Thursday, 28 July 2016

Hermitcraft: Bindle Cookset

Del-Monte Drip Grind Coffee tin can For some time now I've been designing a bindle cookset (and by "designing" I mean thinking about it, for example when I'm supposed to be meditating), and I thought I'd share my process to date. The project has proven more difficult than one might guess, given the low level of technology.

When I was a kid, my dad had a mess kit he'd made out of old food tins. As I recall, it consisted of a small pot, maybe a pint in capacity, nested inside a larger one. Both had lids with wooden knobs made at my dad's bench, and coat hanger bales. In the middle was a cup made from a pineapple tin. Try as I might, I can't remember how he attached its handle.

But it's the lids that really make the stunt difficult now; in my dad's time, the food tins that have plastic covers in our day, had fitted metal ones that made fine pot lids. (See photo above.) Filling this deficiency is a challenge, though some of the new "safe" can openers are promising: they force lids up, rather than cutting them off, leaving a lip that mates back in place.

Nor has the Internet – which generally solves such problems for me – been very helpful. Most of the short list of examples I found aren't worthy of mention; they're tiny or weirdly-shaped ultralight gear, and/or have no lid, rendering them unusable for practical cookery.

But this week I found a good one. Fittingly, it's made by a metalsmith, and features a (very nifty) cup that requires specialised skills to fashion. But the pot is within reach of even a clumsy tinbanger like me, and the sort of thing any self-respecting hermit would be proud to cook in.

So without further ado I'll send you off to see it. Note how he's solved the lid problem. I considered a similar approach, and am gratified to see I wasn't completely dim, although his design is much better than what I was imagining. (His wok, though beyond my needs, is also terrific.)

Anyway, have a look. It's a great job. Be sure to scroll down for details.

PaleoPlanet > Metal Working > Tin Can Cookware

(Photo courtesy of Alf van Beem and Wikimedia Commons.)
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