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dpack



Joined: 02 Jul 2005
Posts: 34188
Location: yes
PostPosted: Sat Apr 14, 18 11:05 am    Post subject:  Reply with quote    

soaking in a bucket of water restores flexibility so i assume the reused ones were soaked.

an 18" dia bundle when tied tight was quite a bit fatter before the roll, squash, shuffle and secure. maybe the professionals have a better method than i but i would need around 12 ft to get that size nice and tight.

iirc a lot of the london fuel was from pollard rather than coppice perhaps that makes a difference to the types of twigs available for ties? epping forest has some ace ancient pollard some of which has been reworked after a considerable time unharvested.
as well as fuel tree hay ( leaves and green twigs ) was collected for animal fodder for the working equines and milk cows of the city which again might make for a lack of long withies?

Mistress Rose



Joined: 21 Jul 2011
Posts: 9973

PostPosted: Sun Apr 15, 18 6:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

The usual way to make faggots or bavins as they are also called, is to gather all the sticks into a frame, put a chain or chains round it with a stirrup on one end and pull tight, then tie. I have seen it done and use a similar method to clamp my besom heads. Yes, soaking will restore flexibility, but still think after a while the withies would get rather fragile. They would need to be selected, but would come from cutting of certain stools I think and might be a crop in their own right, not a general by-product of something else.

In the New Forest holly is cut high, but not high enough to be a true pollard, to feed animals in winter. Result is that start up a chainsaw there and you are surrounded by ponies waiting for food.

wellington womble



Joined: 08 Nov 2004
Posts: 14962
Location: East Midlands
PostPosted: Sun Apr 15, 18 10:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Pitching a tent results in said ponies also begging.

dpack



Joined: 02 Jul 2005
Posts: 34188
Location: yes
PostPosted: Sun Apr 15, 18 10:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

I think and might be a crop in their own right,

that seems plausible. iirc polled woods would have been grazed/snuffled at times which makes stool grown withies a bit tricky

the chain press thing makes lots of sense and for shorter ties

Mistress Rose



Joined: 21 Jul 2011
Posts: 9973

PostPosted: Mon Apr 16, 18 6:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

The New Forest ponies have it down to a fine art WW. Several of them hang around in the road for an inexperienced (in their ways) motorist to come along, then one or two others beg at the windows. If you know their ways you just edge gently forward and they have to give way, so go away grumbling.

dpack



Joined: 02 Jul 2005
Posts: 34188
Location: yes
PostPosted: Mon Apr 16, 18 12:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

just by chance i saw a woodcut drawing yesterday. the bloke was tying a faggot using a withy. he was holding it down with his foot and using the withy to help roll and lever it tight.

it looked like twice round and back through the bight with the trunk heel end of the withy was common enough to get recorded by the artist. as soon as i saw it i thought "that is how i do it " which was a bit spooky.

a bit of a strange coincidence ( or i miss a lot of "irrelevant" woodcuts of everyday tasks )

if using this method the size of the finished faggot is limited by the length of the available withies and the loose to tight volume ratio of the twigs being packed.

at a guess beech and oak pollard twigs ( eg epping ) would start as a pretty big bunch to give a decent weight of tightly bound faggot ready for transport to a baker.

Mistress Rose



Joined: 21 Jul 2011
Posts: 9973

PostPosted: Tue Apr 17, 18 6:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

I think there were standard sizes of faggot, and the size would also be dictated by the size of the oven. I seem to recall there being something in Silva about it, but can't remember what the sizes were.

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