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Forum topic by nomercadies posted 01-06-2014 02:40 AM 791 views 0 times favorited 2 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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562 posts in 1762 days

01-06-2014 02:40 AM

Topic tags/keywords: old machine machinery factory michigan woodworking question resource finishing sanding milling rustic traditional

About twenty years ago a friend of mine and I were scouting some antique shops when we stumbled upon an old factory that had a small retail, one room, store on the ground floor on one of the more main streets.

The factory wasn’t large by today’s standards, like maybe three floors and took up most of the business end of a city block.

The people made old style wooden hay rakes and other like tools and handles. That was only a small portion of what the factory was once capable of doing.

At that time the owners were attempting to revive some of the old machinery. The place was belt driven with old style pulleys and shafts. The steam engine that had originally powered the shop had been long replaced with … (I know they weren’t using steam, but I forget the kind of replacement power.)

We begged to take a tour of the factory and negotiated a small charge for the service. The machinery was fascinating but the building was in great need of repair … and safety improvements.

The reason I am most interested in revisiting the place is how they finished their tool heads, rake teeth, and handles. There were massive tumbling machines where the parts were tumbled with a special wax. I’d like to know more about that.

The factory was in a small town in lower western Michigan.

I don’t think it was too very far from Grand Rapids, but my memory of the location is fuzzy as we were wandering and I wasn’t only not driving, but not paying attention to location.

Does anyone have an idea of where this place is or was, what it had for a name, and if it still stands? Any suggestions? I’ve scoured the Internet both in the data section and in images and haven’t seen anything that turns on any of the remaining lights in my head.

Thank you so much for your input. If I find the place is still functioning, I promise to go there and report back with information and pictures.

-- Chance Four "Not Just a Second Chance"

2 replies so far

View balidoug's profile


396 posts in 1902 days

#1 posted 01-06-2014 03:50 AM

Cheesbrough Mfg?

This sounds like it might fit your description. But a related article speaks of a serious fire last March.

-- From such crooked wood as that which man is made of, nothing straight can be fashioned. Immanuel Kant

View nomercadies's profile


562 posts in 1762 days

#2 posted 01-06-2014 04:15 AM

That was it for sure. I wish I had taken pictures when i was there. Thanks so much.

Man, what a shame.

-- Chance Four "Not Just a Second Chance"

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