PE - Question of pole-working

Wendy Freeman/Otte wyllow at
Fri Aug 11 11:49:20 PDT 2000

Here's a question to spice up the list:

I am building a simple Roman "pup" tent.  I am trying to do this in as
painfully period a manner as possible (although it looks like I'll have to
subtitute canvas for goat hides (sigh...).   

Here's the dilemma: I saved some long branches (2-3" diameter, I think Maple)
to make the two upright poles, have de-barked them, and am whittling off extra
branch bits.  They are still rough enough to cause splinters, though.  I'm
sure something was used in medieval times to "sand down" (as we call it) the
wood.  I vaguely remember someone saying sandpaper (i.e. sand glued to a
backing) was used in later period medieval Europe - but what did they use
before then?  

Specifically, what would have been used by the Northern Europe woodworkers
(Gaelic or Norse regions) before about 900 A.D.?

Any other documentable evidence as to treatment of poles that might be useful
to other tent-builders?

Lady Wyllow of the Loch

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