We spent most of this Tuesday working on the PTO shaft that takes power from the waterwheel into the other farm buildings. The section of shaft nearest the stables was covered with natural stone flags and the brick channel below these was quite well preserved even though it had filled with soil.
We managed to clean out the channel before it rained and found that the bottom of the channel was built with shaped bricks. We have not disturbed these, but the sides of the channel will need to be rebuilt.
The bearings in the middle of the shaft appear to be cast iron saddles running directly on the journal on the shaft and are badly worn. They were secured to wooden beams set in the ground but these have completely rotted away so guesswork will come into play again when we replace them.
At the bottom of the picture you can see a dark shape which is a hole through the roof of the bypass culvert. We suspect that it was vibration from the badly worn bearings that caused this damage. Two brave members of the team walked up the culvert and wedged plywood over the hole from underneath so that we could plug the hole with concrete.
While this was going on John was repairing the steps outside the front of the mill and Dave was clearing the area at the side of the mill with the JCB.
Towards the end of the day most of us supported Martyn as he built up the sides of the tailrace with brickwork. When I say ‘supported’ this consisted of keeping him supplied with bricks, mortar and advice with the emphasis on ‘advice’.
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