Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Kathol Repair and Welding - 106 Years In Business!!

I would like to introduce you to my welder, he runs a welding and repair business in Bow Valley, Nebraska which has been in his family for 106 years, which is when his great-grandfather started this welding shop. This is a true blacksmith shop in it's original state as you would have seen it 106 years ago. When his great grandfather started the business the biggest business in the shop was making and repairing wagon wheels. If you should happen to want a wagon wheel repaired yet, Chris is your man, he learned how to repair a wagon wheel from his grandfather and his great-grandfather.

This is the second building that was built to house Kathol Repair, the first one sat just west of this one which would put it in the middle of the street in today's city layout. This building is still over 100 years old.

Meet Chris, he is the main man in this welding shop and the only man. He can repair a manure spreader, a tractor loader, build a junk lamp or a chalkboard stand, or even make a pulley stand. He is a real artist when it comes to steel. His workmanship is superior!!!

During our visit Chris had the double forge lit for us so we could see how it works. It was amazing!
He put a steel rod in the fire and let it get hot so he could show us how you actually work hot steel into something else....
Here he is using the anvil that has been in this building since it was built by his great grandfather.

This vice is the only thing that has been added new in 106 years that blacksmith shop has been there.

This is another tool original to the blacksmith shop, it is used to hand hammer hot metal into round shapes....

If this anvil could talk, just think of the stories it could tell. Just imagine the changes that this one single item has seen in 106 years~!

Here are some more of the original tools used by Chris's ancestors....

The drawers with all the little parts and pieces that have been opened and shut by many generations of blacksmiths.....

Chris getting the steel hot so he can show us how to make a shovel head the old fashion way.

This machine is run by a belt that runs throughout the shop on a line shaft and runs several different machines, this machine is called a trip hammer, it is what you used to hammer a piece of steel flat to make a shovel head.

This is the gate hardware that was hand forged by Chris's great grandfather over 100 years ago.
He moved it and made it permanent so that it can be shared with anyone who visits the blacksmith shop.

Chris with the gate that was built 3 generations ago.

Larry, Chris and Ki, who also happened to be on the tour that day.

The shop is located in Bow Valley, Nebraska which is in the upper north east corner of Nebraska, stop by sometime and check out the blacksmith shop, it is quite interesting if you interested in history and seeing how things use to get done, besides that Chris is very proud of his heritage and loves sharing the story with others.



  1. You take us on the best tours. Thanks, and stay warm.

  2. That place is awesome Cammie! I can just feel the history there. Having a place like that to take your projects must really spur your creativity! We used to go to dances in Bow Valley--in a lifetime long ago too!

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