Ohio Brush Company

Cleveland Ohio USA

I contacted Tom Gardner of Ohio Brush and asked if a visit might be possible.  Got to go right past Cleveland on the way to and from Oshkosh and it seemed like an interesting place to visit.  He replied that I would be welcome and so on Monday 30 July 2007 Norm Jones and I found our way to the 121 year old company.  Tom and his sister Pat are third generation owners of Ohio Brush which operates in an light industrial section of the city.  The building the company presently occupies is over 100 years old but serves the purpose admirably.

Once again the Magellan GPS gadget saved the day as I am certain that we would still be circling and looking for the plant.

1 DSC02515.JPG (151777 bytes)  2 DSC02517.JPG (98555 bytes)  Barrels of brushes and brush handles.  This is Ohio Brush's largest selling product.  These brushes are used in restaurants for cleaning grill.  Not too many years ago these were not even in the catalog but a small company like Ohio Brush has to be flexible and respond to customer demand.

3 DSC02518.JPG (229176 bytes)  If this machine look a bit homebuilt it may have been.  Tom is a wizard at adapting machinery that is almost right to the companies needs. 

4 DSC02519.JPG (148663 bytes)  5  DSC02520.JPG (109657 bytes)  This lathe is set up for embossing information on the shell of cup brushes.  Size, max r.p.m. and so on using a tool that resembles a knurling tool.

6 DSC02521.JPG (112305 bytes)  This set up pushes the wire into the cup 

7 DSC02522.JPG (114932 bytes)  The assembled cup brush in then trimmed to length in this rig using an abrasive wheel

8 DSC02523.JPG (149663 bytes)  9 DSC02524.JPG (123234 bytes) 10 DSC02525.JPG (129868 bytes)  11 DSC02526.JPG (139319 bytes)  A recent acquisition,  this Arter grinder is used to re-sharpen the blades (13) used in cutting the wire yarn (shown later) to the correct lengths for various brush models.  The blades, which roll against each other face to face,  wear quickly even though they are top quality tool steel and very hard.  Tom used to have to send them out for re-sharpening, very costly, and now can do them in house.  The Arter is an oldie but a goodie and does the job nicely.

12 DSC02535.JPG (127099 bytes)  13 DSC02530.JPG (116771 bytes)  14 DSC02527.JPG (161144 bytes)  15 DSC02536.JPG (145193 bytes)  16 DSC02537.JPG (161726 bytes)

Photos 12 and 13 show spools of the wire "yarn" the are the basis of the brushes.  14and 15 shows bundles of yarn ready for insertion into the wire brushes, and photo 16 shows what the wire yarn looks like before cutting to length.

17 DSC02528.JPG (138808 bytes)  18 DSC02529.JPG (127226 bytes)  This routing jig is used to shape these handles to the correct profile.


19 DSC02531.JPG (131920 bytes)  High speed pressed do the work of drilling and inserting wire into the brush heads.

20 DSC02533.JPG (105359 bytes)  These overhead shafting pulleys are a throwback to the early days of the building.

21 DSC02534.JPG (129968 bytes)  The prince of brushes Tom Gardner himself!

22 DSC02538.JPG (332593 bytes)  23  DSC02539.JPG (131392 bytes) 

24 DSC02540.JPG (173606 bytes)  25 DSC02541.JPG (153908 bytes)  Two venerable lathes in the tool area

26 DSC02542.JPG (184572 bytes)  A barrel of brushes waiting to be trimmed

27 DSC02543.JPG (185688 bytes)  Norm Jones and Tom Gardner

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