Thu, 03 Jun 2004
Subject: [SCA-AS] Spiffing up your Pennsic (Lillies, Gulf, Estrella, GWW, etc...) Encampment

Hail, fellow campers!

Camping should be a joy and an experience of beauty when done in proper medieval style, not an experience to be suffered through. This issue of the Links List can help with that, as it is about camping with flair. Below you will find 31 links in all, with links for camp furniture and accessories to make your encampment the envy of your neighbors.

As always, please "pay it forward" and send the Links List along to others who might find it useful.


Dame Aoife Finn of Ynos Mon
m/k/a Lisbeth Herr-Gelatt

Camp Furniture by Thomas Rettie
(Site Excerpt) Boxes and Chests. Perhaps the most basic and fundamentally useful piece of kit for a reenactor is the six-board chest. In a pinch this can double as a bench, and it has much to recommend itself over plastic tubs. In its simplest form, the boards simply butt one another, but you'll get a more weather-tight box if you rabbet the edges. If you nail strips across the bottom, it will keep the bottom off the ground and lessen the effects of mud, wet grass, etc.
See also "An Article on Making Medieval Tusk Tennons for Knock-Down Furniture
and "Tryangle stolys for my Lord" at

Regia Anglorum Anglo-Saxon and Viking Woodworking
(Site Excerpt) Timber was the most important resource for the Anglo-Saxons and Vikings. The early medieval carpenter was not only skilled in working the wood, but also in selecting the correct timber and shape for the job. If the finished item needed to have a curve in it, the carpenter would select a piece of timber that had the correct natural curve. You can use natural junctions where a branch joins to the tree as joints that have grown to suit a job that you had in mind. These natural joints are stronger than man-made ones and save the carpenter a lot of time creating joints. Wherever possible they would 'follow the grain' to leave the finished product as strong as possible.

David Friedman (Cariadoc's) Miscellany article: A Period Rope Bed
(Site Excerpt) The basic problem with rope beds is that unless the rope is very taut, they sag. The solution in this design is to have the mesh of ropes fasten not to the food of the bed but to a horizontal dowel a little above the foot. You wrap a rope six times around the dowel and foot and pull. This pulls the dowel towards the foot with a mechanical advantage of twelve to one (minus substantial losses from friction and some loss from the rope not being quite a right angles to the dowel), tightening the bed.

Making a Rope Bed
(Site Excerpt) the disadvantages there is no such thing as a free lunch. there are two problems with rope beds. sag rope beds sag into the middle, they all do. If you are one person sleeping on the bed, then it is not a big deal (although a really saggy bed can cause back pain) but two people sleeping on a rope bed will find themselves rolling into each other a lot. it is up to concerned parties to determine if this is good or bad. stretch the new rope in a bed stretches a lot, and you'll find yourself retightening the ropes a lot. Even in older beds with rope that should darn well have stretched itself to limit, you will find yourself rolling into the center of the bed during longer events. See the hints on using wedges as a way to quickly tighten up a bed.

My Slat Bed by Jon MacQuarrie
(Site Excerpt) The bed depicted here is for a full-sized mattress (aka."Grandma") and tall enough to store those green Rubbermaid bins you can get at WalMart. There is no headboard on this design, although one is planned and will be easily added to the head of the bed.

Ravensgard Viking Beds
(Site Excerpt) Beds and fragments of beds have been found in two archaeological sites from the Viking Age: Oseberg and Gokstad in Norway. The Oseberg find is dated to circa 850 and Gokstad circa 900. This is a reproduction of one of the Oseberg state beds from a museum in Norway. Note the angled headposts.

Medieval Benches by Master Terafan
(Site Excerpt) All of the wood joinery is done using a 10 degree angle. This allows the top to stay attached to the legs when you pick the bench up by the top. It also allows the bench legs to not be at the ends of the bench, yet not cause tipping when someone sits on the end of the bench. The stabilizing bar is also cut at 10 degree angles to allow the edges to meet flush with the legs, and then a peg locks the leg tight against the stabilizing bar, and everything is held in place. A picture of the peg is at the right.

Early Furnishings: Ancient Chairs (Acrobat required)
(Site Excerpt) As our Saga of Medieval Furniture Continues, in this issue we look at a couple of early period chairs.....the first is modelled after what may be a single example of a viking "hex" chair.

Sligo Chair by Matthew Power Artol, Count of Aaramor (Acrobat Required)
(Site Excerpt) Although the Irish Taum remains one of the most popular sets of plans I have included in Sacred Spaces, you may recall that in my previous article I cofessed to having little research to support it's existence...aside from a photo I had found in a book on Ancient Irish crafts. Well, all that has changed, with the publication of a densley researched book titled Irish Country Furniture....

The Glastonbury Chair by Daniel Diehl copyright 1994 (Acrobat Required--note that this is a web-publication of one of his book articles)

Reconstruct a Tudor Table by Matthew Power
(Site Excerpt) Building MEdieval Furniture doesn't get any better than this. When the photo above was taken in 1919, this rugged trestle table, built during Henry VIII's reign, looked as if it might last another 400 years.

How to make a replica of a Viking Table based on the Sala Hytta Find
By Stephen Francis Wyley
(Site Excerpt)After making numerous replicas of the 'Lund Viking' stool I was enthused enough to look at making other forms of Viking furniture. Amongst the many tomes of Peter Beatson's Library I had previously come across an article on the "H?rning Grave, a chamber grave from ca. 1000 with a woman buried in a body of a carriage".

Italian Cassone
(Site Excerpt) Italian Cassone. Master Dafydd ap Gwystl and Terafan Greydragon created a reproduction of a 15th century Italian cassone (chest). They created the cassone to raffle off at Kingdom Twelfth Night to raise funds for the Oak, which is the Atlantian Arts and Sciences newsletter. The chest is based upon a late 15th century Italian cassone in the Philadelphia Museum of Art. The hardware to carry the chest is based upon a 16th century chest. The enlarged detail at the right shows the original hardware. To see the whole chest, click the image at the right.

Dragon Wing: A Medieval Wooden Chest. Plans for a storage box that doubles as a camp stool
(Site Excerpt)This box is the latest addition to the tourney gear we usually bring to events. It's not a strict reproduction of any particular box, but rather acombination of two styles. The first style, shown in Figure A (below, left) is a fifteenth-century gabled chest, was my inspiration for the carcass of my chest (although I used different carving patterns), but since I wished to use the chest as an extra seat in camp, I elected to make it with a flat top, like the thirteenth-century German chest shown in Figure
B, on the right.

The Voxtorp Church Chest, Plans and Pictures of a Replica by Stephen Francis Wyley
(Site Excerpt) This article is set forth to aid the re-constructor in building a chest based on the Voxtorp Church Chest. The Voxtorp Church Chest is a rectangular sided chest made from pine with decorative ironwork, from Sm?land in Sweden, dating from c. 1200, the length of the chest is 146 cm, the width is 32 cm and the height is 90 cm. The chest is currently housed
at the Statens Historiska Museum in Stockholm, Sweden (ref no. 4094). See Figure 1.

The Medieval Chest by Master Dafydd ap Gwystl
(Site Excerpt) This article examines the six general styles or classes of medieval chest: box, standard, Viking chest, six-board chest, hutch, and panel chest. The first two classes (box and standard) are legless designs; the other four (Viking, six-board, hutch, and panel chest) are designs with legs.

Greydragon Furniture Collection: Medieval Chandeliers
(Site Excerpt) The chandelier comes apart for storage. It goes together with a single screw that stays in the bottom of the vertical hanger when stored. For 'candles', I choose to use refillable, liquid paraffin lamps. The liquid paraffin is much safer than lamp oil or citronella, and it delivers a clean, odor-free flame. It is classified as non-toxic (unless consumed internally) and non-flammable.

Building an Armour Stand by Eric Slyter
(Site Excerpt) Quite a few people have asked how to build a display stand so that they may show off their armour at their home, event or wherever. I have an armour stand that I designed that has served me very well for quite some time, and is simple in it's construction. You'll require some 2x4s, some 1/2" plywood, wood glue, nails, and preferably a ripsaw and a jigsaw. I am not providing exact dimensions for the pieces of this stand, as there are many variables due to customization, which may change the 'formula'. Adjust at will, and as necessary.

She'erah's little house on the flatbed
(Site Excerpt) This house was built in the spring/summer of 2000 to satisfy a dream of many years of having a "little house on a flatbed" at Pennsic (like some of the merchants do). It was assembled at Coopers' Lake Campground, where it lives year-round.

Portable Period Shower by Peter Ellis (Duke Sir Gavin Kilkenny)
(Site Excerpt) ..One of several items of interest we found in Visby was a pumphouse, in the courtyard of the museum. The structure is about eight feet tall....

Stenciling By Lady Faoiltighearna inghean mhic Ghuaire
Copyright ? 1999 Margo Farnsworth
(Site Excerpt) I have found this to be the easiest way to decorate a pavilion and have had many requests to teach this technique to others. We have evidence of painted pavillions in period, but I have not found any evidence (yet) that they were stenciled. I have also used this technique to decorate a cover for my cooler, a wooden kitchen table, my lords shield, napkins, t-shirts, hats, and shoes. Someone joked that if you stood still in our encampment too long you would be stenciled! Once you have the technique down, you will find that it is very addictive.

Maestra Damiana's ingenious stenciled cooler cover
Photo only, but a real beauty.

Footstools for the Royal House of Meridies
(Site Excerpt) Brother Michael hit upon the idea of low footstools for the Queen and Princess. As an optional accessory to the Thrones, the ladies would be able to step up with dignity, and comfortable rest their feet during court as well. Because he wanted to focus his time as creative energy on the thrones, Brother Michael opted to sub-contract the footstools to Lord Richard and myself. As Brother Michael is a Master Finisher by trade, that he would entrust a project to be display alongside his work was a great honor.

Was medieval furniture "sanded"?
(Site Excerpt) Sandpaper (or glass paper) is a relatively modern innovation. Prior to its introduction, woodworkers relied on chiefly on skill with a plane and scraper to produce a smooth, flat surface. When abrasives were needed, natural alternatives were available, such as cattails (used by turners), fine sand, and rottenstone (a soft, decomposed limestone).

Camp Chair Plans by Boy Scouts of America
(Site Excerpt) These plans are based upon several designs used by scouts in our council. Some people call this a scissors chair. The chair is composed to two pieces: the seat and the back. The two pieces slip together and require no fasteners when used. When carried the seat stows between the sides of the back for a very compact package.

(Site Excerpt) Having seen these stools in the Maciejowski Bible and elsewhere, a few years ago I decided my pavilion needed one. So, blissfully ignorant of furniture making, I went ahead and made it. It was not hard, it was not expensive, and it looks lovely.

Stefan's Florilegium
The florilegium has a host of articles on various types of furniture. Click on home-sweet-home for a plethora of information.

Medieval Encampment Guild (a yahoo group)
(Site Excerpt) Known World Medieval Encampment Guild-- mailing list for those interested in tents, wood-working, furniture research and construction, camp cooking, and any other aspects of reenactment camping.

Tournaments Illuminated Index: Furniture