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 2 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 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 5 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 This set up pushes the wire into the cup
7 The assembled cup brush in then trimmed to length in this rig using an abrasive wheel
8 9 10 11 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 13 14 15 16
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 18 This routing jig is used to shape these handles to the correct profile.
19 High speed pressed do the work of drilling and inserting wire into the brush heads.
20 These overhead shafting pulleys are a throwback to the early days of the building.
21 The prince of brushes Tom Gardner himself!
24 25 Two venerable lathes in the tool area
26 A barrel of brushes waiting to be trimmed
27 Norm Jones and Tom Gardner
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