Corn Boiler or Mucket

Discussion in 'Camp and Trail Gear' started by Bretwalda, Mar 4, 2009.

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  1. Mar 4, 2009 #1

    Bretwalda

    Bretwalda

    Bretwalda

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    I was thinking of using one of these as my solo cookware piece of light trecking and primative camping. I know that the menu would be limited, but since I have to carry everything, I need to make some concessions to carry more important items. What are your thoughts/experience with this item in a primative camping situation?
     
  2. Mar 4, 2009 #2

    Swampman

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    They work great, but they probably only date back to the 1860s.
     
  3. Mar 4, 2009 #3

    J.D.

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    Depends on the situation. Trekking, a boiler/cook pot is all one needs, though a two piece, nesting cook set can be more versatile. A meal can be prepared in the larger, or smaller pot, while hot drinks prepared in the other. Get the smallest size pots available in a nesting set for packing in. A larger pot is great in a stationary, car camp, if you plan to do rendezvous or reenactments where you don't pack in.

    If you are cooking with a group, one person can prepare a meal for two and the other person can prepare a hot drink.

    IMHO, Mark is right about the mucket being a Civil War item. I suggest the same size boiler without the attached lid and handle. IMHO, the boiler packs better without the handle.
     
  4. Mar 4, 2009 #4

    boar

    boar

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    I like my little brass pot and small deep tin skillet. Will do all my cooking needs. I carried two little tin skillets ,one in each saddlebags when we camped up in mts of Va. I used them a lot. We had a big kettle for the beans. Made fritter bread in the skillet to go with the beans. Dilly
     
  5. Mar 4, 2009 #5

    Bretwalda

    Bretwalda

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    Dilly-Do you have a picture a source or the demensions of that "little" brass pot? and skillets used?


    Thanks!!!
     
  6. Mar 4, 2009 #6

    boar

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    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Had son do the pictures. I get them at the Flea market. I drill a hole each side and put a cotter pin in and add a bail. I have another brass one that will fit in the brass one shown.I have one steel skillet that has the folding handle about size of the little skillet, but never used it yet. Lot heavier. Dilly
     
  7. Mar 4, 2009 #7

    ameling

    ameling

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    Here's a pic of several small brass/copper kettles.

    [​IMG]

    The upper left one is a Jim Kimpell conversion of that common Crazy Crow 1/2 gallon brass kettle. He cuts about 1 1/2 inches off of the top, re-rolls the rim, and adds those dog-ear bale lugs and a new bale. This makes the height to diameter ration closer to the originals.

    Crazy Crow now also offers a Copper kettle with proper dog-ear bale lugs. Unfortunately, it's still too tall when compared to its diameter. It holds 1/2 gallon just like their small brass kettle.

    And here's a pic of one 1/2 gallon brass kettle that I cut down and then added an iron rim. This pushes the time period into the early 1700's and well back into the 1600's.

    [​IMG]

    This and the Jim Kimpell conversion brass kettle all hold around 4 cups comfortably, about 5 cups brim full.

    The big problem with the "corn boilers" is the way they are put together. That bottom rim is the big problem area. They tend to have a machine rolled/crimped seam, and look a lot like a modern food can. Or they have that bottom flanged/lipped out and then sealed. Those types of seams are made using those hand-cranked tinsmithing machines. And those machines only really started to be used in the 1840's and later. The most common bottom seam was the bottom disk being lipped straight up a bit all around, and the sides then set down into that lip. Then soldered together. The other early method had the bottom of the sides cut to form little tabs. Every other tab was bent in, then the bottom set in, then the other tabs bent in to hold that bottom in place. And the whole seam then soldered into place.

    Westminster Forge does some good ones with the correct bottom seams. So does Goose Bay. Check them out. Jim Kimpell finally does have a web site started. http://highhorsetrading.com/ He only had a few things on it the last time I checked. And several other tinsmiths out there also do good correct work. And more are also doing Hot-Dipped tin work.


    If you find a small pot with a bottom seam that is flush, or does not look like a moder food can, then it should work. (For a quick understanding of that machine rolled/crimped seam, just look at most any "tin cup" you find available at events.)

    In the end, it is all a matter of personal choice. Use what you feel will work for you. Personal choice.

    Just my humble thoughts to share, and best used in conjunction with your own research.

    Mikey - that grumpy ol' German blacksmith out in the Hinterlands
     
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  8. Mar 4, 2009 #8

    3crows

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    I have some of these stamped pans too. Mine had a thin metal cover on the handle most reading National stamped in it. They are lite and work great but are they P.C. Anyone know the age or if a similar product was used pre 1840?
     
  9. Mar 5, 2009 #9

    boar

    boar

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    Well don't know about them being PC. But I like them, have a bunch more. The kettles Mike show are nice. I looked up his link and them kettles were 50.00. I guess it depends on how much you want to pretend. I have less then 10.00 in mine and they do the job. Dilly
     
  10. Mar 5, 2009 #10

    ameling

    ameling

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    Those stamped sheet iron frypans with the handle being stamped out right along with the pan are late 1800's and early 1900's. Especially those with that extra strip of tin wrapped around them. Up here we find them with Cold Handle stamped into that extra tin part.

    To ... adjust ... them to an earlier configuration, you have to cut off that integral handle and then rivet on a forged iron handle. Lots of the Civil War guys use these with a forged handle riveted on. And they do work fairly well for earlier "colonial" times - although the slope of the sides is not steep enough when compared to originals.

    They do make nice frypans.

    Of course, using them is a matter of personal choice.

    Just my humble thoughts to share, and best used in conjunction with your own research.

    Mikey - that grumpy ol' German blacksmith out in the Hinterlands

    p.s. Yes, those converted brass/copper kettles do get expensive. The original kettles run $30 to $35 or even up to $45 each. And then there is the added work to make them more closely resemble the originals. So that extra work tends to add $20 to $30 to them. And proper hand-made kettles quickly get expensive as well. So lots of people try to figure out how to tinker/tweak a flea market or junque shop find to look better.
     
  11. Mar 7, 2009 #11

    wayne1967

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    I've got a covered small boiler coming made by Backwoods Tin and I am going to try to make a folding skillet out of one of the type that Boar-dilly has in the pick. For one person these two should cover bill.
     
  12. Mar 7, 2009 #12

    wayne1967

    wayne1967

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    [​IMG]



    That is really nice.
     
  13. Apr 27, 2009 #13

    bnail

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    $50.00 is a bargain when compared with what you'd pay for one from Goosebay! I'm guessing Mike's not making a whole-hell-of-a-lot on those conversions.

    and, as far as those skillets go, I took one, removed the sheet metal covering on the handle and, since I'm not a metal banger, I put a slab handle on it. I can't document it, but I figure it gets me closer to the 18th C than in its original state. Works for me anyway.
     

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