A while ago there was a thread on CWF telling you how to make one, so Jim took note and planned to do so. First we had to get a suitable shaft, which we finally purchased at Braunston. Eight foot of 1 1/4" diameter ash. Then there is the question of what rag to use for the mop head. Some people have suggested old coats ot old blankets, but I always had trouble working out where boatmen would have got these from - surely a new mop would have been needed far more often than an old coat was discarded. Then someone posted on CWF that a popular material was 'Croxley blanket', a kind of absorbant felt used in paper manufacture.
It occurred to me that the synthetic felt that these thick cleaning cloths, from the local market, are made out of might be a reasonable equivalent - and as they are the same stuff that modern mops are made of, would probably be pretty effective. So we settled on using strips of this.
First, Jim made a ferrule out of a piece of copper pipe and fitted it to the end of the shaft. This is to stop it splitting when the screw is put in to hold the strips in place. Then he made two large rubber washers, to go either side of the strips, and finally a metal washer before it is all screwed on. How to stop the screw and washer scratching paintwork etc when in use was a bit of a problem. The instructions talked about putting a leather strip around the whole assembly, but we couldn't see how the screw could be screwed in then (perhaps it should have been a nail). Anyway, we solved that by the simple expedient of getting the last strip and sewing it together over the screw.
The shaft is now primed ready for painting in Warrior's colours. We're not goung to attempt spirals, but will stick to simple bands. It may not be 100% traditional - whatever that might mean - but hopefully it will be an attractive, and more importantly, useful, addition to the boat.