OT: Antique Dough Mixer
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  1. #1
    MacMasterMike is offline Aluminum
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Scranton PA

    Default OT: Antique Dough Mixer

    While I love Machine tools I must admit the machines I use for a living, work flour rather than steel. Thats right I am a baker. I make bread to sell as is or in other means for human consumption.

    Anyways I have come across an antique age class machine. Made by Glen AMF(American Machinery and Foundry co.) it is, what I feel, a real first class machine. Im sure AMF has a more modern(rather than antique) business model and is a conglomerate of sorts. It seems like they bought out different manufacturing businesses over the years. As a side note in the baking world these machines are virtually worthless because they do not carry the brand name Hobart. Hobart is still in existence while AMF has long sense made a machine like this and no one makes parts etc(though they still kind of do though in a much larger capacity believe it or not(340 qt macines)). While AMF bakery division is in a different capacity(large scale dough assembly line equipment) it still exists, while Hobart still makes machines and is well known. Most pizzerias will have a Hobart machine for their dough needs

    SO I have the opportunity to at least spare this machine from the scraper(Free assuming I can move it out). The majority of the equipment that was in this previous grandfathered bakery went the way of the dodo. This is merely a classy machine that has caught my eye. I really appreciate its art deco styling and the vari speed feature. Still works believe it or not and actually has a bronze dough hook. This alone ways 40#+.

    I would like to save the machine even though its larger than I really need. I'm just wondering if the experienced community of PM, has for what ever reason, had to move a machine like this. I believe its in the 140QT size range. I would say this machine weighs at least a ton?

    Any input would be appreciated. I have pictures listed below.

    Beware here is the mixer in all its glory.

    Notice boot size to bowl/dough hook(I ware a size 12).

    just some detail photo of controls for curiosity sake

  2. #2
    George Andreasen is offline Stainless
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Alturas, California

    Default Nice find!

    And you thought Kitchen Aid had a well built machine

    Although I didn't have to move it, I had the opportunity to repair one just like it for our local pizza place. It turned out to be a minor electrical problem but I was impressed with the sheer size and quality of the thing. It was built for 24hr. a day use if need be.

    I'd say it would be no more difficult than moving a mill by using planks and rollers to get it outside, where a forklift or even a tow truck could get under it. Just plan carefully, go slow and stop for a breather once in a while.

    It's worth saving! Besides, you could always mix enough concrete to enlarge your patio....

  3. #3
    Tom A is offline Cast Iron
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    NW Florida


    Now THAT is very cool !

    With a nice paint job , and that handwheel polished , you'd really have a good looking machine .

    All you'd need would be one of those old Oliver bread slicers , and you'd be all set .
    Maybe a couple of them - to keep up with the 140 qt capacity of that thing ;~)


  4. #4
    CWB is offline Hot Rolled
    Join Date
    Mar 2009


    If its made by AMF I say paint it up Harley style...might be worth more than you think for the right collector. As a side I commend you for wanting an antique machine like this. Ive seen any number of these big mixers at auction and it seems they always go for scrap. Definitely sad to see any classic iron go to scrap.

  5. #5
    MacMasterMike is offline Aluminum
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Scranton PA

    Thumbs up

    Yeah at auctions its somewhat like what happens with knee-mills. A Bridgeport will go for good money while a Gorton, Tree, Etc. are bid on like they were hexed or something. Seen the same thing with these mixers like you said.

    I have moved some machinery around before. Moved a KT:2h Egyptian style before. Not too hard if you don't have many obstacles. Using a roll back for that job worked remarkably well. I just want to hone in on weight because if its light enough I have a lift gate truck that might be able to handle it.

    Thanks for the comments so far.

  6. #6
    Riderusty is offline Hot Rolled
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Sea Cliff, NY & Portland, OR USA


    Certainly machines outside of the usual parameters of our machining world warrant saving. They are all part of the once great industiral America and deserve preservation. A beautiful and worthy example of Americal industrial quality in an application that we don't ofter think about. Good for you.

    Tom B.

  7. #7
    ahall is offline Stainless
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    OK, USA


    I cant see the pictures for some reason, but I have seen some comercial mixers.
    Machines in the 1 ton class are not that hard to move on a hard surface.

    With a stack of 1/4 shims and a 2 foot pry bar you can work them up high enough to get pipes or rollers under them. This technique works well if the bottom of the machine is FLAT. If it has cast feet the bars will jam comeing in and out, and you will need to put some skids under the machine. 3/8 round bar works well, if the floor is smooth and flat, and the bottome of the machine is hard. 3/4 black pipe is a better choice if your running against a wooden skid.

    Another option is to start buy lifting it with and engine hoist or chain fall and setting it on a pallet. Then use a pallet jack to take it out of the shop its in and load it on a small trailer useing the engine hoist.

    Secure it well with ratchet straps. Unload in a similar manner.

    Other options for loading on a trailer are to utilize a loading doc.

    The biggest issue is that it is likely to be quite top heavy. My recolection is most comercial mixers have the bulk of there working parts up top and the rest is simply hollow castings.
    I favor pallet jacks for this type of operation because they are slow and you can run your pallet very close to the floor to help with the tipping issue.

    If it does not have to go far, would try and move it standing up, because you risk breaking the handles and bowl arms if you lay it over. Laying something like this down or standing it up without an overhead crain is quite tricky.

    If the machine needs significant work before putting it into service, sometimes its effective to dissaseamle it into pieces you can man handle and move it in pieces. If you take this approach, take a very complete tool box, buckets for small parts and a digital camera.

  8. #8
    springfieldm14 is offline Plastic
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    louisiana usa


    I would like to offer a word of congratulations on your find. A very interesting and, in your case, useful project. Please keep us up to date on your progress.


  9. #9
    Joe Michaels is offline Titanium
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Shandaken, NY, USA

    Default Dough Mixer

    The AMF Dough Mixer came out of the Brooklyn, NY plant. That AMF plant was probably the start of what grew into something much larger. Apparently, AMF built a number of types of machinery at the Brooklyn, NY plant. In the 1940's, they built machinery for the production of cigarettes. In the 50's, the automatic pinsetters for bowling alleys came on the scene and became AMF's mainstay. I had a classmate at Brooklyn Tech HS ( 1964-68) whose dad had been a toolmaker at the AMF Brooklyn Plant until it closed sometime prior to our years at Tech. What my classmate told me was when AMF was bulding cigarette machines, all the toolmakers and machinists were bringing home cartons of cigarettes that were made on test runs of the machines. I am unsure where AMF moved to, but they closed the Brooklyn Plant sometime prior to 1964.

    Dough mixers are an interesting topic. While I was attending Brooklyn Polytechnic Institute for my mechanical engineering degree, a number of us worked part time jobs. A classmate worked P/T at this firm in Brooklyn that made macaroni machinery. One of the things they built was a kind of open-hopper dough mixer sort of like a clay pugging mill in a brickworks. This mixer worked the dough and got it headed into an extruder which used a screw much like an oldtime meat grinder. As my classmate told the story, the factory had a kind of test block with a prototype dough mixer/extruder for trying out various macaroni dies and various configurations of mixers and screws. This one mechanical engineer for the firm was standing over the hopper of this mixer while it was running a test batch of dough. He apparently leaned too far forward over the hopper to see how things were working. A pack of smokes fell out of his shirt pocket into the dough hopper, and he made a grab for them. He got grabbed by the mixer vanes or whatever they ran, and was being pulled into the dough hopper. The engineer got a hold on something solid with his remaining arm or hooked his legs over the hopper. He wound up losing an arm. This was in the days before mandatory emergency stop devices or any real safeguards short of maybe a coupling guard.
    The story stayed with me, as my classmate said that as a mechanical engineering student, he knew the numerical value of the torque the mixer/extruder drive developed, but up until that incident, it was just a number expressed in foot pounds. After the accident, realizing the relentless power of the mixer drive, the torque value took on a whole new meaning.

    Dough mixers and similar machinery are probably quite overlooked by most people. Food is just something they buy in the supermarket or perhaps accross a bakery counter. Most people never give too much thought to how the food they eat got to them. I know that in Beacon, NY, there is a small exhibit in a storefront. It is dedicated to a foundry and machine works that was in Beacon years earlier. It's products were some sorts of dough mixers and dough-working machines for bakers. One surviving machine, as-found, with it's enamel all chipped, is displayed as are photos of the old plant with the machinists and molders all posed outside.

    We buy our bread here at home from a local baker called "Bread Alone". Bread Alone is a local success story. The founder got it into his head to bake French type breads- baguettes, peasant breads, mixed grain breads, etc. He went to france and studied under some master baker. He then came back to the Catskills with the idea he'd build wood fired brick ovens to a French design. To do that, he ordered the specially shaped firebrick from a french oven building firm, and also brought over a French master mason who built the ovens. That is where the fun began. No one could understand the French mason, who was in his 80's, there was no foundation to start laying the brickwork for the oven on, and no steelwork for carrying the door openings or framing the brickwork. The bakery owner got my buddy- a sometime locomotive engineer, sometime fiddler and excellent concrete mason and steel fabricator. He in turn got a few more similar types from our hills. They brought an old backhoe, got the foundation in, and started building the oven. They did the steel fab on site. Some which way, they managed to follow what the old French mason wanted and built a massive set of ovens. The world has been beating a path to Bread Alone's doors ever since, and their bread is shipped out by the truckload to NYC and other places.

    What most people do not remotely realize is how hard a job and how tricky it is to bake bread. As a kid, if you wanted bread in my folk's house in Brooklyn, it came from a neighbrohood baker with one of those slicers like a gang-saw. There was always something special about the smell of the fresh bread in the bakery, and tasting a warm slice. Everyone in the neighborhood knew the baker kept impossible hours and worked incredibly hard. No one took the bread for granted, and the different bakers had their followings in our neighborhood. Sometimes, my mother and grandmother would bake a challah bread, and that was work. Carrying on the tradition, my wife and daughter will occasionally bake a challah bread, and again, it is work and a trick to get right. My wife follows what her mother passed along to her to make the challah. My hat is off to anyone who can consistently back good bread. We always try to buy bread from an independent bakery, not the sorry excuses of mass-produced bread you get in the supermarket. You are in an honorable craft, and a hard craft to master.

    The old dough mixer is a fine piece of work, for sure. I'd get it on some kind of wood skid with some additional width to it to move it. It looks to be a bit top-heavy, so a stout skid bolted to the base feet of the dough mixer might be a good safe way to handle it.

    Joe Michaels

  10. #10
    Bruce Johnson is offline Stainless
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Burbank, CA USA


    That looks like a great old machine to save, restore, and use. When it's done, show it off to your customers! Seeing a machine like that says a lot about the quality of you and your business. I build musical instruments using a lot of old 1900-1950 machines, and my customers love seeing them. There's a deep passion for old American heritage in almost everyone.

    From the picture, I'm guessing that it's about 6' tall? By my thumb and eyeball, I'd guess it to be about 4000 lbs. That's a lot of cubic inches of iron.

    If I were moving it, I'd first jack it up or lift it and bolt it down to some heavy timbers or a pallet base. Above all else, you want to make sure it can't fall over. That beast has got to be very top heavy. If you have a little time, the ideal thing would be to build a nice custom base for it in advance, that you can take along when you go get it. Make it with forklift slots and strong points for lifting and dragging. That will make the move safer, and will pay off during restoration and use. It's really handy to have machines mounted on permanent bases that can be moved around with a pallet jack.

  11. #11
    Andy FitzGibbon is offline Titanium
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    West Virginia


    I have several old mixers, but none that big. My largest are a few 10 quart Hobarts from the '30s.
    If you have moved a 2H, you should have no trouble moving this. I can't shed any light on it's weight, unfortunately, other than that a modern Hobart 140 quart machine weighs in a 1,385 lbs.


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