Missouri collector focuses on fence-making machines.
Front side detail of the Kitselman woven wire machine. The device is pulled down the smooth longitudinal wires (toward the right) as the crank is turned. A gear under the small box-shaped cover (lower right hand corner) regulates how many times the stay wires are twisted around the longitudinal wires before the device moves and bobbins switch to wrap on the alternating longitudinal wire.
Detail of the rear (or bobbin side) of the Kitselman woven wire machine. After three complete turns of the bobbins around the longitudinal wires, a series of gears and levers cause them to stop turning while the machine travels a fixed distance down the line. At that point, the bobbins are relocated so that they will now twist the stay wire on the longitudinal wire either above or below the previous twist. In this way, the device creates a net-like wire fabric.
The Phillips Stay-wire Fastener for wire fences is a much less complex device than the Kitselman machine. This tool is mounted on a wooden frame and can be located vertically so that its notch will straddle the longitudinal wires of the fence one at a time. Once located, the handle is brought out perpendicular to the longitudinal wire, and the crank handle is turned, causing the bobbin of stay wire to wind tightly around the longitudinal wire, as shown here. After a few wraps, the machine is again moved vertically, and the process repeated.
Twisting cog detail on an unnamed wire-twisting machine the Eddys have set up to demonstrate picket fence-making. Note: The cast iron cog turns in a cast iron locator, without the benefit of a replaceable bearing.
Crank handle view of the Kitselman woven wire machine. The clamp and lever system that moves the device is to the left. The beautifully uniform woven wire that the machine creates can be seen to the right.
This unnamed version of a wire-twisting fence machine features two frame rails and five twisting cogs, all powered via the poured chain from the hand crank at the top. In this demonstration, the Eddys are using only three twisting cogs to locate wooden slats in the formation of wire-bound picket fencing. This machine could also be used to make strands of twisted barbed wire or even snow fencing.
Detail of a wire-twisting cog from a machine used in making twisted barbed wire. Note that the handmade staples have been loosely twisted onto one individual strand of smooth wire and will be held in place once the twisting operation is completed.
Installing a barb begins with a U-shaped piece (staple) of wire placed in a pair of wire barb pinchers. Then insert the longitudinal fence wire through the staple and squeeze the handles together, as shown here.
A proud Alan Eddy shows off his dad's most recently found wire-twisting fence machine. Harold found the device, completely intact, at a flea market last year. This machine could be used to make two twisted barbed wire strands at a time, or to make picket fencing with only a pair of locating wires.