Tuesday 30 October 2012

Shelling stones and sack hoist continued

 The mild steel plates to improve the fit of the shelling stone stone nut have come back from the engineering works, cut out, drilled and tapped. We cut the lengths of 14mm studding and started to file the plates to improve the fit still further.  We need to refit the shelling stone before we can continue with the...
...sack hoist.  We took down two pulleys that had been used by the original restorers as part of the inoperable sack hoist.  After cleaning them up we gave them a coat of red oxide primer.  We cut some 10mm studding and two angle-iron plates to clamp timbers to one of the roof beams to carry the first pulley over the trap doors.  Ray is gong to make two further wooden pulleys to direct the rope under the hurst frame.

Meanwhile sorting of the stone in the kiln started, and some of the dirt and rubble was removed from the bottom of the pit.  George also repaired some of the masonry which had broken out where the hinge for the cart shed door was fitted.

Tuesday 23 October 2012

Sack hoist and kiln work

Our attempts to reurrect some kind of sack hoist continue.  It looks as though we need to spool the rope round the shaft rather than the pulley of the layshaft to get a controllable speed.  The pulley is 0.7m diameter, so would lift about 2m per revolution.  As it is geared up 80/11 from the pit wheel, by my calculations at 10 wheel revs per minute it would lift at about 8 feet per second.  Anyway, we have started moving the sheaves to where they will need to be and planning where the rope will run.

We also started to lay out the position of the walls of the kiln using the plans drawn up by the people who restored the mill around 1990.  There seem to be one or two inconsistencies in the dimensions, but we concluded that the front wall, which housed the firebox, would have been where the plank is on this photo - blocking a good part of the existing passageway.

Tuesday 16 October 2012

Apple Day and Beyond

Last Sunday was Apple Day at Acorn Bank - the event was a success.  The weather was better than it has often been recently, and the planning had allowed for wet fields.  The planners had moved the parking to a different field, and put the stallholders' tents along the path from the house to the mill. The public entrance was part way along, nearer the mill than the house, which brought us a lot of visitors.  We were milling and also, very successfully, selling our flour and loaves made from it by an artisan baker.  We were joined again by Stuart Hobbs from Heron Mill - thanks for all the help, Stuart.

Today (Tuesday) we carried on painting the brackets for the launder rebuild.  Ray started adding side cheeks to the layshaft pulley so we can use it for a modified sack hoist,though it will run rather fast.  Bob bagged some flour, including trying out some new sample bags.  The local engineering works sent the taper repair plates for the shelling stones in for us to mark the positions for the screw holes.  Richard marked them out, then Bob helped him drill pilot holes.

Tuesday 9 October 2012

A brief catchup

Sorry to have missed a few weeks - a combination of holidays and a couple of mill visits which I'm still trying to catch up for the blog.

Recent jobs have included:
  • Making brackets out of mild steel strip for the future renovation of the launder.
  • Clearing the upper reaches of the headrace.
  • Raising the bank of the lowest part of the headrace so that it won't overflow and wash the path away.
  • Continuing to fill in the voids in the stonework in the mill building.
  • Converting a large box to make a storage cupboard for flour bagging equipment and an old radiogram cabinet to make a bookcase.
  • Keeping on making and bagging flour to try to keep up with demand.

Today we also starrted looking at photos and drawings of the kiln, trying to visualise how it fitted in the ruined space we now have.

We would really like to start stabilising the stonework with a view to rebuilding the structure.  The other idea is a to put a bridge through the kiln between the information room and the upper floor of the mill so that visitors can see the milling process from a different angle; it would also make access better for the disabled.  However we found that the information room floor is a whole foot (30cm for the younger reader) higher than the mill floor.  This will lead to some challenges in the design of the walkway.