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Completed Small and Larger Wooden Canteens

Designing Your Canteen

Read part 2 here

I initially started my search of how to make a wooden soldier’s canteen of the revolutionary war period, as most folks do nowadays, with a Google search. You will get everything that you probably don’t want and little on the subject except for the sutlers who advertise and sell “Colonial or Reenactment Clothing”. A Wooden 18th Century styled canteen range from kits costing about $35.00 to finished wooden canteens costing $110.00. After that, you venture into antiquities and out-of-period (not Revolutionary War) gear. These retail canteens and kits are mostly pine lumber, where actually antiquities show oak wood. This also means that wooden canteens were “coopered” in the same manner as a large barrel, using the metal hoops/rings to press the staves firmly against one another to prevent leaking. At the beginning of the 18th Century, and for some years after, the soldier’s canteen was a wooden, drum-shaped affair, provided with a spout.

1874 Model of US Army Canteen, From History of the Military Canteen (Nov- 1900)

Google has some nice pictures, but a set of plans or instruction for building a canteen is not to be found, in the direct sense anyway.


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