We found the answers to two questions today and it took a fair amount of effort.
Colin, Jim, John N and Richard worked hard to remove the stone spindle from the downstream mill-stones.
The wedges round the top bearing came out with less trouble than we expected and that bearing seemed sufficiently worn to justify the work of removing the spindle entirely.
We had to remove the stone nut hoist and support the stone nut itself with rope to give ourselves room to swing the spindle out of the bottom bearing. The spindle could then be dropped down out of the bedstone and then carried into the workshop for inspection.
So the answer to the first of our questions, did we need to remove the stone spindle? The answer is a resounding yes. The top bearing is worn but just about serviceable but the bottom bearing is in a bit of a state.
We were expecting the bottom of the spindle to be domed but as you can see in the picture it is almost flat. This has cut into the bronze cup to such an extent that the shoulder of the spindle has started to wear down the top of the cup. We will have to find some way of repairing this bearing before we can put it back.
Other team members on site today included John D, Finton, Jonathan, Kim (briefly) and Tony. Kim's brief visit raised our second question - How many Dibnahs does it take to plant a tree?
Kim had brought a fir tree that a neighbour no longer wanted, a nice big tree with the roots intact. A spot was identified and a large hole dug.
At that point the call went out for helpers to lift the tree from the trailer and into the hole.
So we got to our answer, six Dibnahs. That is one to shovel in the soil, two to hold the tree upright, one more to tell them if it was upright, another one to make sarcastic comments and a final one to take the photograph.
Joking aside it is a nice tree, about ten feet tall, and we are hopeful will take well.
Apart from the tree planting diversion, Jonathan worked to repair the front steps while John and Finton did some more pointing. All in all it was a good day.
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