Ninety two years ago- - in the Autumn of 1923- - in a corn field in the village of Lockland, Ohio- - there began the gradual transition from the production of golden Bantam corn to that of steel casting company. The change was completed by the summer of 1924, when the first heat was poured in the foundry of the newly organized Sawbrook Steel.
The men responsible for this new venture- - all Cincinnatians- - were Lewis Gatch. C. E. Sawtelle, Leroy Brooks, JR., E.S. Sawtelle, and E.L. Brooks. A second glance at the names will easily establish the derivation of the foundry's name, Sawbrook.
Expansion Soon Followed to Meet Growing Steel Casting Demands
Visual evidence of the growth of the new firm was seen as early as 1926, when the first six expansions of the steel casting company were made. Four others were completed as the years passed, and the sixth and latest in 1985. During this period, separate buildings for related facilities were constructed as the need arose.
That first heat in 1924 came out of a Moore 1 1/2-ton Lectromelt furnace. By 1941 the capacity of this melting unit was insufficient to take care of Sawbrook's ever increasing production; so, a duplicate of the original furnace was purchased and installed in that year.
As business increased and patterns multiplied, three storage buildings were built and maintained for customers' active patterns, along with a fully equipped pattern shop.
Sawbrook Steel added complete laboratory facilities for determining chemical and physical properties of the steels produced. Also in the laboratory, other phases of quality control are performed by constantly testing core and molding sands, as well as checking scrap purchased for melting. Chemical tests are made during the melting of each heat to assure compliance with each specification ordered.
In the 1920s, varied types of molding and core making machines and installations were employed for the most efficient usage of suitable and properly designed pattern equipment. The Co2 process and core blowers were used in the core room. In addition to the conventional green sand molding, the randupson and shell mold processes were used where feasible. Some of these techniques are still used today while making castings at Sawbrook Steel Castings Company.
In June of 1962 another expansion and modernization to the steel casting company was completed: the addition to the foundry of a bay measuring 60 x 375 ft. This addition is serviced by a 10-ton whiting crane, and houses a new 8-mt whiting hydro-arc top charge electric furnace. Thus, the former limitation of 4,500 to 5,000 pound of casting weight has been altered to about 10,000 pound.
On March 1, 1967 Sawbrook's union contract was up and an agreement could not be met. The union voted to strike. The strike lasted for eight months which caused the business to struggle and many of its customers to pull their patterns and business out of Sawbrook. The steel casting compnay struggled for many years after the strike was settled. Please click on link below to continue.
Sawbrook Reorganizes to Meet Future Steel Castings Needs -- click to learn more about our history