Cartridge and cap boxes designs?

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Camper69

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Gainesville, Georgia
I am interested in making some good reproductions of the civil war cartridge box as well as the percussion cap box for both sides. Can anyone suggest where i can find the designs, plans and deminsions of them. Only ones i seem to come across are the simple costume versions for children. Any help greatly appreciated!
 

Camper69

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Hi, I appreciate the link...actually I am looking for either leather making patterns or designs of the cartridge boxes. Something that would have dimensions and patterns relating to plans on creating the items. The link you sent is very nice and appreciated, although I didn't see any design schematics or anything. Thanks again though!
 
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Craig L Barry

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I don't believe the patterns and templates are commercially available. My understanding is that the better
accoutrement makers (like MS&B) purchase original items and make their own templates from them. You would
also need a reliable source of vegetable tanned leather, awls, linen thread, kit (beeswax, etc) to coat the
thread and seal the awl holes. The boxes are made by hammering a tack in the side panel on a wooden last
and working from there. There is quite a bit to it.
 

kansas

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It looks so simple slung on a soldier, or on his belt. Just a couple leather boxes to hold his ammo and caps. But its not simple at all , took lots of time and thought to get them as right as possible it seems. Beeswax to seal the holes the thread goes through, just the right size, certain kind of leather etc. I learn something every day on here.
 

Craig L Barry

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Oh, tip of the iceberg..."kit" is beeswax with rosin and pine pitch--I have the recipe someplace in
my notes--the Ordnance Manual calls for #3 linen thread with a right twist. The "kit" both lubes the thread and seals the awl holes. It turns the thread a grayish color. 8 stitches to the inch...not easily accomplished by hand through leather of a harness grade with nothing but a needle and an awl. A well made box was virtually watertight. "Trust in God, but keep your powder dry" was more than just a catchy phrase.

The leather was dyed with a solution that consists of water, broken nutgalls, logwood & iron mordants. You can sometimes see just a hint of rust in the finish of an original box because of the iron in the dye.
Those '*' marks on the front and side panels of a properly made box are the impressions from the tacks which held the panels of the box to the the wooden last. They are not ornamental. The box is made flat then tacked to the wooden last and the main body/flap sewn to the side panels. The buckles are iron with a jappaned finish. Jappaned finishes are like lacquer, applied in heat dried layers and polished to a glossy finish. And so on...
 
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kansas

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Very interesting, i can almost see it being worked on . And then a department would need hundreds of thousands, and contractors, and workers, and factories, and tanning yards, and supplies and tools, and food and shelter for the workers, and payroll, and supplies, and even a herd of steers to slaughter. Just one item, needs so much to support it. I rambled.
 

Nathanb1

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Very interesting, i can almost see it being worked on . And then a department would need hundreds of thousands, and contractors, and workers, and factories, and tanning yards, and supplies and tools, and food and shelter for the workers, and payroll, and supplies, and even a herd of steers to slaughter. Just one item, needs so much to support it. I rambled.
You just made a really good point--I wish some folks in a couple of other threads could read it. #1--that's what the South didn't get at the beginning of the war--the need for infrastructure to support every little detail of the military and its needs; #2 -- if you're going to beat somebody, you have to destroy that infrastructure, down to the cows. Excellent!
 

Camper69

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Wow...I like to think I am a high quality type of guy and tend to do things right, but the details you guys offer seem to allude to an extremely difficult build..lol I like to build things, polish them then share them either as gifts or to sell for profit to pay for my hobby...not sure as an individual if I could make money making one. Thanks for the info!
 
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Craig L Barry

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A bit over two million full sets of accoutrements were purchased by the US from 1861 to June 1865. A cartridge box or cap pouch is a tough project to start with. I'd begin by making a few haversacks, then move up to something more complicated like knapsacks. The investment in tooling and supplies is much less onerous. If you like woodworking you can always build a musket from a kit. Maybe a sack coat
from a Wedeward pattern. Those are good starter projects.

Hat making is another thing that looks easy but isn't. Somethings are just best left to the pros. Not
necessarily for skill level, but start-up costs as well.
 

JamesKelly

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I have a question regarding cap boxes. I believe they are said to be "sheepskin lined"
Does that mean all five sides, inside the box, are covered with fleece? Or just the one side?
Bought a Dixie Confederate replica recently, and only the back is lined - and that sheep kinda had butch haircut.
 

JamesKelly

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Musta pushed the wrong button

Question is - were original musket cap boxes sheepskin lined on all five inside surfaces?

Recently got a Dixie Confederate replica, only the back wall is lined with sheepskin. And that sheep had quite a butch haircut.
 
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johan_steele

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Musta pushed the wrong button

Question is - were original musket cap boxes sheepskin lined on all five inside surfaces?

Recently got a Dixie Confederate replica, only the back wall is lined with sheepskin. And that sheep had quite a butch haircut.
A single piece of sheepskin on only one side; the rear. The sheepskin helped keep caps from falling out as well as provided some more protection from moisture.
 

major bill

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I have multiple article on Confederate cartridge boxes in various Company of Military Historian Journals. Are you interest in a particular cartridge box?

A-0671 Russ A. Pritchard Unique Confederate Cartridge Box 14 3 95 Author
A-0940 Robert L. Miller Confederate Cartridge Box for Austrian Arms 19 3 92 Author
A-1629 Stephen E. Osman A Tarred Canvas Confederate Cartridge Box 32 2 81 Author
 

Legion Para

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Over the years there have been a few gentlemen who made high quality accoutrements for reenactors. Names like Lucas Berg, Chris Schrieber and Cary Davisson. They made their own templates based on original documented examples. Accoutrements they made don't last long on the secondary market.

Pictured below is a Confederate holster by Lucas Berg.

Holster 1..jpg
 
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Package4

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I have found that Duvall's Leatherwork made the best ACW accouterments, but just found out that Nick is no longer making ACW gear. He is now into commercial and retail leather goods.
 

Package4

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I am interested in making some good reproductions of the civil war cartridge box as well as the percussion cap box for both sides. Can anyone suggest where i can find the designs, plans and deminsions of them. Only ones i seem to come across are the simple costume versions for children. Any help greatly appreciated!
You might want to pick up a copy of the book: "Civil War Cartridge Boxes of the Union Infantryman" by Paul D. Johnson, it is without a doubt one of the best accouterment books ever. You can still pick it up from various book dealers like Old Abe Books $38.50
 

Jobe Holiday

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The sheepskin lining in the cap box does not cover the entire back side of the cap box. It is only a strip about 1" wide across the top edge. The cap box also had a double flap to assist, along with the sheep skin inner liner, in keeping the caps from jostling out of the cap box when running or moving about in battlefield conditions with the outer flap not secured.
J.
 
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