Before we chocked the wheel to work above it, Headley checked the dimensions for the splints needed to strengthen three of the spokes. Now the wheel is complete it is easy to turn it to any position and it stays where it is stopped. It used to take four of us swinging on the outside to turn it with a fifth team member poised to insert a beam through the spokes to hold it when we got it to where we wanted it.
Once Headley had taken his measurements Martin and Dave erected a platform above the wheel to work from. They used this to insert a lintel into the opening that takes the wheel shaft into the mill. The outer face of this opening has a brick arch but the inner brickwork had no visible means of support. The inserted lintel has corrected this and left the visible arch untouched. A timber fillet matching the other windows will conceal the lintel and also deflect spray away from the inside of the mill (we hope).
Dave and Max worked around the hayloft steps, Max at the top completing the brick paving of the platform and Dave at the bottom repairing the corner of the building. Their day was made harder because the borrowed cement mixer has gone back to its owner for a few days and they had to mix lime mortar by hand. The photos were taken at the end of the day and the platform is finished. The corner of the barn will take a little longer but it’s getting there.
Derek lit a small bonfire and spent the day clearing weeds from ground by the return road and adding them to the fire. This area is obviously fertile and produces a fine crop of thistles and dandelions. We have to decide how we are going to treat this ground to minimise the amount of maintenance required to keep it tidy.
A small but satisfying job that was tackled on this quiet day was the straightening of the PTO shaft. The section of the shaft nearest the barn was twisted and slightly bent at the bearing journal, presumably when something jammed in the works. Headley wielded his oxy-acetylene torch to heat the journal to a good red heat and Richard provided the torque to take the twist out. A bit more heat and the application of a lump hammer then got rid of the slight bend. Job done, one more step on the way to get everything working.
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