A group of Level three joinery students from Harrogate College attended a tour and demonstrations of a one hundred year old water powered joiner’s shop in the North Yorkshire Dales Village of Gayle.
The joinery works, over a century old, still operates with the original machinery which is belt driven by a drive shaft, powered by water. The machines once hooked up produce a top quality finish to compare with that of modern machinery.
The group were met by Gayle Mill staff after a one and a half hour journey and provided with much appreciated refreshments. They looked around the mill’s displays of old hand tools (some still in use in Industry today) and realised that though woodworking now is a high tech industry, the basic principles and techniques have changed little over the years.
The machinery in Gayle Mill (which is still used commercially today) included a massive circular saw, spindle moulder, band saw, rip saw, boring equipment and lathes.
The excellent demonstrations carried out by the Gayle Mill volunteers gave an in depth view of the workings of the mill equipment and the wooden products manufactured, whilst capturing the atmosphere of rural joinery workshop life over a century ago.
Comments from the students indicated this was an enjoyable, informative and cultural experience for all.