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non charisian Navy ships

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Re: non charisian Navy ships
Post by Silverwall   » Sun Sep 23, 2018 3:53 pm

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WeberFan wrote:In my mind I'm thinking "Of COURSE the intermediate steps are missing." The essence of our technological development on Earth is incremental, linear, step-by-step advancement because A) we don't understand the ultimate possibilities of our work - we're blinded by our own lack of imagination and creativity; and B) we have no idea how to get where we're going - we're hamstrung by the need to "figure it out."

But what if those two statements were no longer true? What if we already knew what we were trying to create and already knew how to create it? What if the only thing holding us back was trying to pretend that the development path WAS slow and incremental?

In my mind, the entire tedious, circuitous, blind-alley-strewn development path could be bypassed. We could go in a straight line from A to Z. Well, we might want to throw in the occasional dud just so we couldn't be accused of being demonspawn... But all the fruitless intermediate steps... All the non-value-add intermediates... could be bypassed.

In one of the other posts in this thread, there's a comment about the metal lathe. Good example. What if you didn't have one already, but could SEE one? What if you could SEE how one is built? What if you could SEE one in operation? What if you could ask (and have the question answered with 100% accuracy) what it was made out of and how it was made? What if you could ask how to make the high-strength steel necessary to make the machine tools and get those questions answered? What if you didn't really NEED to experiment to find the answers for yourself? Would that speed up the development of steel lathe technologies? MWW has already told us in textev a number of times how Owl has enabled advances in base technology (providing the CALIBRATED crush gauge for determining bore pressures immediately comes to mind).

With Owl and his library database I think all that is possible. The only thing standing in the way is the (temporary) need to include some blind alleys.

Personally, I think this is one of the better threads on the board. But my conclusion is that Howsmyn and the entire nascent company of technology innovators will begin entire new lines of innovation in the new book. And I for one am really, really looking forward to seeing where that might lead!


Thanks for the vote of confidence

The problem is not that the steps are missing but that they are critical to making progress to the end state at all. E.g. metal lathes requiring standardised advance screws to be able to conduct mass production. I know the theory for making gunpoweder and Cannon but as the mythbusters have found it is much harder than it looks and the time taken is always an issue.

Having Owl and Merlin pointing things out helps a lot but even if you showed them a metal lathe is should take even an expert like Howmsmyn et al years to get it working correctly these are VERY complex machines even today and they need a controlable power supply from somewhere. Working out how to power them is once of those essential foundation technologies I keep harping on about. In the world we have you need to invent some sort of belt take off from a central shaft and this is NOT a tech the alrady have as weber has a scene talking about how it is starting to spread. Because they don't have this technology we KNOW that they cannot do a whole lot of things a modern person takes for granted which is the whole thrust of my argument.

While we are talking about this the ammount of time required to hand produce single produce parts of guns is massive, I suggest looking at how much work a master gunsmith takes to produce some replacement parts on modern machines when fixing historical weapons.

Making a replacement screw from scratch
https://youtu.be/23dHAq6GxzU?list=PLJvs ... kVEu4i2HAV

Boring out a welded in obscruction as we talked about the issue of cannon boring earlier https://youtu.be/KXvYVI2TGRQ?list=PLJvs ... kVEu4i2HAV

Mass production of these weapons is the real crunch. Even in WW1 it took between 1 and 3 years to set up an effective prodcution line with it taking nearly 2 years for Remmington et al to gear up to produce the Mosin-Nagant for the Imperial Russian army and they are already well equiped with machine tools and have a pool of trained industrial workers to draw on.

This time complaint may seem pedantic but somthing that most authors gloss over and RFC is no exception here is that they massivly condense how long it takes to do ANYTHING in thier story, especially manufacturing and travel times. (Admittedly this is partly to make the story more exciting and flow better)
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Re: non charisian Navy ships
Post by Weird Harold   » Sun Sep 23, 2018 6:26 pm

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Silverwall wrote:Making a replacement screw from scratch
https://youtu.be/23dHAq6GxzU?list=PLJvs ... kVEu4i2HAV

Boring out a welded in obscruction as we talked about the issue of cannon boring earlier https://youtu.be/KXvYVI2TGRQ?list=PLJvs ... kVEu4i2HAV


Mark is an excellent gunsmith, but only a mediocre machinist.

a YT channel more relevant to Safehold would be OLD TIME STEAM POWERED MACHINE SHOP. Dave Richard's shop is probably closer to Charisian technology at the end of the Jihad than the beginning, but it far closer to Safehold tech than most of the other machinist channels.

Keith Rucker of vintagemachinery.org is another good source for machining in general Steam locomotive repairs and old technology in general: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCyjwQ6 ... EcWGboSU3g

I think the emphasis on the ability to cut threads is misplaced. Being able to change thread-pitch with a simple shift of a few levers is nice, but the more complicated process of physically changing gear-wheels to cut a specific thread pitch is actually more versatile; you can even cut Imperial and Metric threads on an SAE lathe once you've got the right gears to install?
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Answers! I got lots of answers!

(Now if I could just find the right questions.)
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Re: non charisian Navy ships
Post by Silverwall   » Sun Sep 23, 2018 7:18 pm

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This is what I love about this forum, you find such interesting resources.

Note the importance of having the right gear to instal on your lathe. This is where I feel RFC has just waved a magic wand and all the infrastructure for machine tooling just happened.
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Re: non charisian Navy ships
Post by EdThomas   » Mon Sep 24, 2018 1:44 am

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I think we're missing the twigs here because of the forest. Howsmyn needs to develop machines to make specific parts. He's not trying to build a machine tool industry. Once you have the machines to cut a Mandryn's (sp?) parts, you're gonna think about how you can make these more efficient and maybe use these to solve some of your other problems. You're not going to sit down and try to build a machine that can cut every size screw. You're gonna build a machine or machines to cut the screws you need now.
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Re: non charisian Navy ships
Post by Weird Harold   » Mon Sep 24, 2018 2:50 am

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EdThomas wrote:I think we're missing the twigs here because of the forest. Howsmyn needs to develop machines to make specific parts. He's not trying to build a machine tool industry. ....


Yes and no.

You're absolutely correct that specialized machines to make specific components are the end goal as far as the war effort.

The question of where the starting point for those specialized machines might be. There's also the question of prototyping -- how to you determine what parts to build if you can't test the design before spending a few million marks on tooling?

Some sort of general purpose metal cutting is necessary before you can build special purpose machines; iow, what machines do you need to build the machines you need.

(Not to mention learning to smelt and cast iron and steel reliably.)
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Answers! I got lots of answers!

(Now if I could just find the right questions.)
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Re: non charisian Navy ships
Post by Silverwall   » Mon Sep 24, 2018 7:05 am

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EdThomas wrote:I think we're missing the twigs here because of the forest. Howsmyn needs to develop machines to make specific parts. He's not trying to build a machine tool industry. Once you have the machines to cut a Mandryn's (sp?) parts, you're gonna think about how you can make these more efficient and maybe use these to solve some of your other problems. You're not going to sit down and try to build a machine that can cut every size screw. You're gonna build a machine or machines to cut the screws you need now.


Actually he should be building a machine tool industry so that the can diversify and build all the different war machines and civilian machines needed by the crazy industrial expansion.

Also they went from iron barreled slow match fired arquebusses to basically the polished steel bolt action SMLE with drawn Brass centrefire catridges in less than 10 years. As was pointed out this is a level of precision manufacture that at the start of book 1 would be considered "Jewelary quality" work! This took earth close to 350 years and even tech transfer cannot realistically cause a jump of that magnitude, the closest example would be Meiji Japan which took 25-30 years even with explicit import of technology and expertise from both the US and Europe.

The starting point on safehold is FAR to low for that rate of advance especially with the stultifying effect of the proscriptions no matter how much Charis is flouting them. Merlin repeatedly points out he is trying to get Safehold to think for themselves so even with the tech transfer from Merlin/Owl it should take LONGER than what was achieved by Meiji Japan.

RFC claims the tech base is more advanced thatn 1650ish but nothing in the early books really suggests this so if it is the case he really should have dropped some off the cuff "Technological odities" into Merlin's observations.
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Re: non charisian Navy ships
Post by PeterZ   » Mon Sep 24, 2018 10:36 am

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Silverwall wrote:
EdThomas wrote:I think we're missing the twigs here because of the forest. Howsmyn needs to develop machines to make specific parts. He's not trying to build a machine tool industry. Once you have the machines to cut a Mandryn's (sp?) parts, you're gonna think about how you can make these more efficient and maybe use these to solve some of your other problems. You're not going to sit down and try to build a machine that can cut every size screw. You're gonna build a machine or machines to cut the screws you need now.


Actually he should be building a machine tool industry so that the can diversify and build all the different war machines and civilian machines needed by the crazy industrial expansion.

Also they went from iron barreled slow match fired arquebusses to basically the polished steel bolt action SMLE with drawn Brass centrefire catridges in less than 10 years. As was pointed out this is a level of precision manufacture that at the start of book 1 would be considered "Jewelary quality" work! This took earth close to 350 years and even tech transfer cannot realistically cause a jump of that magnitude, the closest example would be Meiji Japan which took 25-30 years even with explicit import of technology and expertise from both the US and Europe.

The starting point on safehold is FAR to low for that rate of advance especially with the stultifying effect of the proscriptions no matter how much Charis is flouting them. Merlin repeatedly points out he is trying to get Safehold to think for themselves so even with the tech transfer from Merlin/Owl it should take LONGER than what was achieved by Meiji Japan.

RFC claims the tech base is more advanced thatn 1650ish but nothing in the early books really suggests this so if it is the case he really should have dropped some off the cuff "Technological odities" into Merlin's observations.

Safehold had a significant industry in drawing metal. Corisandian cities used enough drawn pipes to have municipal positions overseeing all of it and Corisande was not a hotbed of innovation. What they lacked were tools that could accurately produce drawn tubes to exact enough dimensions to be operable with the designated weapon. The pieces were already there.

RFC has repeatedly mentioned that what the Comand Crew gave Safehold was a hodgepodge of processes that encompassed a wide variety from Earth's technological levels. None of these revelations involved anything beyond muscle, wind or water power, but some of them were first developed in an era using other sources of power. The metallurgy as an example was far ahead of Earth's tech level supporting arquebusses.

So I have always believed that the Langehorn selected his technological revelations that would provide the best standard of living possible for the colonists and still not lend themselves to being reused and applied in ways that could easily lead tech advances. Heck, the Inquisition was created specifically to prevent that because the revealed technologies lent themselves so well to be combined into more useful unrevealed applications.

The entire revealed tech system and Proscriptions ARE the missing links everyone is looking for which led to the meteoric rise of technology in the story.
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Re: non charisian Navy ships
Post by Randomiser   » Mon Sep 24, 2018 3:02 pm

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Silverwall wrote:RFC claims the tech base is more advanced thatn 1650ish but nothing in the early books really suggests this so if it is the case he really should have dropped some off the cuff "Technological odities" into Merlin's observations.


There's a good part of your problem to start with. You refuse to accept what the author says about the starting point for the series and insist it was what you imagine it to be instead. Then you insist he ought to have written the books to accord more with your view of what is suitable than his.

FWIW we had considerable numbers of cannon on battlefields and ships in real life before we had developed what we would consider precision machining. If it could be done then it could be done on Safehold.
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Re: non charisian Navy ships
Post by Silverwall   » Mon Sep 24, 2018 3:34 pm

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Randomiser wrote:
Silverwall wrote:RFC claims the tech base is more advanced thatn 1650ish but nothing in the early books really suggests this so if it is the case he really should have dropped some off the cuff "Technological odities" into Merlin's observations.


There's a good part of your problem to start with. You refuse to accept what the author says about the starting point for the series and insist it was what you imagine it to be instead. Then you insist he ought to have written the books to accord more with your view of what is suitable than his.

FWIW we had considerable numbers of cannon on battlefields and ships in real life before we had developed what we would consider precision machining. If it could be done then it could be done on Safehold.


absolutely we did historically which is why I suggest the initial tech level is about 1650 level. This is post the Spanish armarda and well into the age of classical european musket warfare and suggests that simple cannon should (And are) common. Ship building however is significanly behind that pre merlin but there is a world of difference between what is doable with 1650s level tech even with pockets of more advanced knowledge such as suprisingly good bathtub chemistry and the kind of universal technology levels needed for advanced mass production machine manufacture suitable for building pre-dreadnaughts and magazine bolt action rifles.

Good point by PeterZ about the plumbing being more advanced, it is well taken but I had assumed it was hand bent and tacked or rivited or welded in the style of ancient roman plumbing rather than drawn metal. Is it specifically called out as being drawn metal? According to my research seemless pipe manufacture by drawing rather than by folding and welding is a technology that only appeared in 1895 which stongly suggests the need for advanced industrial machinary and more importantly serious power sources well beyond what is doable with a simple waterwheel.
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Re: non charisian Navy ships
Post by PeterZ   » Mon Sep 24, 2018 3:51 pm

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Silverwall wrote:
absolutely we did historically which is why I suggest the initial tech level is about 1650 level. This is post the Spanish armarda and suggests that simple cannon should (And are) common. Ship building however is significanly behind that pre merlin but

Good point by PeterZ about the plumbing being more advanced, it is well taken but I had assumed it was hand bent and tacked or rivited or welded in the style of ancient roman plumbing rather than drawn metal. Is it specifically called out as being drawn metal? According to my research seemless pipe manufacture by drawing rather than by folding and welding is a technology that only appeared in 1895 which stongly suggests the need for advanced industrial machinary and more importantly serious power sources well beyond what is doable with a simple waterwheel.

Yes, the method was specifically stated as drawing metal. As to the limitations of Safehold's waterwheel tech, that too could draw from a hodge-podge of Earth tech periods. The exact nature of what is possible and what isn't with Safehold tech pre-Merlin was alluded to in OAR when Merlin asserted he didn't know how to implement his ideas. He needed local experts to translate his ideas to the tech level at hand at that time. Part of that was letting the Charisian artisans internalize the technology, but the part is also a statement that Merlin didn't know the tech level mix that applied to Telesberg at that time.
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