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Thread: Ben's Mill

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    London, Ontario

    Ben's Mill

    My brother sent me a link to this... Ben's Mill.

    This is a water-powered line-shaft mill. The video starts with a bit of iron/forge work, but the balance of it (Starting around the 5 minute mark) shows the guy building a stock watering trough from start to finish. He planes the wood, joints the wood, makes dowels, cuts dados and angles, and everything on ancient water-powered tools.

    Fun and interesting to watch a slice of history.

    (Not fine woodworking, but fine nonetheless!)
    There's usually more than one way to do it... ........

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Los Angeles, CA
    Very Interesting. Thanks for sharing, Art.

    Only thing missing was a watered-powered dust collector.
    Chinese Proverb: Man who eats many prunes gets good run for the money.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Cool find Art
    It could be worse You could be on fire.
    Stupid hurts.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    London, Ontario
    I've since found out it's actually an older video, as Ben passed in 1995... it's now a museum.
    There's usually more than one way to do it... ........

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    The Gorge Area, Oregon
    Thanks for sharing. Those tools aren't for the faint of heart or unsteady of hand

    Brought back a couple of good memories.

    Grandparents ranch had a big old watering trough, probably 4' wide, 3' tall and over 8' long that was dug out of a solid log. I'm about 98% sure it was hand cut with an adze and ?not sure? (the outside was appeared broad axed). You could see the cut marks on it and it looked hewn anyway. It had been in continuous use for some longish period of time when they bought the place and was in use for about another 20 years after. Was never left to run dry and never cracked. Eventually some rot in the bottom took it away. It was down at the bottom of the hill that the cabin my dad built was on top of (less than a hundred yards) and mom carried water up the hill every day for cooking (we did washing mostly down at the main house which had - cold - running water).

    We also had - I don't know how many (10? maybe, there was well over 20 miles of ditch total) - miles of wooden flume made with ranch cut boards (big old circular saw mill - no idea what ever happened to it.. maybe its still up on the mountain). Originally the ditch and flume were built by Chinese immigrants who came over to mine gold and then was taken over by ranchers in the area (I think 3? maybe 4 ranches shared the ditch/flume we used, we were at the end but had senior water rights). A mile or so above the ranch we had a "sluice box" (a small pond behind a wee bit of a dam with a dump gate; not the gold mining rig of the same name) where silt could settle and be dumped before it came down and clogged up the ranch ditches. We had to dump that one daily though, not once a year. Little more dirt there I suppose

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