Sunday, January 18, 2015

Winter Offerings at Willowbrook, 2015

 Valentine's Day Special: Pair up with a friend, spouse, or your son or daughter. Pay full price for one and half price for the second. Offer good until the 21st.

A Schedule of Cabin Fever Remedies:

Sat., March 14, 10-4PM & Sun., March 15,10-4PM. Blacksmithing 101: Make a Knife.One or Two Days. Make One or Two Knives.  Students will heat, cut and shape a knife blade from spring steel. Filing and polishing. $125/$200

Sat., March 14, 10-1:30. Blacksmithing for Teens. Learn about coal and propane forges. Learn safety, tools, and materials. Make "J" and/or "S" hooks. Tools and materials provided. $70
By Arrangement. Blacksmithing Studio. Instructor on hand to assist. Must have blacksmithing experience or be enrolled in a class to participate. Beginning, intermediate or advanced projects. Tools provided.  $20 per session. Three sessions for $55 pre-paid. When the Spring comes we will have weekly open forge days at the same cost.

Sat., March 14, 9-4PM, Metal Casting. This class is an introduction to sand casting.  will be introduce An There will be an overview of safety, equipment, and materials. Students will cast projects in either brass, bronze or aluminum. A variety of patterns are available, including some 100 year old machine patterns. A bell may also be cast. $150 Other classes may follow including a class to make your own furnace.

Sat, March 21, 9-3PM, Antique Engine Repair and Maintenance. This is a hands-on overview of early gas power as we examine what were once known as "make n' break", "hit 'n miss", and "one lunger" engines. Under the tutelage of lifetime mechanic Russell Welch, students will disassemble, clean and repair several engines from the museum collection. Students will walk away with an understanding of how they work, how to repair and maintain them, and what to look for in purchasing their own. The class will be for three Saturdays. The first is on March 21; the two more Saturdays arranged with students. $195

Sat., March 28, 9-4PM. Make a Propane Blacksmithing Forge;  Involves cutting metal, welding ( welding done by instructor), making a cement form, and mixing refractory cement. Cement used is fast-drying. A propane gas delivery system will be created with black metal pipe, hose, and 3 Plus PSI propane valve. $300. Sun., March 29, 9-3PM. Make a Knife. Using blacksmithing techniques, create a knife blade and tang. With Saturday class: $75 ( Total for two=$375); without Saturday class: $125.

Sat., March 14, 1-4PM: Letter Press Printing at the Print Shop for Kids or Adults (Ages 8 and above). This class is for a group of eight, ages 8 and above. Homeschoolers welcome. It includes a short overview of the history of the printed word around the globe. We will look at handwriting, illuminated manuscripts, calligraphy, and early block printing. Students will experience quill and ink, hand block printing, and compose a chase of lead type that they will ink and print on our Kelsey press (circa 1920) and our Golding Pearl (circa 1902). 3 hours plus. $45 each. For a group solely comprised of adults there will be greater emphasis on learning to compose lead type and printing.

By Arrangement. Ice Harvesting Workshop for Kids. As this is dependent on ice we would need to set a date for this between the end of January and the beginning of February. We can accommodate 60. Homeschoolers welcome. Involves inside classroom time and outdoor hands-on activity. Students will learn about traditional hand tools and horse drawn equipment, the process of harvesting, making ice tools, and the construction of ice houses. We will harvest cakes of ice from a pond at the museum. $10 per student.

Sat., March 14, 10-1:30. Erector Set Fun for Kids. Using vintage erector sets, we will make structures, vehicles, contraptions while exploring engineering through hands-on play. What a great way to spend the afternoon with your friends. Groups wanted but individuals considered. Heated facility. $25

Sat., March 14, 10-2. Making a Working Scale Model of a Trebuchet or Catapult for Kids. Using early woodworking techniques, students will assemble from a kit prepared by the museum, one of these early siege weapons. Ages 10 and above. Parents are invited to join at no extra cost. 4 hours plus. $45

Sat., March 28, 9-12:30. Old Time Stenciling and Apple Box Making. Ages 8 and above. Assemble a wooden apple box from a kit prepared locally for the purpose. Using some of our collection of antique brass stencil cuts or making your own, stencil your newly assembled box. A good beginner's woodworking project. Groups preferred. $30

Sat., March 28, 1:30-4:30. Making a Wooden Dowel Handle Tool Box. Ages 8 and above. Assemble a wooden tool box. Some fitting of pieces required from this museum prepared kit. Use hammer, screw drive, bit and brace ( early drill), and glue. Great follow-up to the stencil class; stencil your tool box ( Both classes: $50). $30.

Making a Hacksaw Using Mortise & Tenon Joinery. Ages 11 and above. Group of six or more required. Home schoolers welcome. this involves using real hand tools to create a hacksaw in the style of an old fashioned bucksaw. A beginner's tool making class. 4 hours plus. $50.

Animation & Early Motion Picture Making for Kids. Ages 8 and above. Discuss how early parlour entertainments evolved into the first movies. Learn to make such early visual entertainments as a zoetrope, praxinoscope, phenakistoscope, and thaumatrope. 3 hours plus. $45

 Old Time Stenciling and Apple Box Making. Ages 8and above. Assemble a wooden apple box that has been prepared locally in a kit for the purpose. Using some of our collection of antique brass stencil cuts stencil your new box either personalize it or creating an authentic reproduction. This is a good beginning woodworking class. Groups preferred.

 Metal Casting in Aluminum and Brass with Peter Grant ( Learn sand casting methods. Overview of metal casting techniques, materials & equipment. Make a mold, melt metal and pour. Choice of aluminum projects. 2nd day: Make a 4 inch Brass Bell. $200.

 Blacksmithing 101: Hardware. 10AM-3PM, weekdays or weekends. Make a "J" Hook and "S" Hook. Learn some of the basics of blacksmithing. Ages 13 and older. Home schoolers welcome. A group of at least six is necessitated for this offering. $70

By Arrangement. Blacksmithing: Make a Coat Rack and/or Other Project. This class will provide some of the basics of blacksmithing. Heat, cut and shape metal to form your own punch, drift to use for this project. Use tool to create composite piece that includes hooks riveted to an ornately fashioned metal plate suitable for wall hanging.

By Arrangement. Six Board Heirloom Blanket Chest Making. This two day woodworking class will result in an heirloom chest for your family with dovetail joints and dados using hand tools. The pine box will measure approximately 36" x 18" x 24" with a hinged top. Materials and tools provided. $285.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Wooden Foundry Patterns from Hackett's Machine Shop in Brewer, Maine

Willowbrook was in Bangor yesterday to receive a quantity of old wooden foundry patterns. These came from Hackett's Machine Shop in Brewer, ME originally, were donated to Leonard's Mills in Bradley and put into storage in Bangor in the 1980s. Given the quantity of stuff these had been offered to several museums. The Curran Homestead, in Orrington, took a number of  patterns which will be shared for the purpose of casting projects with Willowbrook. Willowbrook took two vehicles full of these patterns which include patterns for parts for shingle mills, planers, woodworking and lumber equipment. The handmade wooden patterns date from a period when you would go to your local machine shop to have broken pieces of your machinery replicated. In the photo of the tag from Hackett's Machine Shop in Brewer, you see that things like shingle mills needed replacement parts made. The destination for these patterns will be our new machine shop scenario at the museum. These will cover the walls, and it is likely that we might cast a few of these patterns in one of our metal casting classes in the near future. Classes in metal casting are available. Contact us, we will set a date for a class.
The patterns were stored in the basement of a building on Columbia Street in Bangor for more than 30 years.

The Curran Homestead assisted in getting these patterns from point A to B. Much thanks to director Bruce Bowden.

This piece was originally cast by the Union Iron Works in Bangor. This was among the patterns now in The Curran Homestead's collection.

"Union Iron Works---Bangor, ME"