Manually Operated Metal Working Machinery

By Staff
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Standish hammer.
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Champion Blower Forge post drill press.

1744 Pine Tree Road Hernando, Mississippi 38632

Foot operated grinding lathe and grinding wheel.

I know this article gets away from gas engines and tractors, but
I hope it will be interesting to most readers.

Several years ago, while looking around in a scrap yard in south
Memphis, I noticed the crane operator cleaning up a pile that I
knew had been undisturbed for thirty years. At the bottom was this
foot operated hammer, lying on its side in the mud, dated July 10,
1883, and marked A. Standish and Company, Columbus, O. I purchased
the hammer, took it home, oiled and cleaned it up and it worked
perfectly with so little effort! It weighs 725 lbs. and will smash
a penny flat with only three strokes.

The hammer got me interested in finding other foot operated
machinery. I’m a machinist for the Illinois Central Rail Road
at Johnston Locomotive Round House in Memphis, Tennessee.

A year later my son came home telling me of an eighty-year-old
fellow who had a foot operated lathe and grinding wheel for sale in
an old workshop in Cold Water, Mississippi. So, off we went to see
them. I could not believe what I was seeing. The lathe was in
perfect condition with all its original tooling including all
thread cutting gears, centers, four-jawed chuck, face plate, drill
chuck, steady rest, wrenches, and tail stock. The lathe is dated
1876 and marked F. & J. Barnes Company, Rock-ford, Illinois, 8
swing 28′ bed. This machine works so effortlessly, it’s a
real pleasure to use. It has automatic feed left or right with a
flip of the lever.

This started the search for a post hand operated drill press,
all of which I found were either too small or worn out.

While looking around in the swap meet area of our Sardis,
Mississippi Gas Engine and Tractor Show in October, I found exactly
what I needed to round out my machine tool set. It is the largest
hand operated post drill I have ever seen. The drill has two
speeds, adjustable automatic feed, and a gear drive to raise and
lower the table. Turning the handcrank makes a 36′ spoke
flywheel spin over your head, thus storing energy for the drilling
job at hand. This machine weighs 475 lbs. and is dated 1909 and
marked Champion Blower and Forge Company, No. 7, Lancaster,

I wish I knew more about these four pieces of equipment, as to
whom they belonged and where they were used, because most
blacksmiths in this area of the country only had a forge, anvil and
maybe a small post drill.

I enjoy making parts for my engines and tractors with this
equipment. It gives me great satisfaction to know 1 can do machine
work under my own power.

I feel these are pieces of early American history that should be
saved to show how far we have come in our technology. Please call
or write if you have any questions about this equipment.

I would like to thank the people who have written all the
interesting articles in GEM. Each monthly issue is a pleasant
learning experience for me that I look forward to.

Always be careful and have fun!

Gas Engine Magazine
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Preserving the History of Internal Combustion Engines