The good news is that the chute is moving back and forth and grain flows! It remains to be seen how wet the grain can be at the present inclination and whether the angle must be tilted further. But I’m getting ahead of myself!
In the last report, I was still looking for some Oregon planking to cover the metal of the chute with. On the same day I bought some fascia which would have worked, but was too thick and I don’t have a thicknesser; however on a call-out to a broken tractor, I found myself standing next to two planks, just what I needed, about to be used for concrete shuttering! They were quickly loaded and it didn’t take long to cover the metal trough and glue and tack the whole lot together. The upper end also got an end-stop.
With exposure to the Phoenix Mill in Grahamstown this week, the contents of which has been bought by the Sandstone Heritage Trust, I decided that it was possibly not necessary to suspend the trough on hinges and steel straps, but perhaps on strips of spring steel. For the meantime, I decided to use rope from the rafters at the top end and from the lifting beams at the lower end. The unequal lengths of the suspenders might also introuduce a whip which can only be an advantage.
At this stage, the top end is under the original outlet. If it’s not necessary to cut any of this off, I won’t. If I find the grain won’t flow, after conditioning, at this angle, I will first experiment at steeper angles and decide about cutting the upper chute back.
I still needed to attach the bell-crank assembly to the upright of the grain cleaner, having brought the correct fixings. Then the links could be joined up and the output connected to the base of the chute. By the time it was all connected up, the chute was agitating longitudinally nicely, with about a 20mm stroke. I tried a handful of grain out, but it will need further experimentation. The results are pleasing so far!
The vertical shaft of the bell-crank can be seen on the left hand leg of the grain cleaner. The bottom arm goes around the corner and is connected to the cradle of the cleaner; the top arm faces toward the top red pulley. Hinged on the end of that is a link, connected to the underside of the trough.
Then I trimmed a galvanised steel plate which was cut during the week to close over the gap to the grain cleaner. I did some measuring on the wooden plug I intend to use to block the chute for the Stamford. As the block and plate are set below, the grain will go to the Vitruvian Mill to the right.
The spout on the left, for the grain cleaner, is blocked with a new galvanised plate. That’s how it was before; this just fits better for the widened top end. The wooden plug is in the chute for the Stamford Mill. This will need some dressing, but it will work. Grain will be deflected by both of these devices to the right; the feed to the Vitruvian Mill.
There was a big north-westerly storm during the preceding week and it did some damage to the launder. Not serious, it really just needed to be pulled up level, and there are some new pin-hole leaks. If it hadn’t been for the wooden sides oom Manie Muller told me to fit, the damage would have been severe!
During the morning, I was privileged to have a visit from Uncle Doug Moodie, with his son Alastair. I have a rare Turner Diesel engine which originally came from his farm as well as their old International Harvester RD6 stand-by generating set.
Uncle Doug has lived through very nearly half of this 200 year old Mill’s history! He also asked after Joanna Marx, the lady who introduced me to this Mill in the first place!
I also had a visit from Gavin and Helen Chandler, who are involved in the Reichenau Mill restoration. Gavin downplayed his involvement, but I have it on good authority that without his input, the project would never have got off the ground!
All this time the Mill was operating, and several other visitors came and were suitably impressed!
16th May 2010