One day while scouring the Googlesphere for ideas for projects I ran across this great little tin item on the New Hampshire Historical Society webpage. The original can be seen here.
It is owned by the NH Historical Society and is Object 1975.023, dated 1850. The description is " Small oval tin pot. Partitioned in middle with large flange at one end. Fits comfortably in the hand. Small handle on one side."
I contacted Doug Copeley at the Society to see if they had any more information and was told that the "pot was purchased in 1975 from an antique dealer in Hollis, NH, who had purchased it in Vermont. The dealer was told that it was a carriage striper’s paint pot. One section was for the paint, and the other for the thinner."
To me the small projects are sometimes harder than big ones. For example, on a large lantern with lots of parts, if you are off just a little here and there it doesn't always show. But if you are off on a small item with few parts...well, you can't miss it. The original item is less than 2 inches high and less than 6 inches long.Making a New Hampshire Paint Pot. Layout precision is something that I am still learning, so this seemed like a good project.
There was only the one image online to go from, but there were dimensions given. So with dividers, a ruler and calculator I worked up what I hope is a decent pattern.
The technique that was new to me on this project was the flange on the top of the pot portion. I have watched master tinsmiths like Bill McMillan work a lip like this over a stake. But he has been at it about 30 or so years longer than me and I did not have any success doing it that way. I ended up making a wooden two piece form to work the tin over. I first formed and soldered the body around the solid inner form. Then I put the tin and inner mandrel inside of the outer part. This way I could use a mallet to swage the lip over against the top of the form. The inner mandrel also made it much easier to burr the edges of the bottom to fit over the body of the cup.
I doubt that this is the best way to do this, but it worked for me. I would be very happy to hear other techniques or experiences.
The rest was pretty straight forward, handle, divider and the lip, which I assume is for mixing the paint and thinner. As usual, I did not remember to take very many in process photos, but here is one.
And here is another image of the finished pot.
If anyone has more information about this paint pot or similar tin items, or if you have suggestions to improve mine, please leave a comment. I am also posting this on my FaceBook page.