Sunday, March 20, 2011
Susan Lowish recommended this blog as a place to post some images of our blacksmith shop on the outskirts of the Barossa Valley in South Australia. We are about to put it on the market.
This sign was erected by the local community association in 2008. The photo of the blacksmith shop in its heyday in 1898 can be compared with the same view today.
The view from the position of the sign. All of the original doors and windows are still intact, although boarded up. The Volkswagen 'buggy' and the GI water tank have now been removed.
The tyre stretcher.
Interior of the forge workshop. All of the original hand made tools are still intact. There are two heavy cast-iron 'swage blocks'. At the bottom left is the more common form, but in the centre, with the various shaped holes, is a rare revolving block, which served various functions on each face. The two cast-iron cones are 'mandrils' for forging and shaping different sized iron rings for tyres, rims, wheels and hubs. These are also very rare original relics.
The front door of the blacksmith forge shop. The same door is open in the 1898 photo. In the foreground are very rare relics and remnants of the blacksmith craft. On the right is the 'tyre stretcher'. This heavy cast-iron piece of machinery was used to pull the circular metal tyre into the correct size for the wooden rim and wheel structure. The solid iron disk (under the iron wheel) in the foreground is the 'shrinking plate'. The wooden wheel with spokes and rim in place was chained down onto this plate. Then the iron rim was heated in an outdoor fire, just to the left of the plate, and dropped over the wheel where it rapidly shrank and burned itself against the rim, pulling the whole wheel structure tightly together. To stop the timber of the wheel from catching fire, the whole assembly was then put onto an axle supported by two wooden posts (one is still standing) beside the shrinking plate. Here the wheel was rotated, with the tyre and rim in a trough of water, to cool it down quickly.
As you can see from the photos, the interior is amazing. It is very rare to have such a time capsule! That is why I bought it, in the first place, in 1979. Most of the tools were made by the original blacksmith Carl Schmidt and have the initials 'CS' stamped on them. There is a full inventory of the contents, as they were listed by the previous owner, who bought it in derelict condition from Fred Schroeter's widow. There are many office documents and family bibles, etc, so there is a lot of historical information as well. The building is listed on the SA Register of State Heritage Items.
With approval from the State Heritage Branch we built a large shed where we camp for weekends but there is no residence on the 2 acre property. We did at one stage however get approval to build a contemporary dwelling onto the outhouse at the back of the blacksmith shop.
For more information please contact John Dallwitz at email@example.com.
Sunday, January 16, 2011
I trust that everyone is fit and happy after Christmas and New Year.
The first Doris for the year will be on Saturday 5th February. I believe that Don would like to come back and show us more of his magic. I hope that you will be able to make it. Same deal as always: bring lunch, hammer and protective clothing etc.
See you then.
PS I thought that you might like to see what I have been up to over the Christmas break:
Monday, November 29, 2010
Well, it is time for another Doris, and that time is on Saturday 4th December.
Don has promised that he will come this time and has given me a drawing to show what he will teach.
For myself I need to learn how to make gum nuts as I will be making a few. I also want to know how to make the coil well. I DO NOT WANT TO MAKE ANOTHER LEAF! He! He! But some of you will.
Same deal applies as always:
* It starts at 10 ends at 4 (so come at any time between).
* Bring hammer if you have one.
* Bring protective clothing covering legs and arms -cotton, silk or wool - good sturdy boots, goggles, earmuffs, leather or cotton pinny if you have.
For the venue and membership details go to:
See you there