Rock Products

APR 2017

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26 • ROCK products • April 2017 www.rockproducts.com SITE SIMULATION J ust a few hours' drive north of New York City, the Adiron- dack Mountains offer a tranquil respite for those looking to escape the hustle and bustle of the Big Apple. The outdoor life is also good for business. Working in the Adirondack Moun- tains is Barton International, a family-owned business that has produced the world's highest-quality garnet abrasives for more than 130 years. Established in 1878 by Henry Hudson Barton, the company started out harvesting garnet, a mineral known for its hard- ness and sharp edges. Barton's fascination with the dark red gemstone first glittered while working at a jewelry store. At the time, there was a need for a better abrasive for sandpa- per. Garnet is a naturally inert sharp crystal with a hardness that falls between 7.5 and 8.5 on the Mohs scale – not far from diamonds, which rank as a 10 – making it the perfect abrasive for woodworking applications. "My great-great-grandfather reflected on his experience with garnet and soon, he began his career mining and milling garnet for the sandpaper industry," said Chuck Barton, chief operating officer. A Jewel of Sandpapers Barton said his ancestor researched and discovered a good garnet source in the Adirondack Mountains, in New York state. "He ended up buying an entire mountain," he added. The original mine operated for 104 years before it was moved to Ruby Mountain in 1982, where the company still operates. Seven generations later, Barton still provides high-quality Adirondack Garnet to sandpaper manufacturers for the dis- cerning woodworking craftsman. Barton says he's grateful to his great-great-grandfather for starting the family business and wants to honor his memory by passing on a thriving company to the next generation. "There's special pride in being part of the business," Barton said. "There's also an enormous responsibility to make sure that the business grows as the family grows." The Cutting-Edge But mining the mineral has not been without its challenges. In the early years, operations were limited to the warmer months, although workers on horses, wagons and winter sleighs carried out transporting the ore for processing year- round during the snowy Adirondack winters. Miners worked with picks, shovels and dynamite. "They used to do hand drill- ing, load the holes with dynamite, light the fuse – and run," said Barton. "Now, it's much more sophisticated. We have 3D models to better understand the deposit and efficiently access the garnet," added Barton, noting the influence of Volvo Site Sim- ulation on the growth of his fleet and business. Site Simulation: A Vision of Success Barton International Relies on Volvo Site Simulation to Find the Right Equipment for the Job. By Mark S. Kuhar A Volvo excavator and articulated hauler work together on the Barton mine.

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