Captain Midnight

Whydah Cartridge Box Replica

119 posts in this topic

Ahoy mates

I have made a replica of the Whydah cartridge box based on its archaeological drawings and measurements, as well as the few photos that exist of it. I have been considering making a few more to sell on a limited basis, but I'd like to know what kind of interest there may be out there for this before I start the project. Would anyone be interested? :blink:

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Count me among the interested parties!

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Ok, Silas, will do! I'm posting from work right now, but later this evening when I get home, I'll post the photos of it and more information as well. :blink:

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Aye,

Images and info would be great. You also might want to put this on the Pirate Brethren site as well.

http://www.piratebrethren.com/

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Ok, guys, here are the photos I promised.

IM000462.jpg

This is the front of the box.

IM000463.jpg

The back of the box showing the belt loops, which have an interesting shape.

IM000464.jpg

The inside of the box showing the nine wooden stiffeners which form the wooden box on the inside and the flap reinforcements, which are stitched on, as per the original. They are made of solid poplar. The archaeological specs didn't specify which species of wood the stiffeners were, so I used an educated guess and made them of hardwood. Makes sense that they would have been hardwood, considering the fact that they have survived over three hundred years at the bottom of the ocean.

These will be going for $50 each, if I can get enough interest in making them.

They will be individually hand-made, one at the time, and no payment need be made until they were ready to ship. All I would need would be people who would be honest enough to purchase them after I get them built.

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Aye,

Images and info would be great. You also might want to put this on the Pirate Brethren site as well.

http://www.piratebrethren.com/

I agree. Some of us might be interested.

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The Archangel crewe would be interested as well.. as a matter of fact Mr. March wants to know what your plans are for the one in the picture? Any chance of selling that one in time for RF2?

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I think a few of the Watch Dog crewmembers would be interested as well. I would like several myself.

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Awww.... Captain Midnight!

Just when I am ready to pull back a bit, you come up with this Gem!

It adds a new dimension when the "hobby" starts paying for itself!

Greg

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Captain M...I have just gone from "interested party" to "sold". It looks great.

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Interesting... you interpreted the extra wooden slats as being part of the box's flap. I'm not sure I agree, but that is an interesting idea. I have always assumed the four extras formed some sort of internal partition. Did you base this on some new information retrieved from Ken?

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Interesting... you interpreted the extra wooden slats as being part of the box's flap.  I'm not sure I agree, but that is an interesting idea.  I have always assumed the four extras formed some sort of internal partition.  Did you base this on some new information retrieved from Ken?

John, no, I have not had any contact with Ken concerning the cartridge box. This is my interpretation of the box's construction, using what pieces remain, and I will attempt here to explain why I interpret it this way. It is fairly easy to discern which pieces form the actual box itself, which leaves the remaining slats or strips you mentioned. The remaining four strips in question are, I think, the same or nearly the same length as the width of the box, which means they would have had to be arranged side-to-side inside the box, rather than front-to-back. Also, they still exhibit stitch holes on each of their ends. Had they been merely dividers for the wooden box itself, it is doubtful they would have had stitch holes, as they most likely would have been joined wood-to-wood, rather than wood-to-leather, using glue or pegs.

I have studied the photos and archaeological drawings of both the Whydah box and the Phips wreck box, which are almost identical in construction. The cartridge box from the Phips wreck is described on its web site as having had wooden stiffeners stitched or pegged to its interior, forming a protective lining which also helped hold its shape. In the Whydah cartridge box archaeological drawing, you can see that the main pieces which form the actual box itself bear no stitch holes, but the remaining four slats do. Look closely at the photo of the Whydah box and you can clearly see the stitching along each outside edge of the flap which secured the slats to the inside.

Using this information, I would guess that the wooden box or tray was not stitched in, but was either glued in, or left unattached in order to be able to lift it out of the leather shell. It would be secure in the leather shell without being stitched, but the flap stiffeners would need some way of being secured inside the flap, thus the stitching. This would explain why only those four strips bore stitch holes, and the row of stitches along the outside edges of the box's flap. Why would there be stitching on the flap unless something was stitched to its inside surface, right?

In my own thinking, this would be the most logical reconstruction. When the flap is closed and buttoned, the wooden stiffeners inside the flap close together and interlock down between the two wooden end-pieces of the actual box, forming a sturdy wooden box with a top similar to a roll-top desk. It is very strong, and prevents the flap or cover from being crushed in like leather alone would eventually allow.

Now, I hope you will understand that I am by no means trying to say that my reconstruction is 100% absolutely accurate to the original, as that could only be accomplished by careful study and examination of the original, which we may never be able to do, due to its fragile nature, and the fact that it is behind glass in the museum. But my reconstruction does work well, and has all of the proper measurements and number of pieces as the original, and (I think) logically explains the arrangement of the pieces. :lol:

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Good explanation....

you forgot to add "it looks cool".

Greg

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I've gone over the web sites I could find with regards to the Whydah shot pouch, and I have a question about it.... I know because of the limited information no one may know for sure (although some of you seem to have more info about it than is available on the web), but what are the thoughts/opinions (actual knowledge is better if anyone has it) with regards to this pouch being case hardened? Just to be specific, I refer to the process of permeating leather with hot wax in order to harden and stiffen the leather as case hardening.

I've tried to reason this out for myself, and I see only one reason why it wouldn't be case hardened, and that would be the lid. Case hardening does leave a bit of flexibility in the leather, but not much, and while I think case hardening would be advantageous to the pouch in most regards, I think it could cause the leather to crack or split along the back of the leather where the lid more or less hinges....

Love to hear some opinions about this, or hard info if anyone has it and is willing to share.

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Hi Michael,

I am no expert on cartridge boxes, but I would see no need to harden the leather with wax. That is what the wooden interior of the box is for. Also, I believe you are correct in that the flap would eventually crack at its stress or bending point after a while from being opened and closed. Not that I'm saying it wasn't done, but I just don't see the need to do it. Most cartridge boxes I have seen from various time periods are almost all just plain leather with some sort of wood or tin inserts.

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Thanks for detailing your thought processes on the subject Captain Midnight. I appreciate that. I've always assumed the notched on the extra slats were dovetails. But I see your line of reasoning. And hey, right or wrong, it doesn't matter. Why? Because overall, this box of yours is 90th percentile stuff, a level that isn't often achieved in this line of work.

michaelsbagley wrote:

Love to hear some opinions about this, or hard info if anyone has it and is willing to share.

I'm working on a series of articles. The first, completed last week, was about belts and holsters. The second, somewhat finished but available right now anyway, is a list of Whydah artifacts that I know of, with some pics and commentary. Hopefully I'll be able to finish that one next week.

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Thanks for detailing your thought processes on the subject Captain Midnight. I appreciate that. I've always assumed the notched on the extra slats were dovetails. But I see your line of reasoning. And hey, right or wrong, it doesn't matter. Why? Because overall, this box of yours is 90th percentile stuff, a level that isn't often achieved in this line of work.

michaelsbagley wrote:

Love to hear some opinions about this, or hard info if anyone has it and is willing to share.

I'm working on a series of articles. The first, completed last week, was about belts and holsters. The second, somewhat finished but available right now anyway, is a list of Whydah artifacts that I know of, with some pics and commentary. Hopefully I'll be able to finish that one next week.

Hi John,

I would love to see your articles, when you get them ready. I have been thinking about reconstructing a holster as well. I wish we could see better pics of the Whydah holster, unfortunately, the one photo I've seen of it is not clear enough for me to glean any construction details, as it is rather fuzzy and grainy... :lol:

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Here's a picture of the item in question-

gccuirbo.jpg

and here-

saccuir.jpg

Made mine using left over cow hide, haven't added any internal wooden stiffeners but still works as is.

Notice that the wooden portion of the artifact is incomplete...

http://www.mcc.gouv.qc.ca/phips/phips9c.htm

Yours, Mike

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How are the first few coming along?

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Midnight's are brilliant! Mr. March has his, I just need to get my money in the post.. :lol: and the Bosun is going to order one as well... need to check on Rats as well...

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I'm getting anxious for mine. Money is set aside...

Must. Have. Pirate. Things.

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Ahoy Captain Midnight!

Fyne work, indeed!

What size belt does this box accomodate?

Best regards,

Quartermaster James Hunt

of the Good Ship Fearless

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Ahoy Captain Midnight!

Fyne work, indeed!

What size belt does this box accomodate?

Best regards,

Quartermaster James Hunt

of the Good Ship Fearless

Ahoy Quartermaster James!

The box will accomodate up to a 2-3/4" belt. William, yours is next in line, I am already finished with Captain Sterling's. After William's I have to do one for Gentleman of Fortune, and then I am open to do orders for whomever orders next. :rolleyes:

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Our Lt. of Marines wants one... just need to get him your email addy

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William, yours is next in line, I am already finished with Captain Sterling's. After William's I have to do one for Gentleman of Fortune, and then I am open to do orders for whomever orders next. :rolleyes:

Excellent. This seems to be 'the year' for me. I have handmade items coming to me from all parts of the globe. Many from my fellow pirates.

The kit grows and grows.

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