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J. Nicolaysen




Location: Wyoming
Joined: 03 Feb 2014
Likes: 31 pages

Posts: 682

PostPosted: Mon 22 Aug, 2016 8:31 pm    Post subject: Old Technologies, New technologies         Reply with quote

Hi,

Not being a smith, I thought it would be interesting to hear from people who make weapons and armor about technologies used in the workplace. Basically,

1. What old tech or cultural thing from the time you make stuff do you wish you had as well?

And

2. What new tech or cultural thing from today are you super glad you have? I mean besides the internet, where we can wile away precious hours discussing such things. Laughing Out Loud

So I thought of people making swords with 3-D fittings and other people making knives with historical construction methods and tools, and all that.

For 1, I thought apprentices, or at least the person that does more mundane things in the shop like work the bellows or grinds a fuller or whatever would be appreciated by todays craftsmen and women. Some sort of outsourcing on the mundane for a minimum wage is always nice, right?

For 2, I thought of a drill press, actually. I don't know how easy it would have been to make a simple, straight hole without today's drill press, but I confess I'm not aware of how they did this. So maybe it was easy! Another thing would be the quality of steel. If it's available, I suppose a person can just get a blank of 1040 or what have you and not worry too much about it. Of course others make steel through bloomery and so forth. But it seemed like a nice thing for today.

So what else?
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Mark Moore




Location: East backwoods-assed Texas
Joined: 01 Oct 2003
Likes: 6 pages
Reading list: 1 book

Posts: 2,256

PostPosted: Mon 03 Oct, 2016 1:06 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hello, J. Sorry it took so long for someone to respond to you. In an age now, where we have all the tech and machines and tools to help us, I think that many people are beginning to realize the importance of 'technology lost', to coin a term. This day and age, we can build swords, armor, etc. almost identical to one another. If you get a brand so-and-so sword from company A, then get the same brand from company B, chances are they will be nearly identical. No two things will ever be perfectly alike...damn close....but not exact. Such was it in old times when everything was hand-made. A swordsmith or armorer could make two or more pieces very, very similar, but no two pieces would be totally alike. They used patterns and plans to make matching pieces, but never perfectly the same. Take, for instance, the TV show "Forged in Fire"...the episode where the champs had to build Chinese butterfly swords. They both created two pair of swords veeeery similar, but not exact. They used a combination of old and new tech....modern machines and tools, and old-world fire forges. The modern day forges used by makers today are much easier to use than early forges, being able to regulate temperatures and all. But, it still works the same. Today, I enjoy my drill press, my hand-grinders, gauges/calipers, cutting torch, etc. They all make it easier, and yes, I sometimes enlist someone to assist me. Can you imagine if early craftsmen had all that? But, in a way, I'm glad they didn't. We would not have the diversity of old-world weapons and armors, etc. that we have now to study. If we did not have this diversity, then we would not be talking about it, and this whole website would be.....well.....pointless. That's my feelings on old/new tech for what it's worth. Happy ...........McM
''Life is like a box of chocolates...'' --- F. Gump
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Michael B.
Industry Professional



Location: Chugiak, AK
Joined: 18 Oct 2007

Posts: 356

PostPosted: Wed 05 Oct, 2016 12:11 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I am super happy about propane forges. It allows me to see color shifts easy, and is fast and clean. I still have my charcoal forge out back, but haven't fire it up in a long time. I can easily make do without the propane, it's just a nice modern convenience. Like Mark, I sometimes enlist people to help me, I have a great 13 year old boy that really loves to learn about forging and give him some redbull, and he'll sit and be a powerhammer for hours. I don't really feel I don't have anything the old smiths didn't have access to, other than maybe a rich patron.
www.facebook.com/bearmountainforge2
Michael Bergstrom
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G Ezell
Industry Professional



Location: North Alabama
Joined: 22 Dec 2003

Posts: 232

PostPosted: Sat 08 Oct, 2016 11:31 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

1. Specialization. In the modern era the one who makes the blade also makes everything else, but this was rarely the case historically. A smith forged the blade, then it was passed to a polisher, then another craftsman made the fittings, another constructed the hilt, and yet another made the scabbard. Each craftsman in the chain was a specialist, and quite proficient at his particular task. Today the same craftsman does it all, being a jack of all trades but master of none.

2. Modern steel.

" I have found that it is very often the case that if you state some absolute rule of history, there will be an example, however extremely unusual, to break it."
Gabriel Lebec

https://www.facebook.com/relicforge
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Peter Spätling
Industry Professional



Location: Germany
Joined: 07 Nov 2015

Posts: 118

PostPosted: Sun 09 Oct, 2016 2:05 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

1. I'd like to have all the tools armourers had "back then" (depending on what I am supposed to reproduce), this way it would be far easier to see if I can keep up with real armourers. Actually, there are many modern tools that help us making armour. But if I could change my workshop for a 100% authentic workshop I would do so. Even though I know that some steps of armouring must have been a pain in the ass.

2. Since I also have to grind and polish my stuff I am quite happy about angle grinders and such. But the armourer back then had to pleasure to give his stuff away.....
oh and screws are really cool, but they were able to make great armour without them, therefore I am just not good enough Wink
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Mark Moore




Location: East backwoods-assed Texas
Joined: 01 Oct 2003
Likes: 6 pages
Reading list: 1 book

Posts: 2,256

PostPosted: Sun 09 Oct, 2016 7:44 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Whoa, whoa, whoa, Peter........NEVER say you're not good enough. Do you think early armorers just gave up on an idea because they misjudged their own talents? No. They figured out a way to do it. Like screws, and nuts and bolts.....somebody had to make the first ones. There were no Ace Hardware or Home Depot stores back then....remember? Yes, the little things CAN be done. I've made my own screws before....not as pretty and precise as store bought, but it can be done. And YES, it is a pain in the ass. No pain, no gain. Wink ...........McM
''Life is like a box of chocolates...'' --- F. Gump
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Peter Spätling
Industry Professional



Location: Germany
Joined: 07 Nov 2015

Posts: 118

PostPosted: Mon 10 Oct, 2016 9:46 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Mark what I wanted to point out is the luxury we have with screws. You can simply drill two holes, connect the pieces and see if everything fits. If not, you unscrew it, rework it, and see again. While they back then were able to do this work without screws. I already have a bunch of ideas how this could have worked. (You need to see if the pieces fit together. It 's also really important for hardening to get the stuff hold together) And making screws just for adjusting the pieces is, in my opinion, to much work.
Well, I will find a way how they did it in 2 years when my big project rolls on ^^ Until then, stay tuned Wink
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