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I Forge Iron

Testing hammer accuracy


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People may scoff at this notion, but I look at physical skills, like hammering, as literally training your body. This goes further than muscle-mind coordination. 

Training your arm to swing a hammer is sort of like driving. When you first start learning it's all brain. After the skills are ingrained, the brain just makes navigational decisions. 

At the anvil it's the same. The brain is deciding what it wants, and the arm is making it happen.

It's my belief that the body has a rudimentary intelligence of its own. How else could a chicken run around with its head cut off? 

I heard somewhere that brain tissue can be found throughout the body. That makes sense to me. The body would be a far more efficient machine if the brain didn't have to do all the work.

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It’sa beautiful handle, but the fit at the eye looks horrible! I hope that’s just a bad angle in the photo, but if the fit really is that sloppy, it’s a shame that the quality isn’t consistent. 

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Where did you hear that Ted? The brain operates on several levels, conscious, subconscious and reflex are the three gross levels.

Muscle memory is the vernacular for "reflex" control. Conscious control directs actions but reflex operates the incredibly complex machinery that is the muscular and skeletal system.

An old example being, to see how long you can stand trying to control your body consciously. Can't do it, dynamic balance of what is essentially a tower of squishy meat connected to a frame of extremely well lubricated multiply jointed rods is still beyond the capacity of our highest powered computers. 

Controlling your body physically requires a direct input output system. The body is covered in sensors that send a constant stream on information to the brain which interprets and sends signals back making adjustments on a cellular level.

Call it what you wish, your "muscles" do NOT have a memory any more than trees are happy.

I know I've read too much about how brains work and am being pedantic over semantics.

Frosty The Lucky. 

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There is a small gap at the back there, but it only goes maybe 1/4" or so into the eye. If i were to use it i would definitely do like an epoxy fill in that spot. He is a true artist when it comes to wood working and epoxy but he could use some work on his hefting skills. 

I made one of his friends an axe, that is how i got my longbow. He was looking more for a hawk than an axe with a rounded eye though. Anyway he took the axe i made and handled it for me before giving it back for the hawk i made. Guy made a really nice osage handle for it but when he wedged it he put about 8 wedges around the wood and not into the wood. I got a pretty good chuckle out of that. 

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Ted and frosty, I don’t know about Brain tissue and muscle memory,

but I do know about butchering chickens and they can and will run around when you cut their heads off! It’s best to keep them in butcher shackles so they don’t make as big of a mess, I always just figured it was their nerve system goin haywire.

Same thing when killing a rattlesnake, you never trust that thing until it’s heads chopped off! because if you just shoot one In the head or thump him in the head with something those suckers will thrash around for awhile and you “think” they are done and just when your feeling comfortable that he’s done, that dude will spring back to action thrashing around again and even if he’s got a bullet through the head those fangs still got venom in them! So they are just as dangerous dead as alive. 

anyways sorry for the gruesome examples but I have to agree with Frosty on this one,

I think it’s just the nerves and tendons contracting when a heads cut off a chicken. I don’t think it’s muscle memory but I’m no expert.

  I figure the same thing applies to people, we don’t normally thrash around twist and jerk without our nerves going haywire. I think the brain controls the hammer stroke, I think it learns through practice but it’s still in full control. 

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I have a friend who runs a tire repair place out here that was once bit by a rattler changing a tire!   Tire had gone flat with no obvious cause; so he was running his hand around the inside hunting for a piece of wire or something and hit a rattlesnake fang.  Even after evacuating the tire's air through it; it had enough venom on it to make his hand swell up!

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Frosty, TW. Chickens running without a head really throws a wrench into the brain controls everything theory. Running is a highly coordinated action requiring balance. Random nerve impulses cannot account for this. 

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45 minutes ago, ThomasPowers said:

bit by a rattler changing a tire! 

Sheesh, everybody knows if you catch a rattler changing a tire, You'd best tread lightly! 

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   when you butcher a chicken and you take the legs you can pull the tendon sticking out and make the chickens foot contract and release, it’s a funny way to mess with someone whos never butchered before lol,

anyways, I’ve butchered a lot of chickens and I never saw one do anything I’d call “highly coordinated or balanced” but I’m not an expert on this topic you guys know more than me, I still think it’s nerves and tendons contracting.

Agin I apologize for my gruesome input on the topic. 

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Nah, you have a much better handle on headless chicken behavior. I've only lopped a few dozen chicken heads and have never seen one "run around the yard" more than half a dozen steps. It's nerves firing and fast muscle twitch reactions pulling tendons. 

The ones that stay upright have nerve locked talons spread wide so they have a wider base of support. They "run" in turns because there is NO complex nervous activity and the muscles twitch at different rates. 

There's nothing mysterious, the only "wrench" in the works is a lack of knowing what's going on. I suppose if you broaden your definition to include any nervous tissue as "brain" tissue you can make the argument muscle has brains. :rolleyes: To other folk who don't know how it works. 

If you want an explanation of why chicken's legs make "running" motions rather than say jumping or walking motions I can. I don't know how I'll work metal into it though.

Frosty The Lucky.

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I wish I had a picture of the replica of the  Lund Spit I forged from real WI.  It's a dandy chicken cooking implement. I did suze it up for modern roasters though.

As chickens are just "devo" dinosaurs should we include Marsh's contention of a secondary brain?  (Now considered disproven...)

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Dangle/Dangling spits were used for meat and used a cord out of the hot zone that you would twist so the item would rotate back and forth in front of the fire on a vertical axis.  The clockwork spit is MUCH more involved but rotated the item on a horizontal axis in front of the fire.

The Lund Spit depended on someone positioning it in front of the fire and adjusting the position to equalize cooking. Perhaps it should be called a Thrall spit?

All three could cook a good chicken or joint if properly used.  (BTW "Mechanics Exercises", J. Moxon,  1703; has plans for a clockwork spit in it.)

Spits run by vanes in the chimney or ones run by dogs running in a wheel are left as an exercise for the unwary.

A trick I have used for a "crank spit" is to have one of the supports fit the square spit shaft and the other to fit a rounded spit shaft. At the sq end put a rounded section in the spit so it can be continuously turned in the support. Have that rounded section bounded with a sq section of the spit shaft at either end, but twisted 45 deg from each other, (twist in the rounded section); so you have 8 possible alignments that the spit will "lock" into the support in front of the fire and it's easy to slip from one to another.  (I hope that makes sense!)

(Yes I've done some down hearth cooking hardware...)

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I didn’t make that aluminum butcher shackle, it came out of one of the old Hudson butcher plants after they went out of business if I remember correctly.

Actually I don’t think I’ve ever seen a hand forged poultry butcher shackle come to think of it.

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  I've only raised Rhode Island Reds one time and they just flopped around making a mess.  No running around antics.  I will say, they were as tough on the axe as they were on your teeth trying to chew them.  Free range and the critters got most of them.  It was a failure....

  Thanks, TP, I have now a headstart and some reading to do.  I am facinated by clockwork and mechanisms.

24 minutes ago, TWISTEDWILLOW said:

Actually I don’t think I’ve ever seen a hand forged poultry butcher shackle come to think of it.

  Be the first, TW!  Might not be much of a market for them, if you are into selling though...  :)

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I'll see if I can dig up some more examples.  I saw one in the Netherlands, Muiderslot,  that wound the cord with the weights powering it onto a wooden drum that had springy wires attached at one end on it.  Winding it up pushed the wires down against the drum and they sprang up as it unwound. Then a couple of minutes before it was totally unwound they would project enough to start ringing a bell to tell you it was time to wind it up again...I have bells!

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Nodebt, Lol I can see it now!
    Step right up folks and feast your eyes on wonderful device that will change your life forever!

It’s 100 percent USA made, by local craftsmen, it’s hand made from 100 percent recycled materials using sustainable methods!

And it can be yours today! For the one time low low price of…..? Get them while they last!

Trust me you will no longer have the inconvenience of having to go to the store and buy that commercially grown chicken anymore!

This device will alow you to process your own home grown poultry “sold separately” from the comfort of your own home! 

Don’t miss out on this life changing opportunity, support your local blacksmith and get yours today, you won’t regret it!! 

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