Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Miscellaneous jobs

Today we did a number of small tasks. The stone nut on the french burrs had dragged its taper up the shaft when we tried to disengage it, so we reset the taper and replaced all its wedges. We also checked and tightened all the other wedges in the main shaft and spur wheel.

When we last milled, we had a problem with grain bouncing off the damsel and going over the stone, thereby missing the milling process and ending up in the finished flour as a toothbreaking nuisance. Today we cut the bottom out of a plastic bucket which is a good fit to the inside of the stone and which should prevent grain from flying over the top of the stone.

We then cleaned and re-attached the damsel and its supporting structure including the shoe, and re-threaded the shoe height adjusting cord.

The foresters have cut down a group of non-native trees (Italian black poplars) with a rather dire effect on our headrace. There are hundreds of small branches in the water; there are thousands more on the banks which we know will end up in the water; worst of all there is a huge pile of branches over the side of the headrace which will prevent us having safe access to clear the debris from the water. I cleared a lot of wood from the water and opened up 10 metres or so of the worst part of the bank. The next part of the bank was covered with branches that were too big for me to tackle. The gardening / wardening staff have agreed to clear them tomorrow.

We had previously made a lead grease box to surround the main waterwheel bearing on the wet side. It has a heavy lid to press the grease onto the shaft. However it had been dropped and bent out of shape, so we cleaned it, hammered it straight and re-applied the grease.

We overhauled and improved the bearings of the two pulleys that carry the dump valve control cord.

We cleaned up one of our half-dozen or so oil lamps so that it might be suitable for display.

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