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There is a chaff cutter in the stable loft and we need to move it to repair the floor underneath it. As work in the mill has stopped at the request of the planning authority the stable barn has moved up the priority list.
It was a day for keeping active with a hard frost overnight that coated everything with hoar frost. By the time we all decided enough was enough the light was beginning to fade and the hoar frost had not melted on the north facing roofs.
There were two bricklayers today, John working on the retaining wall below the mill and Max repairing the brickwork around the second stable door. Max's work is protected from the frost once the doors are shut but John is just having to keep his fingers crossed and putting his faith in the mortar plasticiser that is supposed to protect the mortar from frost while it is setting.
Headley, Dick, Dave, Richard and Martyn (who arrived at lunchtime) spent most of the day examining the stable loft. We put some lights up there for the first time and had our first good look. We already knew that the floor was suspect but not the full extent of the problem.
Where the roof used to leak the floor has rotted through but there are large areas that are still sound. This is good news because we will be able to recover the sound floor boards and use them in the mill.
Before we can replace the floor we need to move a couple of pieces of machinery, a root crusher and a chaff cutter. The root crusher is not a problem but the other machine is large and heavy.
As we want to restore it anyway we decided to dismantle the chaff cutter and take it out a piece at a time.
We haven't dated it yet but it is probably early 20th century and a solid piece of engineering that came apart quite easily. It used to be driven from the line shafting that brought power in to the stable loft from the waterwheel. This arrangement was superceded by an electic motor driving a shorter section of the line shaft.
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