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Patrick Kelly




Location: Wichita, Kansas
Joined: 17 Aug 2003
Reading list: 42 books

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Posts: 5,678

PostPosted: Sun 04 Feb, 2007 4:57 pm    Post subject: "Do it yourself!"         Reply with quote

Ever since I wrote my article on the Normans for Albion I've been getting e-mails regarding questions on how to manufacture items or modify existing ones. I certainly don't mind the questions, in fact I encourage them. However, I've noticed a trend that I don't care for. Far too many people seem to want a step-by-step run down on how to do something. In effect, they want their hand held throughout the entire process.

Anyone involved in this field of study for any amount of time can tell you, for years, if you wanted something you were going to have to make it yourself because there weren't any available, no matter what it was. In that sense we're very fortunate now, with all sorts of weapons and items of kit being available off the shelf, with much of it ready to go. Unfortunately, this seems to have stifled the "do it yourself" attitude in many circles. I've told many people, you're not going to ruin it. The worst you'll do is have to start over and that process in itself will be an educational experience. So don't be afraid to give it a try, in the end it will be very satisfying.

I don't mean this as a criticism, nor do I want to discourage people from asking questions, far from it. I just want to encourage as many people as possible to "Do it yourself!" After all, that's how the entire replica industry got its start, from people with just that attitude.

Big Grin
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Grayson C.




Location: NCF, Sarasota, FL
Joined: 25 Oct 2006

Spotlight topics: 1
Posts: 223

PostPosted: Sun 04 Feb, 2007 5:27 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Agreed. However, I don't see any problem with, for example, a first time scabbard, that someone would want all the help they can get. The problem is where people keep coming back and asking question that they should figure out on their own, or is entirely personal preference. eg. What color leather should I use? How wide should this be? How many stitches should be used? How many yards of fabric is necessary?

All of these questions are things people need to find out for themselves. I am going to be undertaking a scabbard project when my Albion Ritter (thanks to a lot of people here for helping me decide) comes in march. I'd like some advice and whatnot (still applies now, by the way, any opinions or necessary advice is by all means welcome, feel free to pm me) but, as partick said, it's a do-it-yourself prject, not a "follow a set recipe" project. You get so much satisfaction doing something yourself. I don't see why anyone would want to just follow the same guidelines and designs that somone else has already made. Be creative, try things out, it won't kill you to attempt projects without having your hand held the entire way and being spoon-fed Wink
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Richard Gessman




Location: Pittsburgh
Joined: 04 Oct 2006
Likes: 1 page

Posts: 37

PostPosted: Sun 04 Feb, 2007 6:10 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I recently started making my first sword (my first endeavor into metalwork entirely) and I have to say, it has been a really rewarding experience. I agree that people should really just get out there and give it a try. Not to say that asking for help here and there is a bad thing, when I first started my sword project my uncle gave me some tips as to how to work the metal to get it to the desired shape, but after that he mostly left me to myself. Theres no reason to be afraid of messing up, in fact, I melted a small chunk of the edge off my sword during forging ( I wasn't paying attention) but I was able to salvage it by just making the blade more slender. Even if I were to ruin the sword irreparably, I would still be proud of myself and happy with the experience I was able to gain.
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Jared Smith




Location: Tennessee
Joined: 10 Feb 2005
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Posts: 1,532

PostPosted: Sun 04 Feb, 2007 8:21 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I understand that the objective of this great forum and its founders (who do a phenomenal amount work to maintain and moderate it as a high quality site) is not to create a "how to" tutorial on an infinite variety of weapons and armour.

That said, there may be room for some aspects of fabrication such as; traditional methods of craftsmen during the era when objects of interest to the forum were made, historical features of construction in accepted artifacts, and mechanical properties of real historic pieces that depend on the "how to" of heat treat, shape, joint construction, and whatever other fabrication aspects that happen to come up within the forum. My gut feel is that there is an inescapable element of "how to" that will overlap the primary subject matter of interest to the majority here.

It has been particularly rewarding to me that theories of forging techniques, materials available and utilized in medieval times, and the complex subject of manufacturing of swords and armour has been something I have been able to post questions about, and have authoritative and historical manufactuer-historians such as Peter Johnson respond to. I hope this can continue.

Absence of evidence is not necessarily evidence of absence!
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Nathan Robinson
myArmoury Admin


myArmoury Admin

PostPosted: Mon 05 Feb, 2007 2:51 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Check out the first installment of a new myArmoury.com featured article series:


The Workbench: An English Tuck (Estoc)

An article by Sean Flynt

Cheers

.:. Visit my Collection Gallery :: View my Reading List :: View my Wish List :: See Pages I Like :: Find me on Facebook .:.
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Pamela Muir




Location: Arlington, VA
Joined: 23 Sep 2004
Reading list: 34 books

Spotlight topics: 2
Posts: 282

PostPosted: Mon 05 Feb, 2007 3:35 am    Post subject: Re: "Do it yourself!"         Reply with quote

Patrick Kelly wrote:
I've told many people, you're not going to ruin it. The worst you'll do is have to start over and that process in itself will be an educational experience. So don't be afraid to give it a try, in the end it will be very satisfying.

Excellent advice, Patrick! Heck, if I can do it, anybody can. Happy Though I confess that I had a lot of virtual hand holding from some myArmoury members as I started my projects. And, I also had to stop and start over from the beginning more than once because I was unhappy with the outcome. It's an ongoing learning process.

I do find it interesting that if you look at the top 10 favorite topics, the "how-to's" are always there. Apparently there are a lot of us that want to learn how to re-grip or sharpen a sword, make a scabbard or make a shield. I hope the do it yourself-ers continue to post and document their results. It's an instructional aid and an inspiration. Happy

I'm looking forward to reading this week's update!! Cool

Pamela Muir

Founder/Lead Instructor
Academy of Chivalric Martial Arts


"I need a hero. I'm holding out for a hero 'til the end of the night. He's gotta be strong, And he's gotta be fast, And he's gotta be fresh from the fight." ~Steinman/Pitchford
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Kel Rekuta




Location: Toronto, Canada
Joined: 10 Feb 2004
Likes: 1 page

Posts: 604

PostPosted: Mon 05 Feb, 2007 4:40 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Well said, Patrick. Exclamation

I get a bit annoyed at numerous requests to "borrow" my hard researched patterns and give lessons on how to use them. Research is half the joy of reproducing historical artifacts. Just jumping into making the thing using someone else's studies can't help a student learn, IMHO. Worried

I'm happy to share research including sources but the spoonfeeding thing is just not on.

Kel
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Sean Flynt
myArmoury Team


myArmoury Team

Location: Birmingham, Alabama
Joined: 21 Aug 2003
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Reading list: 13 books

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Posts: 5,892

PostPosted: Mon 05 Feb, 2007 9:34 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The new Workbench series here should answer lots of common questions. I originally figured these would focus on arms upgrades, but they've already branched out into other areas and we've only just published the first one! I'd love to see somebody write a Workbench article about mail, clothing or other non-arms topics. We're not looking for experts, necessarily, just folks who have figured out how to do something or solve some common problem. Once these questions and answers have a permanent and formal home here, maybe that will take some heat off of individuals.
-Sean

"Everywhere I have searched for peace and nowhere found it, except in a corner with a book"- Thomas a Kempis (d. 1471)
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