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Windwills Are This Couple's Business
When Ken O'Brock and his wife Sharen bought their farm in North Benton, Ohio, he had no idea that the old windmill on the place would lead to their life's work.
  They run an unusual mom and pop business. You call them for a windmill and they put it up even though both are afraid of heights.
  "I never quit being afraid of heights," O'Brock says. "It's like riding a motorcycle. When you're not afraid of the motorcycle anymore, it's time to hang it up because you're going to have an accident."
  While Ken works up on the tower, Sharen ties parts onto a pulley and sends them up so he can fit them in place.
  Although some of the windmills they sell are used primarily for advertising, most are used to pump water.
  A windmill powering a 4-in. cylinder can pump 800 gal. per hour in a 15 mph breeze. And, while the average well is less than 100 ft. deep, they can pump water from as deep as 1,000 ft. Their life span is a minimum of 40 years.
  The O'Brocks put up between 20 and 30 windmills per year and deal mostly in Australian and South African windmills under the brand name Southern Cross.
  While the couple requires on-site help for digging footings and pouring concrete, the actual erection is pretty old fashioned. Once underway, the O'Brocks can assemble a 40-ft. tower in 1 1/2 hrs.
  They also sell windmill parts through a catalog and online. O'Brock says they sell vanes, bearings, pivots and other replacement parts.
  Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, O'Brock Windmills, 9435 12th Street, North Benton, Ohio 44449 (ph 330 584-4681; www.ObrockWindmills. com).

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2009 - Volume #33, Issue #2