Proud Part of Heritage Mississauga

Email: webstuff@2ndyork.com

None of the following are remotely period correct... however, as a reenactor, there's more than a little method to these bits of anachronistic madness...


"I hate putting on/taking off gaiters!"

This trick does not work for long gaiters and breeches... it's meant for pant cuffs - over - boots.

I would feel awful about this suggestion, if I didn't see so many modern military boots and black dress shoes with rounded toes on parade... and if you're willing to 'Farb Out' on boots, might as well look fairly close to the real McCoys... and as a bonus, it'll be the quickest way, outside of Velcro, to slip on and off gaiters.

First: Acquire some black square-toed engineer boots.  They range in price new from about $150 to $400... and I've bought used pairs from $20 and up from second hand shops... "vintage clothing stores" are usually good for them... but it's hit-and-miss... buying from an online retailer or a boot shop is always safer.

Find a pair that *fit* well and can be put on and taken off with a minimum of stress.  (All tall boots come with SOME level of removal difficulty, but they shouldn't be "impossible" to get on and off...)

This gives you a nice pair of well-fitted boots... hopefully with good support and grip.  (...although avoid soles and heels with colours other than black.  Some safety boots have yellow or orange patches on the soles... that should be avoided.)

Once bought, treated (I strongly recommend water proofing and sealing the boots,) simply attach the gaiter while they're off your feet...

Now you can slip on and off the boots AND gaiters in one motion... easy-peasy and provided, again, you're not wearing long gaiters exposed, they look a touch better than combat boots in terms of being closer in style (toe-wise) to the real deal.

This is a lifesaver for those with bad backs... or those who simply, like me, just enjoy being able to dress more quickly.

 


Love period eyeglasses... but...

I acquired in my travels, a pair of replica 18th century folding glasses... for a BARGAIN price (at the time) of $60... this was, again at the time, about $30 less (Canadian money) then the best deal I found on line...

Popped in my 'script lenses and they are great... and painful. The metal arms rust slightly with perspiration and they pinch on the noggin... and the lenses are tiny.

A wee search on Amazon (or any big online retailers) and you can find (use these search parameters)...

round glasses prescription lenses

Here's the "secret"... the frames have to have the proper rim in order to be able to fit in prescription lenses.  Not all costume or sunglasses posses that, so you have to make sure you find glasses that can be fitted with your lenses.  (If you search as I did, just include the word prescription in the search parameters and ask the seller if the frames are suitable for prescription lenses.)

Next, make sure they're "small-ish"... not oversized... with a bit of a bar between the outer lens frame and the arm... like the three ones above on the right in the photo above.  You may want to measure any existing glasses or measure yourself for a "temple fit" to ensure a comfortable fit.  Again, please do not be afraid to write/ask a question of a seller about fitting prescription lenses... even though you may only be spending - on frames - about $20 to $40... best safe than sorry.

Once they arrive, take the glasses and your prescription OR a pair of comfortable existing glasses (if you don't still have a paper 'script, most optometric places have a gizmo called a "lensometer" which can read your script off existing glasses,) to literally ANY glasses shop and ask for lenses to be fitted for you.

Bonus if you get transition lenses...

After all, smoked and coloured glass in glasses IS period correct, and if you're going to wear a nice comfortable pair of glasses (that would pass muster for a good repro pair at about five yards,) might as well get 'em as both day and nightwear!

With my glasses, lenses fitted and installed plus the frames (gold or silver is fine...) came out to just about $65 all in... considerably less than my uncomfortable repros... which I still bring with me, in case of stitch-countery!

 


Dave's Magic Elixir for Cleaning Muskets!

Use at own risk... but I've used it and it works amazingly well!

Full props to David Fulton for introducing us to this cleaning method...

(Above) A Two Litre Label I concocted for fun when introducing the mix at Fort George in 2017 to the 2nd York.

In an EMPTY and CLEAN four litres container... mix...

Roughly 250ml bottle of Rubbing Alcohol (1/2 a bottle as a rule)

Roughly 250ml of 3% Hydrogen Peroxide Solution (1/2 a bottle as a rule)

(Both the above can be acquired at a local "dollar store" or pharmacy)

Roughly 300-500ml of Pine Sol or an equivalent general cleaner (with grease cutters - no waxes or the like! About 1/3 of a bottle as a rule...)

Mix all the above in the container, then top-off (fill) the rest with water and mix again.

WHEN it's time to clean the musket...

Carefully remove the lock and plug the touch-hole with a toothpick or wooden spear meat skewer... also available at your local dollar store!

Shake/mix the content of the container and FILL the barrel of the musket with the "elixir".

Keep the musket barrel filled with "elixir" still and upright for around thirty-seconds (no shorter!)

Dump 1/2 (50%) of the contents of the barrel and agitate (sloosh around gently) the remainder in the barrel for about 20 to 30 seconds... then dump the contents.

Use more "elixir" and fill the barrel half-way and sloosh around gently for another twenty to thirty seconds and dump.

Run a clean cloth (patch) down the barrel until it comes up clean.  (With me, usually two or three goes after a few rounds.)

Run patches to dry.

Wipe lock and mechanism with a cloth dampened with the "elixir" and dry and Voila! A very clean musket with NO boiling water!

EACH CLEANING (based on a Brown Bess) uses about 300ml of "elixir" roughly for the whole affair.