Cheap prices make for cheap goods; cheap goods make for cheap men; and cheap men make for a cheap country. [2]. In ship caulking, it was forced into the seams using a hammer and a caulking iron, then sealed into place with hot pitch.[2]. After setting the pipes together, workers pack oakum into the joints, then pour molten lead into the joint to create a permanent seal. SealBoss is an Industry Leading Supplier of Packers and Ports. Place oakum in a container and saturate with SealBoss Water Stop Foam; Remove excess resin from the oakum; For minor leaks or dry cracks or joints dip the resin soaked oakum into a pail of water to begin the reaction process and expansion; Pack oakum into the joint or crack with a large screwdriver or any tool suitable for the task Charles Dickens's novel Oliver Twist mentions the extraction of oakum by orphaned children in the workhouse. I for one am probably not tough enough to live in the past. Link below already formatted for Essex and Postcards. You see there were increasing numbers of poor in the cities. I believe that sharing in the experience shows us just how difficult life was in the past, thus giving the present a since of just how hard life actually. That’s called picking oakum. Oakum present in cast iron bell/spigot joints may also contain asbestos. Oakum was then mixed with tar or grease and used as caulking to fill in the gaps between the wooden planks of ships to make them watertight. In 1834 The United Kingdom’s Parliament passed the We Hate All Charity Act Poor Law Amendment Act, aka, the New Poor Law. Oakum pickers developed thick black scars on their hands from this work. A tar free dry oakum, strong, jute based material designed to soak up SealBoss ® Water Stop Foam products and injection grouts, while keeping products in place to create a barrier in larger openings of active water infiltration. VerticalScope Inc., 111 Peter, Suite 901, Toronto, Ontario, M5V 2H1, Canada. I do not prize the word "cheap." Per Chicago code all joints shall be one continuous pour and must have a minimum of one inch of lead per joint, I still have a packing iron with a mark on the one inch point, till I learned how much Oakum you needed per joint for the size of the pipe. Haven't poured one since about 1967. Prisoners serving hard labour would cut the rope into two foot lengths and then strike it with a heavy mallet to remove the very hard tar in which it was coated. Luckily I had a big case of oakum downstairs. Thankfully here in Maryland they let put about anything in the ground. They also suffered tendonitis, bursitis, nerve damage, and all those other conditions that result from repetitive stress motions. Your product will be cut to length prior to order. Then you have to separate the singles. When removing from container, wipe off excess material. If you’re using brown oakum you shouldn’t leave any loose fibers protrude into the lead. With Part 3 being entirely dedicated to this wondrous material, you're sure to walk away with enhanced knowledge and skill. But it remained as common form of punishment, err employment, for women. Since 1988 we have been supplying companies worldwide with millions of packers of all sizes and shapes. If you have ancestors who were in prison or in a workhouse during the 18th and 19th centuries, then they may well have been employed at junk and oakum picking. Our kits consist of 2kg of the finest shipwrights oakum, a Making Iron (itself a work of art) and a pot of lime finishing putty. Prisoners, orphans, women with no financial support, stroke victims, the disabled, all of them. I've poured about a dozen vertical lead joints, mostly for toilet flanges, in the past 5 years. Here is to remembering the dark times so we don’t backslide. First you separate the old rope into plies. There was once a fiber “craft” that was used as punishment. Search now on Ancestry for your Essex ancestors. The oakum picking starts around 2:40. "White oakum" is made from untarred material, and was chiefly used as packing between brick and masonry in pre-war home and building construction, as its breathability allows moisture to continue to wick and transfer. Oakum is mainly used as a carrier medium for hydro active foam resins for use in wide openings to seal leaks. Resin impregnated Seal Oakum reacts with water and expands to form a dense and flexible seal. All the new cast iron I deal with is no-hub. Cut excess product from substrate surface after cure. So if the making of rope is like spinning yarn on steroids, the un-making of rope is like untangling yarn as torture. Count that blessing every day !! [1]. The word oakum derives from Middle English okome, from Old English ācumba, from ā- (separative and perfective prefix) + -cumba (akin to Old English camb, 'comb')—literally 'off-combings'. You may also spray saturated oakum surface with water to speed up the cure process. In plumbing and marine applications, the fibers are impregnated with tar or a tar-like substance, traditionally pine tar (also called 'Stockholm tar'), an amber-coloured pitch made from pine sap. It was hard labor that left the “crafter” with lifelong scars. Oakum is a preparation of tarred fibre used to seal gaps. Members: Sign in Here All you need is a light hammer to work the oakum with the Making Iron. Static Mixer Selection for the SealBoss Multi Component Dispensing System. Want to send me a private message? Shown is the raw Seal Oakum. It would be something I'd like to see. A forum community dedicated to professional construction and remodeling contractors. Thanks for the history lesson. I don’t think i want to visit that place either. For a better experience, please enable JavaScript in your browser before proceeding. If you're looking for pictures to add to your family tree album, then try one of the auctions, or there are several 'Buy It Now' shops offering postcards which have been touched up and improved - so if you're unsure about bidding, try these. Only humans have that ability to just torture, for the *heck* of it. They wrapped the rope around the pipe, poured the lead, took the rope off and then it looks like they used a hammer and some tool and packed the lead in. I know I’m not tough enough to pick oakum. At the Braintree Workhouse each person "had to pick ½1/2lb of oakum in return for the ½lb of bread in the morning, which is refused in case the person refuses to do the work." 3. Seems as though that would be a fairly easy task on vertical drain lines but how did they do it on horizontal drain lines? I may be going to hell in a bucket, but at least I'm enjoying the ride. Oakum was at one time recycled from old tarry ropes and cordage,[1] which were painstakingly unravelled and reduced to fibre, termed "picking". Its rope that’s been in use, been compacted and stressed. Some prisons stopped oakum picking entirely, swapping it for the treadmill or solitary cells, while others still enforeced it, particularly for women. Ones that are rich in history. Always wanted to travel and visit interesting places.