A popular spot each Sunday is the Homestead’s Forge and Demonstration Shed area. There you will find men using a variety of tools, working just as our forefathers did centuries ago. This blog will feature some of the tools and projects the men are working on. Joe will give us an introduction to the area.
The Oliver Miller Homestead has an array of tools such as those used by the early settlers west of the Alleghenies. At first they were brought over the mountains to start a new beginning. When additional trips were made back east and as trade grew in the region, more specialized tools, such as bucksaws, became available.
In the building we call the Demonstration Shed, you can see essential tools such as axes, adzes, and hammers in addition to many others. Homestead members use these tools to make a variety of items in just the same way our forefathers would have. The auger and draw knife are used to make work benches, stools, trenchers and spoons. The bullet mold is used to cast the round ball used in the Pennsylvania long rifle. Steelyards are on display and can be demonstrated. They were used to weigh any item where trade or barter was involved.
Forges were built where iron was hammered into useful items such as nails, hooks, harness rings, woodworking chisels and other items. Smaller farm forges were used to repair tools. The Homestead’s forge is in operation on most Sundays.