Calf to Codex Project - Making Velum
Sep 20, 2011Public
Photo: First things first! To make Velum you need to create a frame to stretch the velum on.  The first part of the workshop therefor was about making the wood frames for the skins.
Photo: To make the parchment frames we kept in mind the carpenter's mantra, "Measure twice, cut once."  We did this and things went fairly smoothly.
Photo: These parchment frames will have pegs so these lines are six inches apart.  We will be drilling holes on this piece every six inches for the pegs to go into.
Photo: We are going to put round pegs into each of those holes.  Here is the doweling to cut the pegs from.  The pegs allow us to anchor the skins and stretch them to make parchment.
Photo: And this is the Band Saw to cut the doweling.
Photo: And the cut pegs.  Five inches long each.
Photo: Once all the peg holes were drilled we needed to go back and clean the "back" of the hole.  The top of the hole always is clean but the bottom often isn't.
Photo: We're going to put twine through the pegs, so we need to drill holes in the pegs.  One "large," hole for the twine...
Photo: ... and two "small" holes to put stoppers in.
Photo: Lots of holes to drill into lots of pegs.
Photo: When moving from one part of a project to another cleaning up your work space is always smart. It keeps you safe and the next part of the project doesn't have to deal with the sawdust.
Photo: We're going to take those nice cleaned up boards and turn them into nice parchment frames now.
Photo: These parchment frames are designed to be broken down later.  Here we are attaching the bracket to the boards.
Photo: The boards needed to be a specific distance from the end and needed to be squared at the same time.  So here we are working as a team to get it right.
Photo: Each peg hole gets to have a nail as a neighbor.  Who knew that basic carpentry skills were useful to make parchment?
Photo: Here are the finished parchment frames.  Notice how the legs keep the frame off the ground?
Photo: This is a beam. The beam is a very period way to do the first scraping of the fat and flesh from the hide.
Photo: The underside of the beam.  You can see that it was split.  The dangly bit is actually wool.
Photo: Another perspective on the beam.
Photo: To scrape the skin you hang the skin off the end of the beam and then you lean onto the beam to hold the skin in place.
Photo: This is also a beam.  Obviously it is a more constructed beam.
Photo: You still hold the skin on by leaning onto the beam where the skin is hanging over.
Photo: Here is one of the scraping knives and the bucket to hold the flat and flesh.
Photo: Initial scraping in action.