Modular Mill Maintenance: The Windmill Receives some TLC
Our volunteer millers recently noticed that the modular mill was sounding different and that the main drive shaft appeared to be sloping down on one side. Further inspections by Owslworth IJP millwrights revealed that one bearing had seriously deteriorated and was starting to break apart.
The phosphor bronze bearings act as a sleeve to support the drive shaft, that transfers the power to the cogs that turn the millstones, within the cast iron Hurst frame of the modular mill. We believe these are the original bearings so a lifespan of over 116 years is not bad!
The millwrights arranged for new bearings to be machined using the current bearings as sample models. When the new bearings were refitted we also needed to raise the millstones and clean them as they had not been used for regular milling while waiting for the repair of the bearings.
The cast iron grain hopper and vat were removed from the top of the modular mill revealing the millstones inside. The top runner stone was raised by manually levering it up and wedging wooden stepped chocks between the stones to hold the top stone up in position with enough room to brush and clean the inside surfaces of the stones.
Our millstones in the modular mill are made from French burrstones, which were traditionally made using cemented small sections of quartz from the Marne Valley in northern France, that enable production of finer flour.
Now that the mill is back in working order, the volunteer millers are eager to restart milling again and use our new flour bag designs.