Saturday, September 10, 2011

Add One More To My Collection

Last October, I wrote about some odd stuff I found in the house, mostly in the attic, including an old iron carpenter's stamp with a number 6 / number 9 on it.

Yesterday, while randomly prowling around under some attic floorboards, I found another old stamp, this one a number 5, amidst the dessicated corn cobs and acorn caps left behind by squirrelly visitors of the past:

Needless to say, there's quite a bit of debris in my joist bays. Soon, I'm going to begin cleaning it all out. But like every other project here, there's a need to proceed slowly, like an archeologist, sifting carefully through the rubble for things revealing of house history.

Just for the sake of comparison, here's my complete set of modern, hand-cut, 3/8" steel stamps (just a tad smaller than the stamps I've found, which are 1/2"). I like working with all manner of traditional tools, whether true antiques, or modern equivalents. These were made by the Hitt Marking Devices folks, in California/Arizona:

So, stay tuned for more postings on the massive attic exploration and clean-out effort, and we'll see what other sorts of things we come up with. I'm still hopeful, by the way, that there's an old musket hidden somewhere. I know it's there -- it's just a matter of time before I find it... :-)


AlexandraFunFit said...

What will you do with a musket if you find one?
I suspect your house is full of "odd" stuff, starting with the owner!
What were you doing, randomly prowling around under floorboards? I've heard of randomly wandering the streets, but never heard of this occurring under floorboards.
And I wonder, in all seriousness, what is a steel stamp for? Thanks

John Poole said...


You ask a great many questions. Most of them appear to be designed to elicit strange answers:

1) If I find a musket, I shall use it to guard against people who want to come over and touch my stuff.

2) I was randomly exploring under the floorboards because a) I'm naturally curious about what's under there; b) I need to start planning in detail how I'm going to air seal / vapor seal / insulate my attic floor as one of many steps in making my house more energy efficient.

3) Steel stamps are generally used for marking wood with letters and/or numbers. For example, in preservation work, we stamp new wood or significant repairs in an inconspicuous location for the benefit of future house historians, so they can tell the old from not so old (even though around here, it's "all OLD", as you aptly pointed out). For example, "JDP 2011".

There. Have I answer all your questions? If not, keep on asking, and I'll keep answering (with a few smart ass responses interjected for good measure). :-P