Wednesday 27 February 2013

Solid progress with the launder

 I missed a week last week because of an achilles tendon injury, but back this week even if not fully mobile.  We had  a new starter, Peter, who spent the day helping me to prepare the bottom boards for the launder - putting the step in the edge of each one, cutting to length and drilling the 4 holes for the fixing screws.  This means there are now 44 of them, most of them ready for fitting in the launder, some with a few holes to drill.

Mike did a lot of (overdue) tidying in the wood store.

Richard and Ray did an extra day last week, as a result of which the launder side beams were fully in place complete with joining pieces.
This week they set about restoring the sluice end of the launder.  The uprights were dowelled to the ends of the side beams...

 ... before the second upright was rebated and screwed into place.  These two make the slot in which the vertical blade shutter runs.
Finally the blade and the hinged "gate valve" were re-installed.  The mechanical parts of the launder are therefore almost complete.

Tuesday 12 February 2013

Progress at last

The side supports tested in place, and
 hessian sacks cover the new mortar
At last the weather has been kind enough to allow us to move forward with the launder.

George repointed some of the launder piers' stonework  and began to rebuild the spillway. The mortar will need to be protected by hessian sacks from some of the frosts we are expecting over the next day or so.

Richard cut the new spillway stone to size; in that way bits of stone have, it also broke into two pieces, which will need to be thought about when we cement it/them in.  He carried on preparing the spillway end for building the launder.

Ray and Bob cut the steps into the edges of 20 of the larch boards for the bottom of the launder and trimmed them to length.

Finally we arranged two of the side supports for the sluice end of the launder, checked with a string line that they were lined up with the other end, and fixed one of the bottom boards.

Tuesday 5 February 2013

Progress slow in the snow

The view from the mill in the heaviest snow
 Pretty, isn't it?  But a darned nuisance - apart from the difficulty of working in snow, we need to point the piers before we can begin building the launder, and we can't use the lime mortar below 5 degrees C.

Nonetheless, we did get some cleaning up done ready for the weekend opening of Acorn Bank this weekend, putting tools away and helping Sara to sweep the mill room.  We also managed to do some work on the piers, and repair the two tarpaulin covers we put up last week, just before it got very windy!
The launder having been removed, there was no fence between the public path and the space under and beyond the launder.  The visiting public needed to be protected from the hazards of these areas, especially alongside the steps.  Richard and I dismantled the rough crate that the lime mortar was delivered in, and reassembled the bits to make a crude but effective fence.