Amish storage shed shop

We check in with Tom again today, with some photos from a shop owned by Noah, a New York Amishman.  Noah’s business is a classic example of an Amish-English partnership.  Most of his buildings are sold to an English dealer who picks them up and delivers them to customers.

The shed and storage building sector is one with many Amish manufacturers.  You’ll often see rows of lawn buildings on display when you drive through Amish communities.  They come in many styles, including Victorian, mini-barns, and dollhouse designs.  Children’s playhouses, garages, gazebos and miniature cabins built to mimic full-size homes are related products in this industry.

Amish Shed Building

I like these photos because they show the nitty-gritty of an Amish shop, down to the power source and distribution system.  Amish shops vary in how they power their tools and you’ll see below that this one is on the more conservative side.

Amish Board Batten Building

I also love the bare-bones simplicity of Amish shops.  You can see the insulation visible in the interior of the shop walls. There’s nothing pretty about this side of the process, except I suppose as the structure nears completion.

Amish Shop Wood Stove

This is a wood stove which Tom says is used to both heat the shop and get rid of waste.

Amish Table Saw

A table saw is among the array of tools found in Noah’s shop.

Amish Radial Saw

A radial arm saw.  But where does the power come from?

Amish Shed Shop Drive Shaft

Tom explains: “Noah was building a new long shaft to run his power tools.  The Amish in this area have a engine in a small room off the shop that connects with belts to a long shaft with different size pulleys that are connected to each tool that they want to power.”

You can see a similar set-up in photos I took at an Amish furniture shop in Ohio.

Amish Portable Gas Drill

This is a neat little device.  As Tom describes it:  “Amish portable drill powered by a gas engine connected to a flexible shaft to the drill bit.”

Amish Drill

Here’s a close-up of the drill.

Amish Shed Shop Engine

Finally, the engine that powers the entire shop.

And that concludes the Amish shed maker tour. Back to work guys!

Plus: a guide to New York Amish furniture, including outdoor furniture and buildings like the ones seen above.

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    17 Comments

    1. Richard from Amish Stories

      Great post Erik and i love to see photo’s of Amish shops like this one, and i do see these type of shed’s for sale in Lancaster quite a bit. I really need one myself for some of my lawn “stuff” and they are not cheap like some of those metal ones that you might see in a big box store, but you get what you pay for most of the time and they will last a long time and look great! Richard

    2. Marvin Mohler

      Amish shops

      They are very ingenious people. If you ask them why they just don’t get some electric motors on their equipment, a pretty standard answer is, “I just don’t want to be connected to those lines out there”. They simply want to remain separate.

    3. Alice Aber

      Greetings!!

      Awesome pictures Tom, thanks for sharing!! It never ceases to amaze me the work the Amish do. It is incredible. Great post Erik!!

      Blessings, Alice

    4. Alice Mary

      Who's REALLY "backward"?

      I love to see examples of the ingenuity the Amish use to stay “off the grid”. Some consider them backward, but I think they’re pretty progressive with their non-electrical tools, etc. There are a LOT of us Englishers who would like to cut our ties with “the grid”, but aren’t sure how. Maybe we can “import” some Amish “engineers” who could teach us and show us first hand what we might need to do to “pull the plug”, so to speak.

      I don’t suppose there are any Amish “shop teachers”, are there? (It might be an idea for a new Amish “industry”…just a thought.)

      Alice Mary

      1. Alice Mary I’d say there are hundreds, even thousands of Amish shop teachers, though they don’t usually go by that name or think of teaching as their main line of work 🙂

        1. Alice Mary

          I had no idea!

          That’s good to know, Erik! Do they teach in English or Amish “schools” (or public settings)? Where can an Englisher find a list (if there is any)?

          With “going green” such a high priority for most of us (like it or not), I can see a real demand for what they can teach us, as the years go on. 🙂

          Alice Mary

          1. Alice Mary sorry I wasn’t very clear–what I meant is that you have a lot of Amish kids learning to do all these manual jobs firsthand from their fathers, uncles, bosses, etc. 🙂

            1. Alice Mary

              Oh, NOW I get it!

              Boy, I’m losing it if I can’t figure out when you’re kidding around, Erik! I guess I was just hoping there WAS such a thing as Amish “shop” teachers!

              Still, if the Amish need to add another “category” of “cottage industry” to help them earn a living, that (teaching the non-Amish to disconnect from the grid) would be my suggestion (if only in the more progressive communities.) I could see classes of English being taught how to set up systems they could use “off grid.”

              I think the “project” mentioned in Elizabeth Snoke’s entry is just one more example—although in this case, it was the English helping the Amish. 🙂

              Alice Mary

    5. Roberta Klooster

      Memories of our shed

      This brings back fond memories of the shed we bought from an Amish or Mennonite man around Waldorf MD. It was such great craftsmanship and made our yard work fun. Unfortunately it was sold with our beach house at Solomon’s Island. Buying from Amish and Mennonite workmen and the women’s farm produce shops was one of the joys of those days.

    6. Oh dear, when I saw the question, “But where does the power come from?” I was so hoping the next photo would show little hamsters frantically running on a wheel. 🙂 Clearly you should buy your storage shed from the experts at Noah’s shop.

    7. Elizabeth Snoke

      I’m now in my 4th year of helping Amish & Old Order Mennonites (any of those who don’t have electricity/use computers) find what they need. Started out answering requests posted in the “Information Please” section of The Budget. AMAZING how they pass the work around to all parts of North America!! And so quickly!! I get letters/phone calls from all over now–they heard from a cousin or a friend or…

      Back to the subject–many of them are into alternative sources of power that is NOT from power companies. I’ve helped a dozen or so with information on solar power–getting their own for their homes or setting up solar greenhouses and so on. About 2 years ago, I had a phone call from a man in Missouri. Many years ago he’d read an article in Popular Mechanics about getting water-power-based electrical service for his home. He explained his home was in a very hilly part of Missouri and there were 2 fast-flowing streams running through his property. Could I help him re-locate that article and get a copy. After a bit of searching, I identified the month and year of the magazine tho I couldn’t get a copy of the article myself. Did find U of Missouri Library had the magazine so talked with a librarian there who happened to have an interest in the Amish and was fascinated with the proposed project. She got the magazine issue, counted the number of pages to be copied, told me cost, gave me her name and phone. I sent the info to the Missouri Amishman. Two months or so later, I got the nicest call from him thanking me. He’d gotten the article (full of drawings, etc.) and had set up a working system. What he was doing was getting electric lighting PLUS a way of charging/recharging batteries to be used with other devices. No problem from his bishop–in fact several other Amish families were interested in setting up such systems!! Nothing wrong with the inventive minds of these wonderful people!!

    8. Richard from Amish Stories

      Interesting story Elizabeth Snoke's.....

      I’m glad that i dropped by again to read all of the comment’s, and i really liked yours Elizabeth and your short personal stories relating to helping some of the Amish folks. Richard

    9. Marvin Mohler

      Amish sheds

      I have enjoyed this conversation. We lived all our life in IN & visited the Amish communities in IN & OH frequently. We now live in Washington State where there is no Amish & we really miss them. Does anyone know why no Amish ever settled in WA?

      1. No Amish in Washington state

        Marvin there were some Amish in Washington state for a short time in the mid-2000s, I don’t know exactly why they left. Could have been economics or just sheer distance from other communities–the more remote places are harder b/c you still have your ties with kin to maintain back East. That said Amish have lived in Montana since the 1970s.

        1. Jane

          Can I contact Noah directly on a shed I want built?

    10. jane

      I need a shed to be built

      Noah,
      Please contact me.
      Jane

    11. John Gatas

      Shed builders

      I live in Western New York and I’m looking to have a shed built. What do I need to do and who do I need to contact