Why was the grindstone placed in that obscure corner where no light ever comes? And why was so much care taken to adjust the belt so precisely that conjointly with any pressure of the tool on the stone the belt flies off? In the present instance, by a change in the locality of the shop, and a consequent re-setting of machines, these evils have been done away with, but the places are not a few where such things still exist.
This may seem to some an unimportant subject, but in the opinion of those who work with good tools it is not. I have never owned or managed a large manufacturing concern—nor a small one either—but in a shop employing between 500 and 800 men all the year round, a large proportion of whom consist of cabinet makers, car builders, finishers, some carpenters and pattern makers, we think that a grindstone kept in condition for grinding wood chisels and plane bits would be worth its keeping. (more…)
The continuing and growing demand for bicycles has its effect upon the hardwood lumber trade. It is estimated that there will be produced in American factories this year nearly 800,000 bicycles.
Practically all of these are equipped with wood rims. Each wood rim requires 2½ feet board measure, and allowing one-third for waste, that would mean a consumption of 6,000,000 feet, almost exclusively rock elm. This is for the rims alone, to say nothing of the guards and handlebars, but of the latter there is another story.
The consumption of 6,000,000 feet or thereabouts of rock elm does not look very large in a business which is accustomed to deal with hundreds of millions, but when it is remembered that only about 15 per cent of hard maple is available for rim purposes, and that therefore 40,000,000 feet of one of the minor hard woods must be handled over in order to obtain this material, the importance of the bicycle demand in this special way will be recognized. (more…)