Saturday, November 29, 2014

Yucca packs and packboards

A question was recently posed about taking a yucca pack off of a packboard with regard to how you re-attach its straps. Short answer, you don't. After looking at both of my yucca packs, checking out packboards, sleuthing every style of bag I could find photos or examples of and finally looking at my copy of the 1948 and 1967 handbooks as well as the 1965 field book, I figured out a few things.

There are about three styles of scout packs that have been in common use as well as a deluxe version of yucca(1329) that is better suited to a packboard or frame, than the most common scout pack, the 574 yucca pack. The official frame was the Cruiser. Two other packs are the ultra basic haversack and the camper or three pocket model. Those four models are all Diamond brand packs and all have permanently attached straps that are stitched and riveted with a reinforced leather patch. If any of those models lack straps, they have been removed or its a different model. 

There are two other less common packs the 1307 D by Diamond and an early one called the Trapper Nelson, both are designed to remain on their frames. The Trapper Nelson is much more rare and looks different from the 1307 which at first glance looks like a yucca. Most 1307 models have a zippered outer pocket and a red Scout seal rather than the black one found on most Diamond brand packs and a handful of others have model numbers you aren't likely to see. As these models are designed to stay on their frames they have no straps or only have straps for attaching to a frame. 

Being canvas, any of the old Diamond brand packs are easily modified and maintained as long as the cloth isnt rotten. If you have a bag needing repairs or something modifed any luggage repair shop should be able to help. 

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Glass knapping

I have a lot of old projects, things that have been set aside for one reason or another but not abandoned. I'm a big believer in know when to push projects and when to let them breath and happen in their own time. My glass(flint) knapping project, and I suppose knapping skills in general, are on that back burner stack.

I did a lot of shaping stone when I was a kid. In scouts, my decade of involvement with Historic Fort Wayne and outdoor adventures in general, flint knapping was something that everyone seemed to be doing. Whether art, hobby, demonstration or any number of other reasons from dressing musket flints to making stone tools, it was just present. When I got to college it was another thing that archaeologists do, though with a more experimental intent. College was also where I started focusing on glass. Partially because it about the best easily obtainable material and partially because it's hard to create false sites or contaminate existing sites with glass. 

I've had a nice piece of glass sitting on my nightstand for months waiting for a time and inspiration. It's kind of a zen thing, shaping a piece of glass with a stone is something everyone should do once or twice. So when I found a scrap of bone last weekend that seemed like "the" haft, I got to work. 

The blade is still rough but shaping nice and I've always wanted to make a knapped knife to carry as a pocket knife just to see how functional it can be. We know countless cultures used stone blades as functional tools at one time and they certainly show up as art now but for tool use seem to have become a novelty item. 

As an archaeologist, artist and post apocalyptic fiction fan I think I'm over due to answer that question. I'll post an update once my slab of window glass and bone turns into a useable tool and maybe after it lives in my pocket for a while. 

....and damn it. Meh, I'll find another hunk of glass.