Civil war A-Frame tent (Where to get floor installed)?


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7thWisconsin

First Sergeant
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Nov 21, 2014
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1,041
#4
Not the answer to your question, but originally, they didn't have floors. Ever. Men made floors by laying boards side by side, or a row of puncheon logs. I've read a description of digging a firepit under the back wall, and covering it with a large stone. I don't recommend that.
If you can help it, I wouldn't put a canvas floor in. It will get wet and muddy and make drying the tent out after use more difficult. Even if the tent is dry after a winter use, you're going to have to hang up a very large, heavy piece of canvas for a long time to dry - if it doesn't just freeze on the line in your garage. If you can't avoid flooring, I'd recommend rolling out a separate piece of canvas under the tent like a groundcloth. It can be packed up separately. If you're really into the project, you can make a painted cloth floor covering and lay it down, like 19th century linoleum.
 

captaindrew

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#5
Welcome to the Reenactors forum @fjrunner85. I would not try to sew a floor in either, it would be expensive and it would quickly be a mess. Most sutlers sell ground clothes specifically for their tents but they are usually a bit pricey. An easy and inexpensive solution is what I use, a canvas painter's ground clothe you can get for a few dollars at any home store. It's easy to fold up and pack with the tent, it can be cleaned easily, hung out to dry easily, and if it gets too nasty for a few bucks toss it and get a new one.
 

unicornforge

First Sergeant
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Feb 14, 2007
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Near Gettysburg, PA
#6
I fully agree with what was previously said, don't sew a floor in. That said, another option is a "rubberized" ground cloth as it will provide some moisture protection from the ground and likely easier to clean.
 

byron ed

2nd Lieutenant
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Mar 22, 2017
Messages
2,559
Location
Midwest
#7
You might be in the wrong hobby if ...you want a sewn-in floor in a period-type A tent.

That said, so many reenactors have tents with "mud flaps" sewn into them. These are about 10 inch wide sewn-in flaps that lay on the ground along the long sides of the tent (and attached to the back entrance flaps at the bottom). When deployed, they lay on the inside of the tent, covering that otherwise open gap all around. When combined with a separate canvas ground cloth to lay over them, it's practically the same as having a sewn-in floor, but with the advantage of keeping the (wetter, dirtier) ground cloth separately packed for travel and replacement.

This may be what your wife has seen at reenactments. You can order a tent with these optional mud flaps sewn-in (just ask, or see sutlers at camp or online), or go to any canvas or tarp maker or repairer and they will quote you to add mud flaps if you can describe them. Might be about $100 in the Midwest. If you're handy and have access to a heavy-duty sewing apparatus (some are manual) I've seen them added by amateurs.

Here's the thing; though not so much a military standard at the time, there was no preventing any officer or officer's wife from having a tent modified to their own specification, which is kind of a "justification" for reenactors to have mud flaps. A particular supply depot might have even supplied them that way standard, we are to suppose.
 
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