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I Forge Iron

Amazing belt driven shop

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There is a bicycle repair shop in Greeley, CO which has and overhead belt drive set up but NOTHING like this. There can't be anything in there except the tumbler which was manufactured after about 1925. I'd like to know what drives the system. I'd like to believe, because I saw steam radiators in several of the pics, that he has a stationary steam engine or even a locomotive or a traction engine with a power take off.

George M.

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Thanks for the link! Dad had a lot of line machinery converted to electric in his shop. One of my jobs was running the punch press, very similar but newer, maybe 1920's than the one center of the top row. I've only visited a couple line shops and only one running.

All you'd need is a river or good mill pond and you're set. Oh yeah, cows, lots of cows to keep you in belts. <grin>

Frosty the Lucky.

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My Dad was a plant engineer in factories beginning in the late 1940s (before OSHA I guess) and he told me about a plant he worked in (paper mill?) that had overhead line shafts with quite a bit of water (or steam) power driving them. He said one of the grease monkeys was climbing around up there greasing the bearings on a line shaft once when something apparently went wrong. Dad said they didn't find the guy for some time, but when they did it weren't pretty...

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Joel is a very good friend of mine and I have been in his shop several times. I've run the Hackney he's got and it is a joy. As you can see from his website, he is extremely talented. What you can't really appreciate is his knowledge and use of specialized tooling. He does quite a bit of decorative die work with his toggle press. That is a sub class of blacksmithing that doesn't get much attention, but when done well it can really add elegance to a finished piece. Lately, Joel had been getting a lot of help in the shop from his wife. They live on a farm and the "old fashioned" life style extends to more than just the shop. Joel's main form of transportation is horse and buggy. He chooses this life style just becuase he finds in satisfying, not because of upbrnging or religious convicitons. His choice of line shaft equipment is partly becuase of power limitations on the farm and partly because he just enjoys old machines. The last few years Joel has not made it to Quad State due to a buisness conflict, but prior to that he was a regular there. One of the very cool things I've learned from him over the years is the difference between blacksmithing as a fine art and as a craft. Much of what Joel has made, especially his tables, is driven by a desire to express ideas. He's essentially making functional sculpture.


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Thank you!! I went and checked out your link Neil and that guy is amazing and his place is a must see!! Loved the baby bradley hammer, it looked almost like a table top hammer sitting next to the bigger one. Cleanest, nicest bradley hammers on the planet along with everything else there, WOW.
Here is a link to one of the videos: http://www3.museumofmaking.org/dbtw-wpd/machine_video.htm

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Good Morning,

Doug Newell & Japheth Howard work at the Canadian Museum Of Making, just outside Cochran, Alberta.
It is built underground in a controlled environment. It is all driven by belt, powered by "Mary" the steam engine.



Neil Gustafson

Jeez, I lived in Calgary for 6 years and I never knew of this place. Next trip back I will be sure to visit.
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