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ericchampigny
09-01-2006, 09:55 AM
I've been trying to find a period recipe for forage cap brim enamel, particularly for federal forage caps. Does anyone know of the correct recipe, or know where to find it? Thanks.

Eric Champigny

Rob
09-01-2006, 03:21 PM
I'd like to know that myself.

On a somewhat related note...

Last year, I was at an event where the deer flies were really hellacious. I usually have a bottle of pure DEET in the car, but since I don't care to smear it on my face, I'll smear it on the brim of whatever hat I'm wearing.

Big mistake - the DEET acted as a solvent for the coating on the forage cap brim, and it started to liquify. I had to set the cap out in the sun to dry all afternoon.

A word to the wise...

DaveGink
07-22-2007, 09:06 PM
Bump.

I too would like to know this. Anyone?

Parault
07-23-2007, 09:57 AM
Eric

I have a close friend that makes Kepis. I contacted him about the original recipe. He stated that part of the original recipe had linseed oil in it. This product is flammable. It will spontaneously ignite if not properly applied and allowed to dry. I have first hand knowledge of this product at the fire station. It is also has carcinogenic properties. It is one of those things that one may ask "Are you sure you want to do that?" If you do find out the full recipe I would like to know just for the knowledge.

toptimlrd
07-23-2007, 10:03 AM
I can vouch for the Deet experience but not on any of my gear. I left a bottle sitting on a window ledge outside my home, it leaked a little and the finish on my siding was gone. Good stuff for repelling bugs........bad for anything that solvent will hurt.

TimKindred
07-23-2007, 10:09 AM
Eric

I have a close friend that makes Kepis. I contacted him about the original recipe. He stated that part of the original recipe had linseed oil in it. This product is flammable. It will spontaneously ignite if not properly applied and allowed to dry. I have first hand knowledge of this product at the fire station. It is also has carcinogenic properties. It is one of those things that one may ask "Are you sure you want to do that?" If you do find out the full recipe I would like to know just for the knowledge.

The original recipe uses boiled linseed oil, turpentine, sugar of lead, copal, etc. There are actually two separate recipes. The first recipe is applied in two coats and allowed to fully dry. the second recipe is used as a third, or finishing coat.

Both recipes may be found on pp174 of the 1862ed of the Ordnance Manual. It's rather involved, and I don't have the time to transcribe it here completely.

It's most likely available online. Just do a search for "Ordnance Manual", etc.

Respects,

Parault
07-23-2007, 11:17 AM
Thanks Mr. Kindred

TimKindred
07-23-2007, 02:40 PM
Comrade,

For a member of Hood's old brigade, no problem :)

Nothing like a case or two of spontaneous combustion to liven up a boring day....... Especially when it's preceded by a "hey mister, d'ya know yer cap's on fire?"

Respects,

Silas
07-23-2007, 07:40 PM
Oh, yes. The flaming kepi argument. Haven't heard that in a while. I've made a few Confederate kepis and made the brims with tarred canvas. The tarring includes raw linseed oil. None have combusted yet.

Sanded down my musket a few years ago and applied several coats of raw linseed oil to the stock. There's some turpentine in the mix, too. I rub a light coat into the stock at least once a year. The weapon fires, but the stock hasn't.

Made a banjo this summer. It has several applications of raw linseed oil rubbed into the wood. The banjo hasn't caught fire yet, but sometimes my fingers seem to glow.

I made my own US haversack using that tarring receipe with raw linseed oil. The food cooks, but the haversack hasn't.

There are potential combustion issues while linseed oil dries. Same for the rags used in applying linseed oil. Once dry, there's no problem. Unfortunately, it's a slow dry. (Boiled is quicker than raw, especially when you apply some japan drier to the solution.) I think of the drying time in half lives. It won't be dry in a day, but it will seem half as wet as the day prior. Give it another day, and it'll be half as wet as the day before that. And so on.

I respect the power of the fumes and the combustion potential involved with linseed oil. I always wear disposable gloves when I apply it. I've never encountered a combustion, but that's probably because I take precautions against it. If you're afraid of the stuff, don't use it. If you are considering using it, might be a good idea to do a little surfing on the net for a few safety tips.

Just don't condemn all use of linseed oil because of a remote combustion threat near the time when the oil is applied.

Silas Tackitt
http://www.fs.fed.us/gpnf/04mshnvm/images/19800518-usgs2.jpg

TimKindred
07-23-2007, 08:04 PM
Silas,

Absolutely. My forgoing post was a joke.

It's all about doing the research. After all, there aren't any accounts I've read of where warehouses full of knapsacks, oil cloths, etc burst into flames without someone's assistance.

Respects,

Silas
07-23-2007, 09:28 PM
Or lack thereof.

Tim, you've been around a long time. Others haven't. My comments are directed at those who hear a thread of truth about linseed oil and accept it as whole cloth.

As you know, a pile of freshly painted knapsacks, oil cloths and et cetera in a confined space pose some serious combustion problems. I've read about them, too. However, a couple kepi brims, a single knapsack/haversack, or stock curing in my backyard aren't going to blow. Although some might wish my banjo would.

Silas Tackitt

Dkjarnagin
07-24-2007, 10:01 AM
The term enameled leather is found in what most call militia leather good that have a tarred finish for the lack of better word. This is a cheap finish used on leather where the grain surface (smooth side of the leather is damaged beyond mast finishes). I have seen some pieces made of VA military academies that were in white and lots of this type of leather was used for just this purpose after the Civil War and can be found at any CW show. This is a cheap grade and for more information check out the leather definitions page I have on the web.

Patent leather is what was used on the brims of forage caps. This is a much higher grade of leather and finish and most were between 5 to 7 coats of finish with sanding in between each layer. Along with that the first 3 to 4 layers contained a blacking built into the finish itself. Patent of the period is not what we think of patent today with its very high shiny plastic sheen. Period patent was a finish that could be looked into and by this I mean it had depth to the shine, almost to the point that you thought you reach in to the finish itself. This is a really hard thing to explain but I own an original French belt that is made for patent and the finish is exquisite. Here again look at the information on the leather definitions web page and click on the patent link and if you see a picture of some workers finishing patent leather and in the shadow of the worker on left front you can see his reflection in the leather if you look closely. Good patent leather would have been said to give a “good face”.

http://www.jarnaginco.com/leather%20definitions%20index.htm