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Thread: Papa Bear woodworks....lots of pics.

  1. #1
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    Papa Bear woodworks....lots of pics.

    No this isn't my shop, but it would be my dream shop....

    Last spring I was invited to go see Pap Bear's shop, the owners name is Joe Mesh and he is a heck of a nice guy. Someone who will share a ton of knowledge if you can soak it all in.

    Joe specializes in tables, and he has done into the thousands...he serial numbers each of them. He is currently building a cherry conference table that is 32 feet long and 16 feet wide. Pictures of that a bit later.

    Joe and his sons mostly have old machinery dating into the turn of the century with a few newer and the newest being his CNC router which he gave us a bit of a demonstration. Kind of neat seeing the old machines and then a computer controlled one in a corner all by itself. Joe and his sons completely refurbished these old machines and added todays electronics to them.

    Since Larry Merlau's wife and mine were going to do something in the way of shopping , I mentioned to Larry that I should call Joe and ask if we could come up for the day. Joe said "Absolutely, what kind of beer you fellas want?" He is just that kind of a host, always wants his visitors to feel at ease and Welcomes return visits.

    I took a lot of pictures and I'm going to post them, but to try to tell a story to go with each picture would take up all the bandwidth...so I am just going to post pictures and if anyone has any questions on a certain tool I or Larry might try to answer them.

    There were 4 of us that went to Joes, Larry, myself, my oldest brother Dennis and my son Steve Jr. We had a great time and WILL be going back again.
    Last edited by Steve Ash; 02-06-2007 at 10:56 AM. Reason: spelling
    A very wise man once said.......
    "I'll take my chances with Misseurs Smith and Wesson. "

  2. #2
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    His dust collector uses a 30 H.P. motor and his sawdust bin is as big as a truck. He said he burns his sawdust.

    The old drum sander is certainly impressive weighing in at 18.000 lbs. The dust hood retracts up into the ceiling, quite a sight to see a early turn of the century machine with all the new electronics added.
    A very wise man once said.......
    "I'll take my chances with Misseurs Smith and Wesson. "

  3. #3
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    Here is the conference table he is currently working on, all cherry. He cut out the top on his CNC machine which was in the above pictures.

    Quite a shop and Joe is a super friendly guy that I am looking forward to visiting again.

    Thanks for looking......
    A very wise man once said.......
    "I'll take my chances with Misseurs Smith and Wesson. "

  4. #4
    Ummm.....ahh.......whatthe......Ijustcan't.......u mm............


    Yeah.........I'm speechless.

    Thanks for sharing....awesome shop!

    Russell

  5. #5
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    Yeah, what Russell said

    Nice to see that this kind of stuff is still being built, and those old machines

    Way cool Steve, thanks!
    The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.
    William Arthur Ward

  6. #6
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    Wowsers! That's some impressive machinery, and impressive work. It's cool to see the old and the new being used together like that.

    I love the power drop for the drum sander. That's about the size of my DC ductwork.
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

    workingwoods.com

  7. #7
    That is pretty impressive!

    What is the conference table for? It looks like the type of thing you'd see in a hearing room?

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brad Olson View Post
    That is pretty impressive!

    What is the conference table for? It looks like the type of thing you'd see in a hearing room?
    Brad, the table is going over to the Farm Bureau main office in Lansing. I know you are familiar with Lansing so you might know where the building is...West Saginaw, on the south side of the road, near Horrocks Nursery.

    He also mentioned that he would love to have a shop tour for all the Guild members after he got that huge drum sander moved to a different part of his shop.
    A very wise man once said.......
    "I'll take my chances with Misseurs Smith and Wesson. "

  9. #9
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    incredible. i don't know what half those machines are so asking questions is pointless..

    thanks for sharing steve, i wish i could visit a shop like that.

    the table is awesome....one question...how do you deliver something like that.

    please thank joe and his sons for allowing you to share this with all of us.

    thanks
    chris

  10. #10
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    a wood worker see's

    a hint of the pearly gates it was my forst time there and as you walk in you go threw his show room and you get glimpse of what is to come.. you go threw what you know is part of the main shop to enter enter in to the larger portion and what do you see but the biggest table i had ever seen and the guy thats making it has a heart just as big.. i owe steve big time for allowing me to go along to see it.. and we al had a great time.. the most amzing part for me was what ehy done with old machinery to make it do todays work. they have got a amazing machinery intellect as well as woodworking skills.. thanks again steve for lettin me go.. just a note for vaughne this had a 30 hp motor to turn a 6 or 8 ft impellor on his little Dust Collector now thats a tricked up DC
    If in Doubt, Build it Stout!
    One hand washes the other!
    Don't put off today till tomorrow!

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