Hot Chips in Ohio

Honoring the past while planning for the future, this entrepreneur launched a machine shop on the family farm, tending the cattle while manufacturing components.


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Metal chips fly off a workpiece at Karlstadt Machining, while cow chips enrich the surrounding fields at the family farm in Bryan, Ohio.

While raising cattle and running a machine shop may seem to have little in common at first glance, a closer look reveals certain similarities. Both are hands-on occupations, requiring careful tending, and the quality of the end product dictates whether or not the operation is successful. Oh, and they both produce a ton of chips.

That’s what Dave Karlstadt has found since launching Karlstadt Machining on the same property as his family’s longtime beef cattle ranch in Bryan, Ohio, about six years ago. Having grown up working on the farm, he found that he was drawn to working with machinery and spent nearly two decades after graduating from high school in manufacturing. His last position was as manager of a production machine shop that primarily ran Okuma machine tools. Impressed by their strength and reliability, he purchased remanufactured Okumas when he opened his own machine shop—for cash. Once the business was established, he was able to begin investing in new machine tools, most recently an Okuma Genos M560-V vertical machining center purchased from Gosiger.

Read about Karlstadt Machining here, and watch the brief video below about the company’s founding, growth and capabilities.