For Leif

Not exactly by popular demand, but since Leif asked, here is the Högbo report.

This is an old iron (s)melter that has some jets in it to blow air through and remove some of the carbon from the iron to make it a stronger steel. Apparently this process was imported from England and Högbo was the first place in Scandinavian to use it.

The buildings from the Högbo bruk were built during the modern incarnation of the mine/forge in 1885.   The mine is now closed, but there are still lots of roads and buildings preserved from that time. Everything is painted ‘Falurödd’, which is the paint made from the tailings of a copper mine in Falun, just down the road in Dalarna.

This is the smithy building. The dam once contained a water wheel that powered some of the machinery inside.

The smithy is now used by a glass blower named Björn.  On Saturdays he is mostly selling things, but I came to see him once on a Wednesday when he was blowing glass, and that was really neat.   At one time the big fire place at the back was used for heating metal, but now he uses a modern arc oven over on the right.

This is the inside of the smithy building. The big iron machine in the upper left hand corner is a hammer that was operated using the water wheel in the olden days. There is a big painting at the top of the frame (sorry, hard to see with the glare) that shows what the smithworks would have looked like inside originally.

Högbo is now a quaint set of shops, a place to do workplace team building trips, and a ski track.  However, there is still a lot of steel working in the community, it has just moved down the street to Sandvik in the town of Sandviken.

Sandviken is one of the biggest employers in the area. They make everything from small precision medical devices to giant drill tips for mining equipment. I heard the company yards cover more area than the rest of the city limits.

1 Comment

  1. WOW – thanks guys! That’s really interesting.

    Did you know that the Swedish car company Volvo is Latin for “I roll” and the symbol associated with the cars (the basic symbol for male) is supposed to refer to iron and Sweden’s reputation for having quality iron? I think that’s neat…

    Forge on…
    – Leif

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