Thursday 15 August 2013

Oops, catching up again

Sorry, readers (if there are any), I have been out of action with spasms in my back for a few weeks, so there are a few things to report.

As we had to remove them from the barn and the timber store, we have been looking at the pile of stones that used to be part of the kiln.  We have one stone that is identifiable on the old photos of the kiln, but the others are a complete mystery.  The long stones in the foreground are the beams for the kiln.

In an attempt to preserve them from damage by the builders restoring the barn, we got the estate staff to help remove the two millstones that were embedded in the ground in the yard. The visiting public certainly likes being able to see them. However, we were told we should not have moved them, as they are "part of the archaeology".  The estate staff therefore have put them back.  In the process, a very nice mason's mark was found on one of them.

Richard works on the shelling stone nut.
 Much of the work that has gone on has been the restoration of the shelling stones.  The steel sandwich has been completed, and the taper refitted to the shaft using new wooden wedges.  While I was away, the shaft was refitted, the top bearing built up, and the runner stone replaced so the stone could turn again.

The position of the wedge was carefully adjusted to ensure the gear teeth engage accurately.  There was then a lot of work to do to make the fork that is supposed to disengage the stone nut work again, as the position of everything has changed.  There were also some brackets made to clamp to the shaft.  The lower ones are to stop the taper dropping down the shaft as the wedges shrink, and the upper ones are to stop the taper lifting when the stone nut is lifted - the stiction between the two is often enough to do this.

The only other thing of note was that a "Trust marketing compatible" flour label has been designed.  A straw poll of everyone we could find gave a 19:1 vote in favour of retaining the old one, though we will learn from a couple of items we haven't put on the old one.