has been gathered but I can not id the title right off. It may have been the archer book.

If the individual was a soldier in service for long periods of time I would expect the tools carried would modify and adapt to their specific needs. As you stated a hand axe/hammer, knife large and small, small utensils and eating implements there would be a large variety of such things that could be part of a kit. We have done assorted items as custom stuff over the years, there are a couple of companies that do stock items along these lines. Medieval Reproductions comes to mind, I have not purchased much from them lately so I could not say what the experience is like but I have seen a few items here and there that looked good.

Best
Craig
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Sam E.





Joined: 07 Feb 2006

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PostPosted: Tue 07 Feb, 2006 10:17 am    Post subject: tool museum in Troyes         Reply with quote

There's an excellent tool museum in Troyes, France. Most of the displayed tools are from the 18th and 19th centuries. However, if you want to go a step beyond posting here and googling, you might contact them. I expect there's a lot of expertise on their staff.
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Jean Thibodeau




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PostPosted: Tue 07 Feb, 2006 6:41 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Possible tools that might have been carried ? Armour repair tools, sowing kit, leather repair, food preparation, first aid / grooming ?

Knights and lords would have servants to do these things. Camp followers would " service " the troops in more mundane ways than as stress relievers. Razz Laughing Out Loud

I would think major tools: Axes, mauls, saws would be part of the baggage train on wagons or pack animals.

Maybe we should think of what would be needed by a low level soldier or mercenary in the field were stopping at a village or town to buy or extort services would be not an option: A do it yourself situation.

You can easily give up your freedom. You have to fight hard to get it back!
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Joshua Reptsik




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PostPosted: Tue 07 Feb, 2006 6:48 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Here's a link to some high end axes. The period may be a bit off but it's worth a look.

http://www.traditionalwoodworker.com/default....b0a675f4cb

" You little fool who wanted to be the best, see what happened." -MS 3227a
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Chuck Russell




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PostPosted: Wed 08 Feb, 2006 2:55 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

well heres the hard thing. i dont think we ( as in gentlemen) would have carried anything. we have yoemen for that. nothing i'd like better than to sit in camp and work on armour, but i jsut dont see my persona doing that as a land owner
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Gordon Frye




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PostPosted: Thu 09 Feb, 2006 9:58 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I think that one thing you would definitely see in the train of an armed band would be siege tools, i.e. those tools designed for digging trenches, cutting reinforcing timbers, and the like. Shovels and spades, picks, axes, billhooks, etc. Not that a gentleman would use such a thing under most circumstances, but they needed to be there for the levies to use for such duties. Since much of Medieval and Renaissance Warfare was devoted to various aspects of siege operations, having the tools to effect that would be a necessary part of every army's baggage.

Of course, the nice thing about these tools is that they're also bloody handy for use in camp too. Add a nice big mallet for driving tent stakes in, and you're set!

Then of course there are specialists tools such as for farriers, blacksmiths, wagon- and wheel-wrights and coopers to keep the army moving and fed. But that's a different part of the baggage train. Big Grin

Allons!

Gordon

"After God, we owe our victory to our Horses"
Gonsalo Jimenez de Quesada
http://www.renaissancesoldier.com/
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Gordon Clark




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PostPosted: Fri 10 Feb, 2006 4:37 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Gordon Frye wrote:
I think that one thing you would definitely see in the train of an armed band would be siege tools, i.e. those tools designed for digging trenches, cutting reinforcing timbers, and the like. Shovels and spades, picks, axes, billhooks, etc. Not that a gentleman would use such a thing under most circumstances, but they needed to be there for the levies to use for such duties. Since much of Medieval and Renaissance Warfare was devoted to various aspects of siege operations, having the tools to effect that would be a necessary part of every army's baggage.

Of course, the nice thing about these tools is that they're also bloody handy for use in camp too. Add a nice big mallet for driving tent stakes in, and you're set!

Then of course there are specialists tools such as for farriers, blacksmiths, wagon- and wheel-wrights and coopers to keep the army moving and fed. But that's a different part of the baggage train. Big Grin

Allons!

Gordon


There is one I did not think of. What would such a thing look like, I wonder? A bit like a modern shovel, I assume.
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Wolfgang Armbruster





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PostPosted: Fri 10 Feb, 2006 6:13 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The Roman shovels I've seen look pretty much like the ones you can find in any homeworker-shop or X-mart of your choice. It's a good design, changing it wasn't necessary in the last 2000 years Cool
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Gordon Frye




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PostPosted: Fri 10 Feb, 2006 8:51 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Gordon Clark wrote:

There is one I did not think of. What would such a thing look like, I wonder? A bit like a modern shovel, I assume.


Gordon;

As Wolfgang said, the basic design hasn't changed much for a LONG time, but I believe that most Medieval-through-18th Century spades and shovels were mostly of iron-shod wood. Those that were mostly iron still didn't have as much as our modern shovels and spades do, since iron was still a fairly expensive material to make things from. I guess it was "Better to break a dozen wooden shovels than spend the money on one iron one". Big Grin Think board cut to shape...

Oh yes, a spade looks like the Ace of Spades, a shovel has a flat nose. Usually. But "Call a spade a spade, and not a bleeding shovel!" as they say in the UK to us ignorant Yankees. Big Grin

Also tools for feeding and cleaning up after horses would be applicable, such as rakes, pitch-forks, etc., as well as perhaps some saddler's tools as well. Basically, anything you can think of that would be used to keep an army in the field, that may not be easily "liberated" from the locals in sufficient amounts for need, could be seen about camp.

Allons!

Gordon (the other one... Cool )

"After God, we owe our victory to our Horses"
Gonsalo Jimenez de Quesada
http://www.renaissancesoldier.com/
http://historypundit.blogspot.com/
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