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Sandusky Tool Company - Sandusky, OH


History Overview

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The genesis of Sandusky Tool Company is rooted in the small general  woodworking enterprise Allen, Dorsey & Tenney.  This company operated in Sandusky since 1868, starting with general woodworking jobs and transitioning into making wooden planes and tool handles by the end of 1869.

Sandusky of To-day - 1888 by George G. Nichols

If there is one identical institution of which Sandusky has need to feel prouder then another, it is assuredly this.

Incorporated in 1869, with capital stock of $125,000, which since has been increased to $150,000, the Sandusky Tool Company has steadily kept moving, giving employment to an average 200 hands and promptly meeting a monthly pay roll of from $4,000 to $7,000.

This prosperous firm has the outmost facilities (shared by no other similar institution) for manufacturing to order a vast variety of tools and novelties, but their principle products consist of carpenter and cabinet makers' planes and other tools, planters' hoes, and awls.  Also bench and hand screws, coopers' wood tools, gauges, chisel, auger and other small tool handles, etc., the perfection and attractive finish imparted to their manufactures being unsurpassed in the world.

From 200 to 300 car loads of white birch timber are required for their planes, which is cut expressly for these works in the northwestern counties of this state and Michigan.  The ash for 10,000 dozens of hoe handles is also annually secured from the adjacent counties of this section, while forty to fifty car loads of sugar maple are made up into bench screws, and other mechanical appliances.

In addition to this, twenty to thirty car loads of hickory are each year used in the construction of small tool handles, while of fancy woods, such as apple, boxwood, rosewood, ebony and lignum vitae, from 50 to 100 tons are kept on hand for the manufacture of croquet balls, fancy planes, panel plows, etc.  A stock of beech and maple is further kept for two years ahead, which, by additional dry kiln facilities, is most thoroughly seasoned before being used, and if the slightest bit of heart wood appears in the top, the plane is marked a "second".

Description of the Plant


The plant covers some five acres of ground on the bay shore, having a track from Lake Shore road through the centre.  The main building is of stone, 60 X 160 feet three stories high, with wing 22 X 100 feet for engine and boiler rooms.

The grinding room is 40 X 60 feet; the iron department 50 X 104 feet, and the hoe finishing and shipping department 22 X 136 feet, the second story being used for storage of handles.  The warehouse is 24 X 80 feet, two stories, and separate from all other buildings, and stored with a large surplus of finished goods, while here and there are dotted around five other buildings, 216 X 40 feet each, for curing and seasoning the timber.

The packaging and storage room is 34 X 60 feet, two stories, with wing 16 X 60 feet, while the offices, blacksmith shop, with several other buildings, are found on the premises, the several structures being built with intervening spaces in case of fire.  The several departments of the main building are replete with every modern device known to the trade, hence they are enabled to turn out so many as 1,000 to 1,500 hoes daily, the entire hoe being made of the best steel, oil tempered and in one piece.

In the manufacture of the different kinds of plane irons, the company have a capacity of 50 to 75 dozens per day. In the grinding room 16 to 20 huge stones of one and one-half to two and one-half tons are used, and they use up about 200 tons of these stones annually.  A magnificent 200 horse-power engine, with two lesser ones are here found in operation and some idea of the operations of this factory may be gleaned from the fact that it consumes for packing boxes alone nearly half a million feet of lumber annually.

Sandusky of To-day
George G. Nichols, 1888

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