Thursday, 9 February 2012

Hermitcraft: Fudos, Pt. 3: Lord of the Rings

One day's walk in town
Collecting fudo rings is an object lesson in greed. First you pick one up by chance. Then you become acutely aware of every washer in the vicinity, in service or out. Soon you're dodging four lanes of traffic to get to the hardware on the median, and waiting for the guard dog to round the corner so you can scale the truck yard fence. When you start fantasising about the explosion at the fuel dock that would score you those awesome mooring rings, you officially have a problem.

Fact is, life is full of rings. Mostly washers, with a scattering of et ceteras. And there's nothing like that Epic Find. The rust-latticed, potato-chipped gutter washer; the big bronze bearing; the giant log boom ring. Ask any birdwatcher or ham radio operator: these things can put you in a good mood for days.

Where to look

Collecting beach rings
The short answer is "everywhere," but some wheres are more generous than others.

o Any place work is going on. Construction sites are good. Demolition sites are better. Where machinery is parked or repaired, it's "eyes low." Breaking yard? Jackpot! Public works are gold, too. You can find serious iron around recently replaced light poles, highway retainers, etc.

o Rich = stingy. (As much with rusty washers as everything else.) Poor neighbourhoods offer better pickings, because we fix our own crappy cars outside our own houses. And our streets are paved and swept less often. If you find yourself on such a street, watch it. (The street, I mean.) Hardship, depression, and desperation generate fudo rings. I could get all metaphorical on your backside, but you get it.

Street lamp base
o Cities. Best prospects: former accident scenes, busy corners, industrial districts. Any place the road is rough shakes down hardware by the tonne.

o Beaches, though you have to have the tools to free them. But the selection is excellent: chain links, net rings, malleable dock washers, and all manner of small hardware. All generally well-harmed by Earth's least metal-friendly environment.

o The entire nation of Guatemala. The combination of alleged "streets", screaming poverty, and perpetually reconditioned buses, trucks, and tuk-tuks fills your pockets daily with the strongest, bad-assedest fudo rings on the
Fifteen ring day
in the city!
planet. I swear it rains bodhisattva bronze in that country.

Wherever you find them, gathering up fudo rings is fun. It makes every walk a potential catch, and turns boring, drab, depressing surroundings into pastures of plenty. It also makes for great stories. Remind me to tell you about the time a winter storm threw up a seine that had sat on the sea floor for decades, so impregnated with sand that it ruined three pairs of shears before giving up a grapefruit-sized black concretion that I had to kiln in the woodstove overnight before smashing it with a hammer to discover five breathtaking rings.

Never mind; guess I already did.

Four hours' work on the beach
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