sunnuntai 29. heinäkuuta 2012

Tar making and few misc. pics

What i am learning, is the making of tar in a pretty old the traditional Finnish way. During next week, ill be having an over nighter watching and ...well...smelling the "tar grave" smouldering and finally giving some of that black gold, made slowly and carefully, watched and taken care of, over a week, around the clock by group of approximately 20 voluntaries who are interested in old methods of the "old world" that still are worth learning and passing on, even today in this modernized busy world in which there is factories to make tar if man wants some. Well, my opinion is that learning the past, is the only way to see clearly to the future.

                                         Man, even the houses were a lot nicer and to my taste ,back then.


Ill be taking more pictures, of my overnighter and the tar grave as it changes as time goes, and at next saturday i think the making will be ending, the final drops of tar are in the wooden old barrels, and the grave with its fine charcoals...that  crave for, to get some in to my blacksmith shed, naturally...are covered to reassure that there will not be anything causing forest fires. I think ill take just some old fashion gear along with my simple tarp shelter, and have a good time.


But, heres a few shots i took.




"Ships were wooden, men were steel", is what i think !


 Can you make your own vessels for containing fish, meat, milk ? With your own hands, from wood without electric machinery ? Are you willing to travel LONG distances to buy salt, though the winter, lets say with kick-sled ? Can you make your own quilts and mats `? I can not, and i am ashamed of it a bit.

 Do you save your own tools, are they here after 50-100 years after you have passed away ? Did you use em every day, to earn your bread and milk, to heat up your selfmade log house ?
 We can ust grab our wheat and bread, from shop and microwave it and such....they could not.
  A small reminder of days when even whetstones, used for scythes and puukkos, were used all the way till they wore out,both the blades and the stones. We buy new diamond rods just like that. Weird , aint it ?
 We dont have to saw, whittle and carve our lanterns to have lights on our carages.
This was an luxury item once. Now its collectible, luckily.
 The place of cleansing, birth, healing, social gathering. Sauna, a smoke sauna, to be exact.
Luckily, i can bath in smokesaunas just as They did back in the days.
 Scythes, with manmade handles. Functional, reliable, economical, ergonomically beautiful. Compare to soul-less injected plastic
 `To keep the tools edgy. These were used till the end, and worth a lot. Some made their own stones too. We and our electric,bought sharpeners ? This is truely an item that i like, as its made to maintenance the tools that were and stilla re to many, precious and useful tools, and in their plain simple style, they represent a variety of skill levels men had. Some TAHKO´s are like jewellery, and some are very crude, but they all work, which was the point of the whole tool after all.
 Wooden tar bucket, and an " tukkinkeksi".  Bucket, was handmade, to carry handmade tar, and mayb its made from the same wood, that the wood handling hook & spike was made from too, who knows. Anyways, these also represent the importance of forest, wood material and also the crafting skills required to live mostly off the land once.
Making nets from cotton/wool material thread..... almost forgotten skill,sadly.

And heres the tar making pics that i got before batteries went down...how surprising. I was originally going to the tar burning crew but my neck issues are making it a bit tough to kneel and move in a certain way for a while, but i am still putting up my camp next to the site and harass the crew and take pictures, who knows if i can do little bit of task too. I noticed a familiar face in the crew so i might still get a chance, no matter what the doc says :), so stay tuned, in next sunday i migth be posting more about this thing and how it went. I am also planning to fish and craft few things at the trip. Surely, i could use some company there too, but its also very nice to spend time alone too, i dont have a thing against some solitude.

The "tervakset"...... wood that contains a lot of resin....old stumps of pine, and such.

These are carefully laid in certain form to make the "tervahauta", the "tar grave" or a "miilu" as we call em often. The wood is laid on a  hard packed clay base , dug in the sandy soil, thats like funnel, that directs the tar as it starts to form, in to the hole in the bottom of the funnel.  On top of this circular shaped wood pile, is  tight cover layer of moss, clay and sometimes stuff that covers swamps. This cover has to be watched all the time, and fixed, so that the grave wont catch a huge fire.



It has to be hot and smouldering, but not in open fire, as the tar is formed by heat that squeeses, kind of, the tar out of the wooden material, between some 160 to  320 degrees.




As the tar runs through the hole, its then guided through a wooden channel, running under the grave, so that in it can be collected, from the end of this tunnel, in to the tar drums, buckets and such.


7 kommenttia:

Gorges Smythe kirjoitti...

Very interesting!

Martijn kirjoitti...

It's great to see the old ways still being practiced.

Ron kirjoitti...

väldigt bra!!

I just love that old stuff! Old tools, with a history. As you said; simple, effective, economical..

It is a real shame that history like that is so easily forgotten. That's why I have become a member of the local hembygdförening in order to preserve a little bit of that history. I get to be near old gear like that and lend a hand in restoring them. Maybe I might even leran a thing or two!
Good to see there are more like me out there!

Perkunas kirjoitti...

Well thanks Ron, and others as well.

I just happen to love to investigate and learn, the history of a common man, and the tech that he used back then, instead od the history of pyramids, political stuff and other generic history. I likt to know what a soldier carried in his pack, the private essentials, his thoughts, as well as the gear used and made, by old school logger, fisherman or a hunter. Its all the same, what president thisandthat said at 1854, but the affects, to one, sole man, are more interesting than those big decisions. If some king gave an order, for a country to start tar burning, i am not trying to find the copy of the printed order....i am at the field, looking for one tar grave, from that time....you know.

Scott.and.Aki kirjoitti...

Great blog. Great post.

Abo kirjoitti...

A really nice set of photos my friend

Anonyymi kirjoitti...

where my wife's folks farmed there was no naturally occuring stone.

so they made there large whetstones from river sand, sahle and portland cement.

the aggregate was cast as wheels, mounted on locust axles and used to sharpen their tools.

the one i used was over a hundred years old at the time and did a good job of sharpening tools.