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Volume XV Number 4 CLEVELAND , OHIO , jUL Y / 9 / / A Pioneer in the Woodworking Machinery Business factory failed for lack of financial back - HILE we were preparing the Engineering advances made in historical article ' for our ing and want of proper timber supply . machine woodworkingduring the January special issue we Bench Screws and Toolmaking progress of a busy and useful were repeatedly referred to career , steps taken in the study He next developed machinery for mak - work done by John Richards , ing a special form of bench screws hav - oj machine improvement , and both by those who remembered his engi - ing square threads of 1 ~ - inch pitch . the international experience of neering as well as his literary contribu - These came to the notice of the Ohio tions to the art and in works treating of a live inventor ' and tool builder Tool Co . , at Columbus , Ohio . The man - the various branches of the woodwork - agement of this concern immediately en - ing industry . tered into negotiations with Mr . Richards ing , but the furniture trade was then too Still at Work and induced him to become foreman of its tame to suit him and so he took up mill - prison department , which employed about wrighting , which in those days was a Learning that Mr . Richards was resid - 130 men , turning out wooden - bodied woodworking business . He constructed ing in Sausalito , Cal . , we wrote him , but planes , hand - screws , handles , turned parts , the information that was received arrived wooden water wheels , bolting machinery and other specialties made from hard - too late to be incorporated in our special wood . He immediately commenced re - issue . We are glad , however , to print designing the equipment , making bola a sketch of this pioneer's work , as he changes in the machines both for wood - has done much to place the woodwork - work and for turning out the metal parts ing art on a firmer basis n'ot only in of the planes . America but in Europe as well . For the These improvements were so su ~ cess - past twenty years Mr . Richards has de - ful that at the end of a year the company voted his attention to other lines of engi - presented him with a thousand dollars ' neering , principally hydraulic . worth of stock and in four years made When a small boy in Ohio he happened him superintendent of the entire plant . to visit a boat - building plant where he That was in 1860 . Mr . Richards humor - received his first introduction to the use ously states that he still holds the posi - of power machines for the working of tion as he has never had a successor , the wood . At a little later period he became a work having been suspended on account steam engineer , and at 18 years of age went of the fact that the Civil War cut off to work in a chair factory neilr Cincin - much of the market for the product and nati . He had already had a pretty general made commercial conditions such as to experience in mechanics , ' including steam render the continuation of the business engineering as it then existed , and he John Richards unprofitable . . began overhauling the chair - making ma - chinery . By simple changes , in some cases Designer of Woodworking Machinery doubling the speed and arranging ma - While waiting to see what would turn for flour mills , toothed gearing , and chines in better shape , he was able to up in Columbus , Mr . Richards made trips double or in some cases more than double many other machines which would now be made of metal . His knowledge of to nearby points of interest and went to the product . Just as he got the plant Cincinnati and there became a charter steam engineering and steam machinery going well it burned down and at 21 member of the J . A . Fay Co . with the helped him to earn good wages . years of age he set out to qualify himself title of engineer . He immediately made as an expert woodworker in all lines . Builds a Chair Factory sweeping changes in the company's de - He made an agreement with a cabinet - signs and methods . After seven years After a year at millwrighting he started maker , according to the terms of which he left Cincinnati , going to his birth - to work as a joiner and soon mastered he paid thirty dollars per month : md gave this branch , but as it was not to his liking , place , Philadelphia . In 1869 he proceeded his work for instructions . to Europe and in London produced a and preferring operations where machines Early Practice in Millwrighting number . of designs of woodworking ma - were used , he undertook the construction chinery , many of which are still in use . of a chair factory at ' " Greenville , Ohio . At the end of a year he was able to He also spent some time in Sweden The executive management , however , make - any kind of furniture turned out was not in Mr . Richards ' hands , and the developing an extensive business in the by the man with whom he had been work - - - - - -
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- - July 1911 102 WOOD CRAFT California and engaged in the manu - signed many woodworking machines for manufacture of woodworking machinery . facture of machine , tools and hydraulic the royal Russian arsenal at St . Peters - He states that he believes the best prac - machinery . He states that his experience burg , and box - making machinery for the tice and the best machines for joiner in woodworking machinery " has only island of Ceylon . He also supplied de - work exist in Sweden . We presume that been enough to learn the principles of this signs for woodworking machinery for this statement is based on the theoretical diversified art . From the ' forest to the many special industries . considerations of the problem and the The firm of Richards & Atkinson was finished product nearly all the processes balancing of the various factors as they differ in this . country and Europe . These organized at Manchester , England , and existed in that country . facts discouraged me and I took up en - Mr . Richards next returned to Phila - became importers and makers of wood - gineering branches that are nearly uni - working machines . This firm was later delphia and formed the firm known as form in all lands . Woodworking is an known as George Richards & Co . , and Richards , Thoen & Kelly , which later be - art endless to learn except in a few still later as George Richards & Co . , Ltd . , came known as the Berry & Orton Co . , specialties . " lYIr . George Richards being a son , of John Mr . Kelly going with the H . B . Smith The woodworking trades of all nations Richards . The firm is still doing a pros - Machine Co . at Smithville , N . J . , where owe a great debt to Mr . Richards . He perous business but now handles metal - he is still located , and Mr . Richards going has been a prolific writer on these subjects working machinery exclusively . ' to England and entering other lines of and his books are still standard . In 1880 John Richards journeyed to engineering . While in England he ' de - The Off - duty ' Skill of a Bright Mechanic ' BY H . H . have made an impression on him . In my NE of my neighbors is a A n expert workman whose close efforts to talk and act " shop " at home , I skilled machinist . He has measurements are not employed had struck the key of the seemingly charge of one of the fine in all his undertakings surprises strange results of his work . " Do you lathe departments of an en - a critical observer and he probes know , " he said , " that I work so close on gine - building concern , doing further to unearth the causes my machines and lathes that when I come his work to the exactness of a thousandth home and get hold of this old saw , I cut part of an inch . Everything is done to knowledge , possibly to an explanation around here without looking at a rule , micrometer measurements . The varia - of this paradox of a good mechanic who knowing that I can run a fascia or a tion of the thickness of a sheet of tissue seemed to enjoy doing rough , badly - fitting batten along the ends and cover up bad paper would throw the work out , so he work . We labored on that well pump for cracks or ragged edges . It gives me a is kept keyed up to a high tension every two hours , getting the lower piston and certain relief to the high tension under hour of the day . plunger disconnected at the bottom of a which I work all day . I don't know of When he comes home at night , tired l6 - foot dry well . When we started at any other means of working off a surplus from the strain , he takes his few carpen - the job I naturally expected to be " helper . " of ' nerves ' that is as effective as trying ter tools to begin patching around the But no , my friend looked to me for your hand at being a ' wood - butcher . ' I 11Ouse , making tables and benches , screens advice , for directions . The only sug - have seen you inspecting my work and I for doors , lattice for porches , walks to gestion he made turned out wrong , and knew you were either amused or dis - - cross ' the yard and other little fittings that too on a simple point concerning the gusted with what you considered my or conveniences that suggest themselves valve . This only added to my convictions blunders . But the fact is , it is a relief to a man who owns . his home . It is all of there being some cause for the entire to get something done without having . done at a hop , skip and jump rate , hit change in the man from the reputed care - , to put a gage to it or to take a caliper . or miss , by guess and thumb measure - ful control of his daily work to the to see that it is a close fit . " ment . rough and uncertain way in which he The Recreation for Workmen Misplacing Mechanical Ability handled other forms of measurement I suppose this unexpected explanation usually familiar in theory and practice to That was somewhat of a puzzle to me , made me look as if I had some linger - most mechanics . . { ) ne for which there seemed but this solu - ing doubts abput it being just exactly When our ' task was completed it had tion : I must have been misinformed correct so he concluded by asking me if brought us to a stage in our acquaintance ; about his ability . Instead of the fine ( could not rest better after a hard day's where a little familiarity was allowed , so mechanic who worked closely , he must labor if I turned my mind into some I turned the conversation toward his be entitled to the name only from the other channel than the one following work with the idea of getting him to fact that he worked where fine work was , my line of work . That is true for all of voluntarily relieve me from my doubts . done . So I had about concluded that the us . The mental strain does not always A piece of matched flooring that he could chance of cultivating the acquaintance of end when the whistle blows . A change not use was lying on the bench . I tried some one further up in the mechanical is sometimes as good as a rest , a state - the matching with a short piece of cut - line than I was not to be with this new ment that will be readily indorsed by those off ; neither of the pieces I had would friend . But by what trifles are we led whose occupation compels the use of a match itself or the other piece , the match - in new paths that open to our surprised single set of muscles for a long time on ing being out nearlyJi inch on the groove eyes , strange views of what we had one kind of work . side , a ' fault caused by the head dropping thought commonplace from our own ex - I believe much of the poor worl . clone unnoticed by the operator . perience ? One of the children dropped is because we are running on three legs , My friend just laughed at the little a pebble down the pump from which we so to speak . Unlike our canine friends , lecture I was giving in my best style for both get our drinking water . Like most we do not get any rest from hobbling his benefit . I wanted to impress him with things unexpected , the pebble found its the idea that as a woodworker I was a along short of motive power . With many way to the bottom of this deep - well pump , of us it is too great an anxiety to get out dose operator on a machine . My efforts lodging under the valve . a big lot of work in a given time , while were wasted on an unappreciative listener . Our cause now being a mutual one , to many others it is just pure ' laziness . The fiery oratory of Cicero would scarcely , gave me the opportunity to extend my