This summer in Ashland County, Ohio, enticed by a sign advertising “Cashew Crunch Candy”, I paid a visit to a random Amish farm. While, sadly, the candy seller was unavailable, the resident farmer and I ended up having a nice chat.
The fellow had just moved on to his new property; the previous owner had left for an Amish settlement in New York. Ashland County has seen a lot of Amish turnover recently (you might also remember the Ashland folks for their unusual buggy triangles).
I learned that the new owner makes furniture on the side, something you sometimes see with busier Amish farmers. The shop wasn’t operational yet, but he invited me inside and let me take a few snaps.
Pretty much all the Amish furniture shops I’d visited were already up and running at the time. I had never seen one in this state of being set up before.
So it was an interesting look at the “innards” of a furniture workshop operated by a member of a relatively conservative Amish branch. Have a look-see:
Can’t miss that saw. Not sure what the pitchfork was doing in there.
Notice the long drive shaft in the floor. The shaft is powered by a diesel engine; the various belts will be rigged up to run the saws, planers, and other equipment in the shop.
A closer look at the shaft. More progressive Amish would rely more on hydraulic and pneumatic power. “Lower” Amish shops are going to be set up similar to this.
When operational the shaft will be covered up by flooring and all you’ll see are the bands rising up to the individual pieces of equipment.
On my way out the side lane, post-visit. The shop is the building with the chimney, in the middle of the photo (the one that looks like it’s tilting over–I think that’s more my pro camera-work than building design).
Hope you enjoyed this brief look inside an Amish furniture shop in progress. If you’ve got photos of other Amish businesses you’d like to share, feel free to email them in and maybe we’ll get them up in a future post.