Homework for this week was lining the intermediate screen with the fibreglass mosquito netting which is slightly finer than the woven aluminium fly / mosquito net I’d used for the third stage.

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Starting from the centre, I glued the mesh to the longitudinal strip, then worked outwards along the curved parts, then across the two outer longitudinal strips, pulling it taut. Once that glue had dried, I trimmed the edges for a single fold, then applied glue to the remaining strip and folded that over and stapled.

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Unable to trace aluminium strip in small quantities, I had two strips of 1.6mm galvanised steel plate cut to the same dimensions, then drilled and countersunk them.

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From the outside, this is what it looks like:

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Our friends at Mostert’s Mill in Cape Town were in action on Saturday 4th December, and we were asked if we could help with some grain as their stocks had been found to be contaminated. We had a date for a meeting on the Steam Tug Alwyn Vintcent, so it was a good opportunity to pop in on the way and deliver half a bag. With no way of measuring half a bag by weight, we had to make do by volume.

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It was great to see all our old friends on their home turf. It was a pity there was so little wind, so they were using the opportunity to do maintenance, including raising their runner stone enough to vacuum out any traces of contaminated meal.

There was no more aluminium mesh in our village hardware shop by Friday, so I stopped in at the ‘Boeremark’ in Bot River, which is an experience on its own! They had ali mesh, but when I measured it up, it was the same weave as the fibreglass mesh I’d used for the medium screen. I will have to use it for another project. I fitted the newly lined screen to the machine:

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There would be no point attaching this new mesh to screen 3, so I milled away for most of the day, and entertained about four groups of visitors. Two groups had seen the Pasella programme on television. Our fame precedes us, it seems!

There was plenty of water, so I ran with the mill pond nearly overflowing the sluice gate. The choke point was clearly the outlet of the wooden launder over the wheel at the trap door. When I’d done enough milling to last a couple of weeks, I tackled the far edge of the opening in the wooden trough, chamfering the lower edge.

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There are metal strips between the longitudinal planks, so I had to change to the hacksaw blade when I got close to them, but the Scorpion saw was the right tool for the job!

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The flow of water is already considerably better; this was just testing with the overflow from the dam. The flat stone was necessary to prevent water passing over the opening in that corner. I hope I can now remove it.

The Korog (triticale) outside was ready for cutting, so I tried my hand with the sickle.

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The sheaf on the left I found in the Mill when I got there, it’s just re-bound in period twine rather than nasty orange plastic string; the scruffy sheaf on the right is my effort with the sickle!

In Report No 130, there was a picture of a machine at the Roller Mill at Kleinplasie. We were not sure of its purpose:

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Once again, Sir Joseph Lockwood has the answer in his book ‘Flour Milling’. It is a Disc Separator. He explains that the discs revolve partly buried in the mass of grain, picking out particles small enough to enter the pockets and discharging them into catch troughs between the discs on the downward-moving side. Figure 89 shows the cross section of (a) a wheat disc, which picks up wheat but rejects oats, barley, straws, etc. and (b) a seed disc.

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Andy Selfe

11th December 2010