Vintage Handmade Tools and Equipment
In order to accomplish the amazing things that they did to settle America, people had to make most of the tools and equipment by hand in their own small shops.
Most think of a blacksmith as someone who just shod horses. The fact is the blacksmith hand forged many of the hand tools and parts used by earlier settlers.
The blacksmith had to be inventive, as well as skilled at their trade to know exactly when to pull the metal out of the hot coals to work with it or weld parts together.
Since a trip to a blacksmith could take days, most farms and ranches had a portable forge and blacksmith tools to repair and make small parts, such as branding irons, gate hinges and knives.
These farm blacksmith forges and tools were sold in kits by the early Sears Roebuck company thorough mail order.
Most blacksmith made their own tongs and would make special tongs to use on special projects.
Small foundries also made the cast iron parts used in making machinery.
Like the blacksmith they had to make their molds and patterns before they could pack them into moist sand to form an impression for the molten cast iron to fill.
In order to make a gear assembly the pattern would have to be precisely cut out of wood to match other gear patterns.
The industrial revolution brought many factories into play but with shipping time their products could take months to reach the Western frontier.
Many factories stamped out the metal parts, and because smaller parts were easier to ship, they could ship parts kits for the end consumer to build the rest.
These factories also supplied parts to smaller more local shops and factories.
The pictures show a handmade wine press. This would be a good example of someone who purchased parts and built the rest in a cottage based shop locally.
It was constructed somewhat crude but the handles and gears were apparently made in a foundry.
This wine press is rather unusual, most wine presses were built with hardware kits that consisted of the screw mechanism, handle, and metal hoops.
The wooden part would be built out of timbers with a cross beam to mount the screw assembly in.
The press tub would also be built out of wood with the metal rims used to hold it together under the pressure of the press.
This hardware kit would also be the same to build an apple press, except the apple press would also include the wheel and drum to make an apple chopper.
The hand washing machine was made in a factory as well as the pedal scroll saw.
The hay baler could have been made in a factory or parts were purchased and also built in a home base shop.
The egg crate maker appears to be a cottage based shop product that was designed to make the wire and wooden egg crates to transport eggs to market.
The stump puller most defiantly was made in a cottage farm shop, the simple metal hinge was also likely made on a portable farm forge.
Some items were completely made in a factory and then sold to the consumer, who would then still need to build the frame work to hold and use it.
The corn sheller is a good example. It was small and easy to transport, but in order to use it had to have a large wooden box was added.
Many farm machinery items were done the same way. The metal teeth could be made for a field harrow in a blacksmith shop or factory and then sent to the farmer.
The farmer would then take wooden beams to make the frame work drilling holes to drive the metal teeth into the beams.
Early sawmills were made with the metal assembly to hold the saw blade, the roller and rails that would be used to move the logs into position and the hardware that would be used to lever the logs into the saw blade.
The rest of the sawmill would be built from harvested lumber timbers and then attached to a steam engine or water wheel.
Even wagon parts were made locally in a blacksmith shop or made in a factory and shipped to a wagon builder.
Many of the blacksmith and livery shops included a wheelwright that would hand cut and hand shave the wooden spokes, turned the wheel hubs, and cut the wheel frame to assemble inside a metal band rim.
Many of the old fashioned wooden wheelbarrows were made from hardware kits and built locally as well as garden carts.
These type of kits are still available on line at Cottage Craft Works .com a self-sufficient back-to-basics online store.
From the wine and cider presses, to wheel barrows and wagons. Cottage Craft Works has the hardware kits just like the ones made in vintage periods.