Made in Pittsburgh

by Devin on February 5, 2011

Things with the Boiler are humming right along. The spinning shop is finishing up making the chimneys so the Boilers can soon go through final assembly. I’ve been working with the anodizing and etching shops to make sure they’re all geared up and ready to go when the Boilers are.

I shot the above video last week and it captures something I think is so cool about the project – that it’s all being done in and around Pittsburgh. In the clip, I analogize local manufacturing to local farming, and I think the comparison holds. Just like food gets subtle character from the place where it’s grown so do manufactured goods from the places they’re designed and made.

So in not too long, little pieces of Pittsburgh will be going out all over the world, highlighting the other end of this project’s dual nature: it is at once both local and global. If I have an archetype of the kind of business I would like to create, it would be to run a mom and pop that interacts with people the world over.

[ 6 comments… read them below or add one ]

Doug and Henry Johnson February 5, 2011 at 7:17 pm

My son Henry (4) and I just watched our new stove being made. Here is what Henry had to say:

“How does the spinning machine work? Thank for getting us the pot. It’s going to be a neat stove. Thank you Devin for driving to the spinning machine and making the nice stove.”

Henry’s been on 11 backpacking trips- looking forward to getting back to wood fire with my boy!
Thanks Devin! Doug

Devin February 5, 2011 at 8:16 pm

Thanks Doug and Henry!

Henry – The best way I can explain it is to say that even though metal is very hard, with enough force it can be molded just like clay. You’re very welcome for the work on the stove and I hope you and your Dad really enjoy it.

Doug – As always, thanks. I’m sure you’ve already come across Outdoor Parent, but your posts on BPL about trips with your son really bring the site to mind.

Hendrik M February 6, 2011 at 3:21 pm

That was pretty awesome, that video. M and me were watching with interest how they were spun, and were surprised that you could touch them right after they’re done – we thought they’re hot!

Devin February 6, 2011 at 4:13 pm

Thanks Hendrik! Metal spinning impresses me each time I see it, even when I’m the one doing it! The metal does get a bit warm from the friction, but no heat is needed to spin aluminum. It’s actually relatively soft before it’s spun, but the forming itself work-hardens the part as it’s made. Metallurgy is pretty cool stuff!

Chris H February 7, 2011 at 12:23 pm

I have enjoyed watching the production process of the boiler and can’t wait for mine to arrive. Thanks for taking on this project.


PS…sorry about your Steelers!

Devin February 7, 2011 at 12:36 pm

Thanks, Chris. :)

They broke my heart.

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