Machine Tool Museum Construction

For several years, Tuckahoe volunteers have been collecting and restoring antique machine tools and related artifacts. See our Collections page for a sample of some of our machinery. In 2004, we acquired Joe Suydam's lineshaft-driven machinery and our collection quickly outgrew the corner of the Rural Life Museum where it was displayed. We have since filled more than our fair share of the museum and 6 trailers. Our new ~4000 square foot building will house machine tools, lineshafting, and exhibits representing machining activities on the Eastern Shore ca. 1900. More than just static displays, many of the machine have been or will be restored and used to provide repair parts for Tuckahoe's other collections..

Work reports are presented with the most recent report at the top. Reports don't cover all work days. The crew has been on-site almost every Saturday since July 2007, with Dave, Tom, Andy, Jamie, Jerry, and a few others putting in additional time during the week.

May 24 & 31, 2008

May 24 saw the installation of the first lineshafting, and we moved the large machines in the Rural Life museum to the south end of the building in preparation for the arrival of the riggers on May 31.


First in was the Bullard vertical turret lathe from Joe Suydam's shop. One HEAVY machine! Thunderstorms in the afternoon turned the approach to the building into a sea of mud. Good thing Jamie had his Cat on site to assist the forklifts over the slippery spots. Despite the weather, the crew managed to get the large machines out of the Rural Life Museum, and everything out of the Suydam trailer and into the new building. We still have several machines to move, and a great deal of work to do over the next month.

Paint and Stain -- February 23 2008

Much progress was made this week with volunteers working on Tuesday, Thursday and again on Saturday.

The final top coat was put on the display area Saturday morning by Jerry Tuwiner, Jeff Greenblatt, Andy Koch and Dave Welser.  The crew immediately turned to the staining process for the beadboard for the ceiling.  Luther Dietrich and Dick McBirney had prepared the workshop area for ricking up the boards and two staining stations were quickly assembled.  31 boards were cranked out before the lunch break.and the crew got back to work at 2pm and cranked out an additional 101 boards by 5pm.  At a rate of 100 boards in 3 hours we figure we can finish the current crop of ceiling boards with a crew of 6 in a couple of days.  We had two teams staining and one prepping/delivering the boards and another hauling and stacking (with some help) the finished boards it does move right along!  We have to evaluate the depletion rate of the stain to be sure we have enough, if we can prevent Dave from dumping it on his clothes and the floor.

Drywall and Paint -- February 16 2008

We got some work done today!  When Jerry Tuwiner and Dave arrived at 8 am the crew of Jamie Hall, Andy Koch, Harold Griffen, and Bob Jensen were hard at whippin primer on the shop areas.  Jerry grabbed a can and brush and started cutting in the posts in the main display area where Jamie had a large heater keeping the temp
 around 60 degrees. Dave and Tom Booze made the run to Johnson's sawmill to pick up the 1 by 8 roughsawn lumber for the walkboards overhead. With Tom on the saw and Dave on the scaffold the walkboards started
to go up soon after arriving in the building. Jeff Greenblatt arrived and grabbed a paint brush along with Luther
 Dietrich who arrived shortly thereafter and did likewise. Dick McBirney arrived and since all the paint brushes were occupied he became the walkboard hauler and dimension carrier for the sawyer.

With so many hands the cutting in of the primer coat was quickly accomplished and Jerry joined Dave on the scaffold. The West side of the strongback was finished by lunchtime as was the priming of the display area.  We adjourned to the Quonset for lunch prepared by Pat Harvey and Shelly Hall.

Much shuffling of pallets was required to clear the way for the second run of the walkboards.  Luther and Tom got with that and Art Lyman replaced Tom on the saw.  The walkboards were done by 3pm as was the first finish coat in the work areas. Luther had shifted to woodworking by this time and was noted cleaning up the trim pieces with a porta plane and hand roundover plane supplied by Tom.  At the end of the day we had to pry the odworking
 tools from Luther's fingers, accompanied by much wailing and protestations.

November 17, 2007

Saturday was a good day and it was a hard days work.  The sheetrock nailers between the trusses are in place and the electrical runs from the panel have been boxed in.  Art Lyman and Andy Koch, along with Luther Dietrich, Dick Mc Birney, Jeff Greenblatt, Jerry Tuwiner and Dave Welser put in a hard day climbing ladders and crawling around on scaffolding to finish the framing work.  We can now get the framing inspection.  The electrical inspection was done last week and the report was that the inspector was most impressed with the poles that we spent forever cleaning up and finishing!    Andy said that he would call for the framing inspection on Monday.

Jeff and Luther were fortunate to have the opportunity to get back into contact with cast iron as they spent a good part of the day hauling hangers out of the trailer so we can get them cleaned and painted.    Luther also found a couple of areas that had not previously benefited from his tender touch with a sander.

Two dozen doughnuts helped spur the troops to new sugar inspired heights.  Luther imported a dozen lunkers from Virginia, successfully slipping them past the bay bridge authorities at 5 mph.  Dave brought the usual dozen delicacies from Carlson's bakery in Annapolis. I did not note any leftovers!

Wiring - Sept 22, 2007

Saturday saw a team of Tuckahoians hard at work wiring the new building.  Job site super Tom Booze said we exceeded expectations for the days work. The duo of Art Lyman and Andy Koch  specialized in exhaust fan installations and did stellar work.  Dick McBirney working as apprentice in training with Bill Hyers pulling cable and wiring boxes on the mobile scissor lift. Luther was in charge of grounding all boxes with wiring installed.
He was noted on top of a ladder at 5:15pm when Dave Welser left the scene.  Most of the Crew was on the road by 5pm.  Tom Booze having been hard at it when I arrived at 7:30am.  Jamie Hall was everywhere, boring holes in exterior walls for outside lights and studding, pulling wire, installing boxes and answering questions.  Noted asisting Jamie and the vent fan crew was Eric Harvey. Jeff Greenblatt was seen on the fork lift delivering lumber, pulling wire, installing boxes and anything else that came along.  Tom Richter must think he was consigned to duty as a mule, pushing the rolling scaffolding.  Dave Welser was working on, up and down the length of the building.  Between them they installed all the blocking for the overhead lights and the boxes for same, as well as several  wire runs.  Tom Booze was the guy with the prints, answering question and directing those of us who didn't have a clue.

Noted in attendance were.

Tom Booze Art Lyman Andy Koch Jamie Hall
Bill Hyers Tom Richter Eric Harvey Dick McBirney
Jeff Greetblatt Luther Dietrich Dave Welser  

If I have missed anyone please forgive and let me know.  Good work guys.


Interior with framing and shell completed. Tuckahoe volunteers are doing the interior finish work.

May 5, 2007 -- Machine Shop Constuction Begins!

Starting Point

Our permit having been received (after 18 months of effort by Tom, Pat, Andy, and others) the new building is underway!   Tom, Jamie and Andy laid out the building, and several volunteers assisted with the sediment control fence while another crew moved dirt from the back of the property to the building site, to be used to level the foundation.

Pouring Foundation

Foundations were completed on 16 June. The slab was poured on 23 June.