Never Thought I’d Need A Forklift

Never Thought I’d Need a Forklift
I have always been a geek at heart. Most of my jobs have been tech support in one form or another. I have the bad luck of picking companies that get bought out and my job tends to get shipped over to India.

Well, it had happened again. I had a cushy tech support job that I loved, hours that didn’t interfere with my hobbies, and I was making enough money to pay my bills and have a little for spending money. Then our company got bought out. So, while between two such jobs, I decided to start working on what I really loved: making weapons for medieval reenactment.

Doing What I Love
I do what’s known as “foam fighting.” Some medieval reenactment groups such as the SCA use solid ratan weapons and wear full steel armor. The group I’m in follows the theory “Pad the weapon, not the person.” Our weapons are usually fiberglass or graphite cores covered in layers of foam.

For many years, standard weapon construction in Amtgard (the name of the medieval reenactment group to which I belong) was to take a graphite golf club and cover it in a section of Funnoodle. About two years ago, this became unfeasible.

Funnoodle used to be 2.5” in diameter and made of a dense, high quality foam that would last several months of hard use. This meant that come summer, an Amtgarder could purchase five or six sticks of Funnoodle and it would last them a year or so. However, two years ago the quality of the foam and the diameter of the noodle both dropped dramatically.

Exploring New Options
Old techniques were explored, but this time we were using newer materials. I started making swords out of heavy-duty fiberglass rods, and padding them with 2 lb density microcell foam.. The manufacturer I found for the rods, or cores as we call them, made them thick-walled so they were more durable.

I invested the majority of my unemployment check to purchase a large amount of foam and several cores with which to make weapons. There was an event coming up soon and I wanted to try to sell some of my weapons there. I sold two dozen swords in a few hours. I knew I had a new business.

We Need a Forklift
I went into partnership with a friend of mine. My friend had a large barn in his backyard that was mostly unused. We converted it into a warehouse. However, with the amount of materials we would need to purchase, and with us expanding into armorsmithing as well, we would need a forklift.

I looked around the internet, and eventually found They some really good deals on used forklifts, and we were able to get one for a lot less money than we thought. My back isn’t what it used to be after years of sitting in chairs doing tech support. I’m glad I purchased it, this forklift has saved my back.

By Doug Whittaker
Doug Whittaker is a professional writer who has published hundreds of online articles on a myriad of topics. He loves researching new and exciting fields and reporting on them. When he’s not writing, he’s usually crafting or playing video games with his family.

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