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  < Back to Table Of Contents  < Back to Topic: Made in the USA

article number 99
article date 01-31-2012
copyright 2012 by Author else SaltOfAmerica
Lake Fabrications Inc. Builds Lifting Augers
by Stu Moment
   

Randy Lake of Villa Grove Illinois, always liked working with his hands. Since he was 14 years old he wanted his own shop to rebuild cars. In about 2001 he bought an existing company with lots of equipment, Hovis Equipment and Repair, builders of lifting augers. Most of us in farm country are used to augers that lift grains. Randy builds them for farming, but his augers see heavy service in concrete transport and mining industries including coal and black iron-oxide.

His augers are custom built to customer specifications. Most companies have their engineers send Randy the drawings. Randy notes that he often receives extra business to rebuild augers, especially from the concrete industry where the flighting (screw) wears considerably.

   
Auger Flighting ready to mount on tubing.

The flighting is about the only item which he buys pre-formed. Everything else he cuts and forms himself. He Rolls his own tubes and does the welding. Randy makes about everything except roller bearings and gear boxes. He machines his own plain bearings. He also does heat treatment of parts where wear is a factor.

Promotion is by word of mouth. Of course the augers in the field are an automatic promotion. He has customers all over the United States and Canada, from Alaska and the Yukon Territory down to Florida, and across the nation from Washington State to Vermont.

   

Since his orders are usually for [low volume] custom needs, he does not need to invest in modern computer controlled equipment. Instead he is the caretaker of some beautiful vintage/antique machinery. Let’s take a look at these magnificent implements.

   
Vintage Wysong & Miles Shear. Heavy duty!
   
This slip roller is heavy duty too. Randy forms his own tubes.
   
This giant break was hand built back in the 50’s … uses a Ford Model A transmission.
   
Vintage Bardons & Oliver Lathe.
   
This antique Waltham Watch Tool Company horizontal mill gets plenty of use.
   
Close-up: Note that patent dates are the late 1890’s.
   
This antique drill press is an art form itself. Doesn’t age.
   
Vintage Webb Punch.
   
The augers are assembled on this big old fixture. It is magnificent.

Randy has another asset, his dad Pete. Pete stays active, not just to help out in the business, but does lots of service in his community. According to numerous sources, he adds much spice to Villa Grove, Illinois.

   
Pete and Randy Lake.

When business is light, Randy returns to his dream of youth. He works on cars (or trucks). He enjoys both restoration and Hot-Rod building.

   
Randy Lake with 1952 Chevy pickup truck. It’s a rod … Chevy Blazer 4 wheel drive chassis … Studebaker truck bed … Cadillac taillights.

It’s great to find people enjoy and excel at building things. Randy Lake of Lake Fabrications, Villa Grove Illinois gives us all joy to think of what we can do, here in the USA.

   
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