Tuesday 29 January 2013

Working outside in bad weather

The hydraulic lime we ordered last week had actually arrived; we had to store it up at the house to protect it from frost.  The scaffolders had been to amend the end fence so we can now get to the spillway stonework, so work on the launder can begin.  However, the weather is alternately frosty and wet, neither of which suits the lime mortar, so we put up a couple of plastic sheets to keep the rain off.  It has been very windy since...
 A group of conservation people from Sizergh were working at the house, and they wanted to be shown round the mill; naturally we obliged.  We also did some minor chores - including continuing to sort our huge collection of mixed screws by size!!!!

Tuesday 22 January 2013

Winter weather

Some of the parts of the second waterwheel

 It has been a bit nippy these past 2 Tuesdays, so progress on the launder has been rather slow.  However, last week the scaffold had been erected, though not exactly as we wanted it.  It is much safer working between the launder and the spillway pit, but they have put a fence at the spillway end which prevents us getting to the stonework.
We were therefore at least able to do a  few preparatory jobs.  There is also a project to restore the mill barn, so we had to remove a few mill artifacts from it - such as the shroud plates from the second waterwheel.  These may not look much, but need 3 men to move them safely.
George and Richard clean up
the spillway

Today there was no Ray, as he was digging his car out of the snow.
We all helped to remove the large old, delaminating stone from the edge of the spillway, remove the loose stones below it, and tidy up the mortar. George carried on tidying up the stones and mortar in the general launder area.  We seem to have acquired a suitable replacement for the top stone from the former greenhouse floor.  Ian, the Trust buildings man, has approved the lime mortar we plan to use to rebuild the spillway, so this can now go ahead.

Bob and Richard mounted the two new pulley brackets for the revised sack hoist.  Richard had fabricated them to the measurements Bob took a few weeks ago, and they were painted last week.  Everything went together without too much of a problem.

Richard fixes the pulley bracket; note the
rare glimmer of sunshine!

Tuesday 8 January 2013

Preparing to rebuild the launder

A useful session meeting Ian, a surveyor who works in the NT buildings department.  He is going to be our contact for building type jobs.  He said that what we were proposing to do with the launder was fine.

For the rest of the day, Ray and Richard did some work on the spillway end of the launder, and on the end of the part we rebuilt a couple of years ago.

Bob helped George to clean up old mortar and re-bed the top stones of the two intermediate piers.  We left them covered with plastic sheet (the old pond liner rides again!) so that, with any luck, the piers will dry out so they can be repointed next week.

The scaffold is expected to be installed this week, so we will be protected from the drop into the spillway pit - especially when it is wet or icy underfoot.