Broom Making Machines, or presses, or apparatussessess, apparatii, apparatus… Aside from the factory made ones, The variety and ingenuity expressed in these (usually) one of a kind constructions is a testament to human creativity that should not be lost to history. So I am making 3D CAD drawings of any and all that I can get pictures of, and I am very grateful when the owners will accommodate me when I ask for measurements.
I have several sets of drawings that I am working on, this is just the first one that I have “finished”. The original of this is owned by Mark Hernig at Kick and Stitch Brooms. He did the hand sketches that you will see, and provided the critical dimensions for me to make the CAD drawings so that anyone building this will end up with a working machine.
I feel that it’s important to keep in mind, that while one is making a “reproduction”, the originals were frequently cobbled together, or made to fit, so I feel that being entirely slaved to precision that doesn’t exist is not conducive to good work. the original makers made things to fit, both themselves and the other parts, you should too.
There are 3 main working constructions: a table to work on with a handy little drawer, 2 uprights and the top, which support a barrel to hold the broom stick while tying the broom corn on, and support the spool of cord or wire and the tensioning mechanism.
Lets start at the bottom!
4 legs cut at an angle, about 19 1/4″ long by 1″ thick more or less. Stretchers (cut to fit) all around about 2″ above the floor. Then an apron:
Nail it to the work table top standing up about 1/2″ (so the top is 1/2″ down making a lip all around the top. and don’t forget some runners for the drawer.
The uprights are a bit complicated, the back edges taper from the shoulder at the bottom to the top by 1″. the the front edge tapers back going up 1 1/4″but starts at different places left and right. The left part also has the arched cut out, probably because the user got tired of scraping their arm on it while working. Note the holes are in alignment (centered the same) but are different sizes. but both top holes are 1″ for a 1″ dowel, or you could use 1 1/8″ or 1 1/4″ dowel rods and make the hole fit.
the top is only critical for keeping it all held together.
the barrel is a bit complicated if you don’t have a lathe. no worries though, I have a way around that.
If you do have a lathe you can bore the center hole, and then make plugs to mount it for turning. if you need to glue it up from smaller stock I suggest that you glue it up with a hole already up the center. the following illustration outlines several methods of accomplishing this.
and having glued up material thick enough to get the fattest part out of, you can just carefully carve it into shape, keep in mind that it only has to be good and round right where it passes through the uprights. A bird’s mouth glue up self registers when you put rubber bands or tape around it. and can be made from 2 x 4’s
If you cut these steps into the bird’s mouth joint pieces, half of the shaping will be done for you. make some half round templates and you can then rasp them into shape. The handle holes might be best drilled while it’s still a hexagon. (while it still has nice hexagonal flats to lay it on your drill press)
at the working end there are 2 metal collars, inside and out., they need a hole drilled through for a bolt or something like it, to clamp the broom shaft in place. The holes themselves may be tapped, or you could trap a nut between the layers.
Just behind the head and between it and the upright is a steel plate with teeth cut into it sort of like a circular saw blade. You have to make this out of something, so If you have a dull saw blade around you could cut it out of that, but keep in mind that the diameter wants to be @ 5″, any bigger and you may be scraping your arm on it. There is a pawl or point attached to the upright that engages the teeth to prevent backwards rotation. and a staple like keeper to make sure it doesn’t get knocked loose. see the pictures
Above it all is a twine aligner, for assisting in getting the twine or wire to come straight at where you want it to be., notice the small pulley mortised into the stick.in the photos you can see that it is held in place with a bolt that is padded with several layers of leather to make a friction fit that can also be easily moved by reaching up and pushing the end of it.
Make the drawer any way you like, keeping in mind that this is not fine furniture, it’s a working tool. The pull on the original is a metal ring with a staple holding it to the front.