Saran Wrap for pouches, Elmer's glue and Super glue to hold stuff in
place, plastic tubing ... *sigh* Can anyone show me a 70-year-old
Saran Wrap pouch? Or 70-year-old Super glue, or plastic tubing of that
age? The wonderful thing about using traditional methods and materials
is that we know that they work and how they act over time. That's why
they are "traditional."
My definition of "tradition" is "a method of doing some activity that
people have found, over time, to be the best way to do that activity."
Traditions aren't established, they simply evolve as people find out
what works and continue doing that. Over time that becomes "tradition."
The problem with tradition is, when the way of doing whatever you're
doing ceases to work, you still keep doing it because it of tradition.
For example, a hundred years ago, running a household was something that
could easily occupy as much time and energy as it took to earn the money
to provide the wherewithal to do so. Not surprisingly, the tradition
evolved where one family member provided the wherewithal and the other
ran the household. However, with the advent of labor-saving devices,
those running the household had vastly increased free time, yet
tradition dictated that they must remain in their roles, even though
they had little to do. Not surprisingly, problems ensued.
My own thinking about tradition is that if there is a very good reason
to maintain a tradition (as I feel there is in our hobby), then
abandoning it simply because something comes along that looks like it
might work can be foolhardy. But, if an activity or procedure is no
longer serving its intended function, I feel that the fact that it is
traditional is not a legitimate reason for its continuance. The reason
for using hot hide glue, rubber tubing, and other traditional methods
and materials isn't an interest in historical accuracy; it's because
they have been around long enough that we know how they act. That's how
they got to be traditional methods and materials! If, for some
inexplicable reason, they cease to act the way they do, I'd be the first
to jump ship and look for something else. But, until such time as they
do, I see no point in using unfamiliar materials about which we know
less than we do about traditional methods and materials, i.e. how they
behave over time.