Central Texas Tool Company a family-run machine shop from a bygone era

Updated Apr 4, 2013

Central Texas Tool Company machine shopNo computers. Drawings done in the dirt. 100 year-old machines driven by overhead belts.

Some might think that the Central Texas Tool Company is an anachronism, serving no purpose in this high-tech, 24/7 global economy. The members of the Carpenter family that run the shop jokingly call it “a working museum” and some of the equipment still being used is more than 100 years old.

You’d be wrong. And in fact you’d not have gas in your car to last the month if it weren’t for machine shops like this all over West and South Texas and anywhere drillers look for oil and gas.

[youtube BckZ4i1BzF0 nolink]

Most everybody in the big cities, the White House and Congress would all be in a panic, or worse, in weeks if it weren’t for guys like these keeping the machinery of civilization running steady and true.

The most telling moment in the video is when Pierce, the youngest of the three generations of family working in this Abilene shop, talks about what it takes to learn the business. You can’t get it from a book, you can’t get it from a trade school, you have to learn it by doing it, by standing shoulder to shoulder with people like his grandfather, who has, according to Pierce, “forgot more than I ever learned.

And the break for Dr. Pepper, that’s very Texas. Some things never change.