Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Traditional Barn and Gate Hinges at The Farmers' Museum.

The Farmers' Museum has a wealth of traditional buildings, garden gates, and farm gates with forged hinges. 

Our hardware is purposefully not all of the same style.  That allows us to demonstrate a wide range of traditional hardware.

Pintle and Gudgeon hinges are found on barn doors and are usefull as hinges that carry a heavy load. The L shaped part that nails or bolts to a beam and forms the pivot is the Pintle. 

The loop on the Hinge Strap that acts as the bearing surface is the Gudgeon.   These are very strong and work well regardless of the weather. 

Hay loft door often have strap hinges with pintles and gudgeons.  These are on our Hop Barn and the Morey Barn.

Pintle Hinges are found on many of our barn doors and some of the field and paddock gates. The long strap of the hinge makes the door or gate quite strong.

That is important when Farm animals are leaning on the gate!  If my hinge broke that would leave me feeling sheepish!  There are some special purpose hinges on our grounds as well.  One of my favorites are the self-closing garden gate hinges. 

These are on the Dimmick House garden gate.

Cut at an angle, they use gravity to shut the gate automatically after it has been opened. They are quite handsome as well.  This is only a small sample of the many types and styles of hinges here at The Farmers' Museum.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Making Maple Syrup at The Farmers' Museum!

Each Sunday in March the Farmers' at our Museum prepare to gather Maple sap and boil it down to make Maple Syrup.  Here at The Farmers' Museum the public are invited to come visit, have a pancake breakfast, and to join the Farmers as they make Maple syrup.

The first step is tapping the trees.  Sap is drawn from the Maple trees using a spout called a Spile. 
A hole is drilled in the tree for the spile.

Each tree generally has one or two spiles and buckets.

In 1845 the buckets were wood.  We also use the tinned buckets that have been popular for the last 100 years.

We use our draft animals to help collect the maple sap.  Since 40 gallons of sap is needed to make one gallon of syrup there is a lot to haul!  Here is a picture of collecting the sap with oxen.

The sap then needs to be boiled down to make syrup.  The oldest method is to use an iron pot over the fire. 

The newer method is to use a flat bottomed evaporator pan.  Here is our pan over the fire starting to boil the sap!

Come join us on a Sunday in March to see traditional Sugaring Off! 
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