Sunday, July 17, 2016

RED means STOP

I don't care what the **** your 'religion' is.

Typical consideration of the legal STOP sign.

The Mennonite Meeting Hall is located about a kilometer north from Wareham, east side of County Road 41.

Every Sunday, the Meeting Hall lets out its Sunday services about 12:00 to 12:15.
And roughly 40 to 50 individual wagons head south into Wareham.
These are primarily of two types:
- Open topped small buggies pulled by a single horse, typically with two people.
- Enclosed large wagons pulled by a two horse team, typically with large family groups.

Every Sunday, the vast majority of these operators, stacked tight in a line, completely refuse to stop at the stop sign on the corner of Centre Line.
Usually at high speed (not even slowing to check for oncoming traffic).
Often the entire line of wagons in an unbroken chain.

Today I watched someone in a small single horse unit approach the stop sign.
Without visibly slowing down.
They were already past the stop sign when they finally checked to see if there was anything coming from the West (down Centre Line).
There was a pickup truck approaching the intersection from the West. Fortunately, traveling below the posted speed. It would have been roughly even with my driveway when the wagon operator checked that direction. (So about 100 feet)
They did manage to stop the horse. Not before loosing control of the animal, resulting in the wagon being positioned sideways across the intersection, the horse rearing to rear feet.
They eventually had to have the passenger jump out to grab the horse, completing a 270 degree circle inside the the intersection. They never did get control of the animal, the passenger having to jump back on to the wagon as it rocketed out of the intersection to the east.


If you intend to travel on the public roads in Ontario, you are legally required to OBEY the traffic laws controlling the operation of 'a vehicle' on those roads.
Fundamental to this is the following of all posted signs. The red octagon with the large * order * to STOP is key. It is not a recommendation. It is not 'do at your whim'. It is not 'based on some religion'. It is a rigid COMMAND.


Obey the laws or get off the public roads.

1) A horse drawn wagon is defined legally as 'a vehicle' under the Ontario Traffic / Highway Safety Act. It is subject to all the same legal restrictions as any other 'vehicle'.

2) If I personally do not follow the command to stop, even if I am on a bicycle, I will be subjected to a fine and subjected to a penalty against of driver's licence.

3) If a motor vehicle is approaching this intersection from the East, towards Wareham intersection, and at the legal speed limit, it will have no more that FOUR SECONDS to observe if the intersection is clear. This is the same amount of time someone *legally* stopped will be able to determine if there is vehicle is approaching. (Note that east / west traffic has legal right of way).
View west to the stop sign / 4 seconds out at 80 kph.

View from the legal stop line towards the east - reverse of view above.
 4) - My property is the same corner as the stop sign. It lays to the SE corner of my lot.
- I normally part at least one small trailer along the edge of Centre Line, in front of my house / shop.
- There is often extra visitor vehicles parked also along the extended edge of Centre Line (frequent weekend courses here).
One second from the intersection (at 80 kph). You can see my truck parked, behind it my small travel trailer. Note also the pickup truck *legally* stopped for the sign.
 5) Combine all this, and there is a better than 50 / 50 chance that when the expected major traffic accident happens from wagons NOT STOPPING LEGALLY, the inertia of the motor vehicle will at least roll it down the 8 foot bank into my yard - or impact my own (legally) parked vehicles.

Mennonites don't carry any insurance.
Wagons do not require licence plates, so there is no way to identify individual vehicles breaking the law.
Mennonites purposefully all dress alike. Most are wearing obscuring sun glasses. There is thus almost no way to identify individuals.

This potential accident is made more likely by an increasing number of young men driving hopped up 4 wheel drive, pickup, 'dirt trucks'.
Especially on the weekends.
Typically speeding, and otherwise ALSO not paying full consideration to the traffic laws.
Observed repeatedly attempting to make 'slew turns' and 'fishtailing' - intentionally.

Someone will eventually be killed at the intersection. Guess who is most likely going to have to clean up the mess?

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Forging a Sword Blade

Ongoing commission, filmed July 15, 2016.

Working with patterned dies on a 50 lb air hammer.
This is a matched pair of dies contoured to create a roughly 2 1/4 inch wide simple diamond cross section, set up with a folded spring. The dies fit into a 'hardie' attachment that itself bolts to the bottom die of the air hammer.
(The air hammer was the first model built by David Robertson - about 15 years ago.)

Material being forged is middle carbon spring steel, the source is a (new) spring harrow tooth.
The starting dimension of that material was roughly 5/8 x 1 inch, curved to a half circle. This has been initially flattened, then forged to a starting profile as seen here at roughly 7/32 x 1 3/4 flat.

Each section of 4 inches requires roughly 6 passes like the ones seen here to create the (very) rough forged blade profile. As the blade is lengthened, it is important to ensure the centre line is kept as straight as possible. (Wavering in the edges is expected at the rough forged state.)

Once completed, the edges will be carefully forged to create ensure a minimum width to the blade, in this case 2 inches (plus?). Also a consistent thickness at the edges will be created. This may result in some bulges, but those will be ground out to made an even profile.

At the point seen in the video, about 20 inches of the required 32 inch finished blade have been rough forged. As can be seen, there is considerably more material available on the source bar than will be required for the finished sword.
The design calls for a short riccasso (unsharpened) section at the base of the blade. With this measurement established, the shoulder leading into the tang will be made, and the tang forged to the required length.

Sunday, July 03, 2016

Sutton Hoo Burial Re-creation

Seen at the recent 'SCA 50th' event at Danville IN.
LARGE photo mosaic
One of the high points for me was this impressive display by Talymar of the burial chamber found at Sutton Hoo. The original find is most likely the burial of the Saxon king Raedwald, c. 625 AD.

Talymar has embarked on a lengthy and detailed project to re-create the entire burial chamber, along with all of the individual objects that were found within.

A few additional references:
Google Arts - Sutton Hoo
UK National Trust - Sutton Hoo
British Museum - Sutton Hoo & Europe
the Sutton Hoo Society

I hope to have more details to discuss on his project in the near future...

February 15 - May 15, 2012 : Supported by a Crafts Projects - Creation and Development Grant

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