The Making Of The Great Machine
by Master Gerald Goodwine
It was the early 1990's, and I had for some time been training 3 dogs to do pulling of carts and wagons and was planning on attending Lilies. Putting a dog up for a week in a kennel can get quite expensive and putting up three was cost prohibitive. A dog is like a child, and at any event especially at a weak long event, it requires constant supervision. The question then was: How can I take my dogs, enjoy the war myself, make it a good experience for the dogs, and make them a part on the medieval experience rather that a distraction and nuisance for others? My answer at that time was to build a dog cart and go cruising around the campground. During the coarse of researching the cart, and such esoteric things like how bearings for such devices might have been made, I kept running across references, woodcuts, and artists drawings to tread-wheels that were used to power various types of machinery. These tread-wheels used people, horses, oxen, donkeys, goats, and yes, even dogs as a source of power. This seemed to be the craziest, most magical answer to my original problem. But why would the crazy amount of work to make such a thing be worth while? Well, because I am a maker of things. I do blacksmithing, woodworking, and a wide variety of other crafts. It would combine my love and passion for woodworking, blacksmithing, casting and metalwork, tool-making, dog training, medieval recreation, and power tools into one giant project. And it has been a blast! One thing and one bit of research leads into another, and the things I have learned have been amazing!
During the course of my research I found this quot from Della tranquillita dell'animo (On the tranquility of the soul), a philosophical treatise, written by Leon Battista Alberti a disiple of Phillip Brunelleschi, the engineer credited with the construction of the cathedral Santa Mara del Fiore. In his play two characters are presumably sitting in that vary cathedral lamenting about their failed businesses. One says to the other: “I am accustom, most of all at night, when the agitation of my soul fills me with cares, and I seek relief from these bitter worries and sad thoughts, to think about and construct in my mind some unheard-of machine, to move and carry weights, making it possible to do great and wonderful things. Oh how this reaches across the centuries and connects me to that restless soul. It is as if I am sitting right there, hearing his words in that very cathedral, hearing just outside its massive doors, the creaking and groans of that machine lifting the massive stone beams into place, workmen shouting back and forth their commands and instructions, the sound of oxen feet as they step to turn the wheel. Yet, it is not enough for me to just sit and imagine. I am a builder. I must make it. I must see it. I must hear it. I must feel it move. Non est satis imaginari. “It is not enough to imagine”; My motto... My modus operandi: I began building.
The first couple of years were spent designing and talking about making such a machine, and having people look at me like I was a six headed hydra with a jesters hat and bells on each head. I put up a blacksmith shop at Lilies in the new merchant area just east of the cesspool. The idea was to sell blacksmith stuff, but except for a few tent stakes, that never panned out. It seemed I was always too busy making stuff for the machine to make anything to sell. In those days my shop was four patio shade pavilion corners that sort of looked like they were smith-worked, and two roof panels made of a wooden frame just substantial enough to hold 5 pieces of tin together each. This was not a good plan in a very unforeseen way. The sound of rain on a tin roof may be romantic to some, but the thundering echos of smithing hammer blows resonating off a tin roof that acted like a sound board on a well made musical instrument...Not so much...And not so musical and deafeningly...not romantic.
next year the tin roof was replaced with a wooden frame and a
tarp. I constructed this frame with housing the wheel in mind
and by then
had the first initial drawings for the wheel completed. I was
planning on some kind of A-frame to hold up the wheel. Although
could have functioned properly, the look would have been all
That's when I first saw then HL now Master, Guillume de
little timber frame house using canvas to simulate mortar. This
the perfect Idea! Agacola's book had over 150 woodcuts many with
buildings that such a construction would represent as well as
be done, The shop could look like it was supposed to. Its
went into high gear.
[log in to unmask]" type="cite">Gerald, was something supposed to be attached to this? Yes, I would love to see something from you in each issue. I'll hold until time for you to go to work tonight . . .-- Manage your subscription at http://listserv.unl.edu. listserv.unl.edu lists do not accept incoming email from Yahoo.com, AOL.com or Dropbox.com due to thier DMARC policies.
Date: Tue, 21 Jul 2015 05:07:13 -0500
From: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: [MAGMOR] Runestaff
To: [log in to unmask]
Here is something (maybe the beginnings of a book) you might wish to put in the Runestaff for entertainment purposes. If you like I could try for a bit each month.
On 7/20/2015 3:50 PM, Patricia Galbraith wrote:
[log in to unmask]">will be going to press (web?) early tomorrow morning. If you have anything you would like to add, please let me know by midnight tonight.-- Manage your subscription at http://listserv.unl.edu. listserv.unl.edu lists do not accept incoming email from Yahoo.com, AOL.com or Dropbox.com due to thier DMARC policies.
-- Manage your subscription at http://listserv.unl.edu. listserv.unl.edu lists do not accept incoming email from Yahoo.com, AOL.com or Dropbox.com due to thier DMARC policies.