How to Make Rapper Swords by Frank Lee – online talk

The Morris Federation launched a series of online workshops, talks and demos over Winter 2020-2021.  Here is a review of a demonstration & talk by Frank Lee in December 2020 to over 60 people on how he makes rapper swords.

The rapper sword he made in the filming for the demonstration was sword number 2549.  He has made 433 sets to date which have been sold worldwide.

Frank Lee
Frank Lee

“Frank went through all the steps and covered how he resourced his materials, and how to make the tools, as well as how to actually make the swords. He used videos and photos to make the process clear and, naturally, included many anecdotes along the way.

“Fascinating to see how every storey of his house is used in the process, along with many of the rooms. There were more steps than I thought there would be and quite a few required an adaptation or making of jigs to ease the job along. The ultimate justification for us hoarders of spare this-and-that in case it might come in useful one day.

“Afterwards he kindly answered additional questions from the audience.

“Remember:

  1. Never unbind a coil of spring steel in your kitchen, and
  2. Look after your sword – a lot of skill, ingenuity, love and hard work has gone into making it.

“Of course we (Ripon Spur Rapper) have a set of Frank’s swords.

“Now where did I put that spare lorry brake drum …

by Bob Barker of Ripon Spur Rapper in North Yorkshire

The demonstration was kindly run by Frank Lee, whose website is http://rapper-swords.co.uk.  Frank is a member of Carlisle Sword and ClogHexham MorrisFeet First Appalachian Cloggers, and Flag and Bone Gang.

Donations from participants raised money for Halsway Manor, National Centre for Folk Arts in Somerset.

Nov 06
4:00 pm - 5:30 pm
Talk - "Considering Morris Dance Costumes as English National Dress" - Chloe Middleton-Metcalfe (LIVE on Zoom)
Nov 07
11:00 am - 3:30 pm
Workshop - Whitby Toesday Hornpipe Clog Routine for Beginners & Intermediates - Melanie Barber (LIVE on Zoom)
Nov 14
5:00 pm - 6:30 pm
Talk - "A History of Mumming" - Stephen Rowley (LIVE on Zoom)
Dec 04
4:00 pm - 5:30 pm
Talk - "Coconut Dancing – more than just a Lancashire tradition” - Peter Bearon (LIVE on Zoom)
Dec 11
4:00 pm - 5:30 pm
Talk - "Morris Dolls in the Museum of British Folklore" - Simon Costin (LIVE on Zoom)
Dec 12
4:00 pm - 5:30 pm
Talk - "Straw Bear - 40 Years of Straw & String" - Brian Kell (LIVE on Zoom)
Apr 09
10:00 am - 5:00 pm
Joint Morris Organisations' Day of Dance 2022
Sep 24
All day
Morris Federation Day of Dance and AGM 2022

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