I was recently asked "Why do you re-create the past when the modern world works better?" The above picture is one of the many reasons. We live in the country. Living in the country has its perks. One these wonderful perks is living with wild life around us all the time. On a normal day our family can watch the cycle of life in our pond, the bird life, raccoons, snakes, lizards and even field mice. I know in the hills above us we have cougars, bobcats, coyotes and even deer. Rumor has it we even have bear. Ever once an while while out in my shop I will have some critter visitor come and say "Hi." I love these little visits. But, if anyone can explain to me WHY field mice are drawn to electrical cords I would love to know the answer. The picture above shows the main power cord that runs from our house to our workshops. Not only did this little blessed daredevil chew through the cord, but shorted the entire workshop and a portion of my house. Sadly, we found the burned remains of this little creature. We buried it in our garden. Now, you would think the chard remains of their friend would ward off others from chewing the cords. NOPE!!! This has happened twice and always at the most inappropriate and untimely manner.
So, this is one of many reasons why we like to use "primitive" methods of working with metals. We don't have to worry about a furry cute little field mouse chewing through electrical cords and shorting out half my house and my workshop.
Another bonus. Smaller power bills. Our electric burn out furnace and melting pot can double our power bill. However, after 5 hours of pumping on the bellows one can get an awesome work out *and* keep the power bill low.
When I first posted this on another list an interesting line of discussion started. We begin to discuss the Master to Apprentice form of education. Much of the knowledge we have gained regarding our smelting furnace has been obtained from talking to "experts" and observing others. It does help to have a Husband with an engineer background. We have discovered that very little has been written down and what has been written down is very vague. We have come to the conclusion that some skills are best demonstrated. There is a richness and a personal empowerment when one has "mastered" a skill.