Sunday, 23 July 2006

Ten Thousand Steps - Week 1


I didn't quite make a week - I started my cumulative total from Wednesday morning, joining in with sharonb and others.

So that mean 4,629 steps a day. I need to improve my rating for next week. That isn't quite half the target each day.

Wednesday, 19 July 2006

Day 17 of 100 Details in 100 Days

Okey Dokey - so I am going to write my own rules. Some days may have more than one "Day" in them. As long as I get 100 Details in before my 100 Days are up.

So here is a start on the Sewing Boxes. The first one I posted was HERE.


This one, we think, is a companion for a 1930s electric Singer sewing machine. When not in use it would have folded up into a nice slimline box that would have been out of the way.

We're not even sure what is in it yet - it is important to catalogue it exactly as it is, before moving anything around.

I'm still here

Hi Everyone,

I am still here - just life is rather busy at the minute, I have run out of irons to post - and haven't yet started on Needlework Baskets - which is where I want to go next.

But I have dusted off my pedometer - and am getting a lot of walking done!

Back one day soon!

Sunday, 9 July 2006

Day 16 of 100 Days

It has finally been worked out (thank you all for suggestions).

These are slugs. Or maybe lugs. This is the other one I have with me.

We are looking at if from the bottom - from the other way it can be lifted out of the fire box when red hot, with a device like a hot-plate lifter.


So, even when heated and expanded, it was just under five inches.

It was made for, wait for it, a five and a half inch slug iron - which is like a coal or box iron, but without the chimney. And those three little feet were on the bottom, so it was radiant heat that was given out evenly. And you could even put a couple in, one above another. But one was good enough, as you mainly wanted the heat at the bottom. But more lugs = more weight = even better ironing.

There are three Slug irons shown at the bottom of the page HERE.

And the oval hole in the centre meant that it heated up quicker in the centre, and you weren't left with a colder spot in the middle of the s/lug.

This one has had a hard life, and looks like it has been overheated a few times - maybe it even got left in the fire too long.

So - now the hunt is on for more lugs.

You can see the other one in the set HERE.

Nice ironing page

Thanks to Lee in Toronto for a really good ironing page. Check out the Swan Iron.

Day 15 of 100 Days

Back to the Drawing Board.

(And back Mark II - this is an edited Post!)

In the pile of irons we found in the museum collection (we were cleaning up a shed), were what I thought were two Salters #7 Sylvesters patent. With handles of different heights.


The base of the silverish one is slightly smaller. Just enough to account for the difference in weights. But it was so degraded I couldn't read it properly.

The one on the left is a Salters about 5 pounds 10 ounces, the one on the right is 5 pounds 6 ounces.

My Salters #6 is 5 pounds 8 ounces.

So, delete all reference to the numbers being weights - it still may have been you bought a set of irons the same weight with different numbers on them, so you know what you used last.

Think I need to buy a book.

I definitely do - after hitting the two irons with the turps/linseed oil mix, and coarse steel wool, I discovered the silver one isn't a Salters at all. It is a H - with two squiggles above. Whatever they mean.

Back to the Drawing Board.

Saturday, 8 July 2006

Day 14 of 100 Days


Yesterday we found two of these in a pile of rusty irons (I shudder to think how many there are now, in this collection).

So we are wondering if they are purpose-made trivets, or some other bit of metal that was used for trivets. Like points on a harvester, or something like that? They are the right size, but a bit clunky.

They are in the rust bucket. Maybe when I can read the words on them ...

Friday, 7 July 2006

Day 13 of 100 Days


Well, the rusty iron has cleaned up well enough for me to see that it is a Salter's #4. The 4 is clear, the rest is very hard to see.

Which got me thinking. Because I always thought the numbers on the point were so the housewife could tell one iron from another, to always use the hottest. But no - it is the weight.

Above is my #4, on my Salters scales (I am working on the formerly rusty tray with paste metal polish).

The #4 is just over four pounds.

And the #6 is five and a half pounds.


Next, it is out with the turps and linseed oil for the #4. When I get time. Wonder what it will do to the base of the Salters scales.

Thursday, 6 July 2006

Day12a of 100 Days

Ooooh, this is exciting.

I have to admit I put the last iron in the bath last night, and left it outside with the lid on.

This is what I saw when I had a look this morning - the Ghost of Irons Past


You cannot see it here - but there are also little bubbles all over the iron, as the rust reacts with the vinegar, and gets ready to come off. I haven't seen this before, as I probably left the lid off, so the wind took the bubbles away, or I shook the tub before I took the lid off.

Day 12 of 100 Days

So, just how bad can an iron be, before it is unsavable. I have dug this one out of the bottom of the garden shed, and I cannot read one word on it. I suspect, because of the handle, that it is another Salters #6, only with the flat end, but I am not yet sure.


It is currently sitting in a bath of 10:1 water and vinegar.

Back in 24 hours. Then we will see.

But, even if I can save it, and even though I sew on a 1918 hand-operated Singer, nothing will make me give up my steam iron. It just helps me appreciate antique linen even more.

Wednesday, 5 July 2006

Day 11 of 100 days


This iron, also from Sarah Carter's shop, is the last different type I am working with - and it is real scary. It is a gas iron - connected direct to the mains. But not any more - thank heavens.

Back tomorrow with one of my own irons - found in the loft. It really needs some TLC

Tuesday, 4 July 2006

Day 10 of 100 Days


Now, just imagine this. Time to iron. Push the shovel into the fire, get out a load of hot coals, maybe, if you are in an urban area, you can add some small pieces of coal for extra heat. Close the top, and away with your smoking iron.

At least it wouldn't explode, like some of the later spirit irons. But fun it would not have been.

Monday, 3 July 2006

Day 9 of 100 Days - Drumroll


And here is my Salter's #6 iron, which was all rusty yesterday.

Today it has had liberal applications of elbow grease and a 1:1 mixture of raw linseed oil and turps. This was initially applied with coarse steel wool (wear gloves!) and finished off with an old tooth brush. All very scientific. And very effective.

Saturday, 1 July 2006

Day 8 of 100 days - my Salter's iron


Here is my very own Salter's iron - in the midst of being cleaned up a bit.

Thanks to Gramarye for this version of it, at the Powerhouse Museum in Sydney. That one is flat at the back - mine cannot be stood on its end, and I think the handle is earlier.

Gramarye has posted her irons and some stunning trivets to the Antique Irons group at Flickr. And I have been trawling around for some links. There is a nice collection HERE, especially the trivets. And even Electric Irons are collectable. And there are lots of nice bits, and links, and restoration suggestions, at Shaker Brook Farm.

Just imagine pressing your crazy patch with Grandma's flat irons.

Day 7 of 100 Days


Here is another Trivet from the irons in Sarah Carter's Shop. This one appears to be hand-forged, and I love the simplicity of the shape. A Heart is perfect for a rest for an iron.

I have been diving through the Trivets - the score is now three of this one, and one of this one - which is the repaired one.

What future is there, I wonder, as a Trivet collector????