Icicles mark the end of summer

Icicles on the sluice box signal an end to the warm, comfortable working days. This Thursday we were again joined by Doug, our visitor from Australia, who spent the day cleaning mortar off old bricks. John will have plenty of bricks to lay when he gets back from his holiday.

Headley finalised the splint that he has been working on and we checked all the other spokes to see if more are needed. Close inspection reveals that all six spokes on the mill side of the wheel are cracked, but three have already been splinted. Because of the shape of the spokes each crack needs two splints so we need six mild steel splints, each 22 inches long ½ inch thick and 2 inches wide. Please contact us if you can help.

Max, Colin and Martyn worked inside the mill building which was probably colder than outside for most of the day, although free of icicles. They started to check the bearings at each end of the vertical centre post. The top bearing came out after a short struggle and showed a fair amount of wear as expected. The wear was uneven, though, with the bearing surface having become tapered.

The bottom bearing was more of a challenge. The whole centre post had to be raised, so the top of the post was temporarily braced so that it could move vertically but not topple. Safe jacking points were identified and the post lifted about three inches. The bearing block is deeply embedded in the beam and defied most of our attempts to get it out. By the time the light was fading we had established that it would be possible to remove it, but decided to leave it until next time.

Sunny Lunch Break

These notes might give the impression that we spend all day working, but we do take breaks, and this Thursday we were joined by a couple of other MAC members and enjoyed a great picnic lunch in the November sunshine

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