CacheCrazy.Com: Fall Foliage Bus Trip 2012

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Fall Foliage Bus Trip 2012


Grab a cup of coffee, or tea, sit back and let the water roll.

This past Saturday I had the privilege of going on the annual Fall Foliage Bus Trip that is put on by the Susquehanna County Forest Land Owners Association. This year we were expanding our route into New York. Specifically the Oneonta area.

Today I am going to share about one of our stops along the way. One of the areas we visited was Hanford Mills Museum, which is a working saw mill that is powered by a water wheel. If you have never seen a working water wheel that powers a saw mill then this is the place for you.

Come along as I walk you through this magnificent place and visualize what it must have been like when this was the norm.

This saw mill has been in operation since 1846. In 1860 David Hanford purchased the site and ran not only the saw mill, but a grist mill, feed mill, woodworking shop, and a hardware store. Then in 1898 they used the water from the nearby creek to start producing electricity. Progress was being made.

As I mentioned this saw mill is powered by a large water wheel. At half gate they are running about 3000 gallons per minute, and at full gate it's about 6000 gpm.

It can also be powered by a large steam engine.

When using the water wheel they open the flood gates and allow a certain amount of water to pass through the wheel, which then powers the wheels and belts as it awaits the operator to fully engage the drive, which then begins cutting the wood as seen below.

We began our tour by dividing up into three groups and then heading to different parts of the mill to see how it operated. Dawn Raudibaugh, Mill Manager, along with a co-worker, showed us how wooden shingles were made.

                                Our tour guide

We then moved into the area where "Heads" are made. Heads are the wooden tops for wooden barrels. They take two pieces and run them through the tongue and groove machine. Then they use a specific hammer to knock them together. This ensures that they are water tight after being cut into round pieces.

                         Cutting the tongue and grove slots

                         Getting ready to cut the head

                       Cutting the round head

                       The finished product

We then watched as they prepared to cut a large log. When the log is in place they rev up the wheel and begin cutting.

                               Running the big saw blade

                       Those sure are big teeth.

This was truly a neat place to visit. There are many more areas of the saw mill that we visited, but I want you to check it out for yourself. I hope at some point in your life you'll visit Hanford Mills Museum; you won't regret it. Just make sure you have plenty of time to devote to seeing it all, and be sure to bring a little spending money with you to visit their gift shop.



I love going to a mill. I love the way it smells, the sound of the big saws and the interesting cuts they make. I use plaques like that for wood burning and as sculpture bases. I would love to get my hands on a bunch of them.
I also LOVE the BIG SAW and the video. Very cool and interesting post BigAl!

Kim@Snug Harbor said...

Really interesting post. I enjoy seeing historic stuff like this.

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