Primitive Pack Frame

The following photos and text were originally posted on the Hoodlums Forum on June 29, 2006. I really liked the post and asked its author, who goes by "olwhiteguy", if I could make a web page for my benefit and hopefully for others to learn from as well. I just wanted to have a permanent record of this so I will be able to find it when the time comes for me to try this. Well, olwhiteguy consented and here it is. All photos and text are his. Thanks, owg!

Roycroft Type Frame ala Tom Elpel

First off, sorry for the snarly look, it was very hot and humid and my photographer was not cooperating. The two long peices are the length of your armpit to fingertip. The base of these is about as fat as a hot dog.

The bottom piece goes from elbow to fingertip, same thickness approximately.

Then chop em up, watch your own digits!

I always like to lay out the pieces. Gives me an idea of what it could look like.

Cutting the notches. My photographer is twelve so "marking the notches" got missed. Just line up the sticks and scribe a line where they intersect. You'll have to do this on both sides, think log cabin joints, like Lincoln logs.

Start lashing it together. I have used some seriously homespun lashing methods on these and if your notches are fair, it holds up pretty well.

A shot of the finished frame.

I used an old wool blanket for shoulder straps. When "producing" strips from a wool blanket, it is recommended that you tear them as this is supposed to reduce fraying?!

Attach the strapping to the upper frame, tie the other two ends to the corners and there you have it. A pack frame only a builder could love!

Copyright © 2006 by Bill Qualls. Last updated 03-July-2006.
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