100 Year History

Discover the century-old story of Ideal Gear and Machine Works: From our origins in 1919 as craftsmen for the maritime industry to our pivotal role in World War II, we’ve been steadfast in our mission to deliver gear products of uncompromising quality. Today, with a significant investment in state-of-the-art tooling and equipment, we stand ready to propel into the future, serving a diverse range of sectors with the same pioneering spirit that has defined our family-owned business for generations.

Ideal Gear & Machine Works: A Century of Expertise in Gearing and Machining

Early Years

Established in 1919 by Herb Elfstrom, Sr. and Francis Smith, former machinists for Grand Trunk Pacific Railway, Ideal Gear & Machine Works started by providing machining services for fishing vessels, steam tugboats, and grain elevators. With the onset of World War II, the company shifted its focus to war production, supplying valves for Liberty Ships built in Vancouver shipyards.

Expansion and Legacy: The Ahnert Era

In 1963, William Raymond Ahnert joined the company as a welder, working for both Herb Elfstrom Sr. and Herb Elfstrom Jr. With a keen interest in machining and gear cutting, Ahnert invested in gearing machinery and learned all he could about the industry from successful gearing companies in Ontario. By the early 1970s, the company had grown rapidly, with a focus on supplying gearing to various industries.

Following Herb Elfstrom Jr.’s passing in 1980, Mary, his wife, signed the company shares to their daughter Wendy Elfstrom and William Ahnert. Together, they led Ideal Iron Works until 2003. Today, the company includes the fifth generation of family members, with William Ahnert, his sons Brett Ahnert, the Gear Shop Manager, and nephew Steven Ahnert, the Engineering & Estimating Manager, serving customers with their expertise in gearing and machining.

A New Chapter: The Boundary Mining Group Integration

With over 200 years of in-house experience and an expanding client base, Ideal Gear & Machine Works amalgamated with another family business in 2003 to become Ideal Gear and Machine Works Inc. They then moved to a 25,000 square foot production facility on the banks of the Fraser River in Delta, British Columbia, Canada, which was later expanded to include an area for gearbox repair, testing, and inspection.

In 2019, Ideal Gear & Machine Works was acquired by Boundary Mining Group, a family business from Edmonton, Alberta, with shared core values, vision, and entrepreneurial spirit.

Ideal Gear & Machine Works has been creating, innovating, patenting, and manufacturing technologies used worldwide in various industries, including commercial fishing and marine, cement and aggregate, mining, oil and gas, pulp and paper, power generation, and others. With a century of expertise in gearing and machining, the company looks forward to the next 100 years of expanding their horizons.