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Stable Loft Flooring
Water Mill Blog 22nd November 2007

The water mill blog has an unusual occurrence to report today. Most of the team spent the day working on the stable loft floor and John didn't lay a single brick! We have to go back a long way to find the last time John didn't spend his time on site bricklaying.

The team was quite fluid today, with John, Max and Colin staying for part of the day and Dick, Headley, Kim and Richard sticking it out all day.

flywheel repair

Headley worked on the PTO flywheel, standing in the pit below the steps to the stable loft. The rim of the flywheel is cracked and Headley has made splints to fasten in place across the crack.

The flywheel also acts as a pulley for the flat belt drive to the line shaft taking power the length of the stable loft. This means that Headley must make the screws lie flush with the outside of the wheel. He seems happy with the challenge, so we are leaving him to it.

The chaff cutter that we started to dismantle last week has now been fully disassembled and carried down into the workshop. The heaviest piece was the drive shaft and flywheel assembly, complete with some vicious blades. This was carefully lowered out of a window on the end of a rope.

Slinging the rope over a handy beam was a task that generated a great deal of discussion and mirth but was eventually achieved. Once the flywheel was lowered the rope was removed again. It kept at least three of the team busy for nearly and hour. After it was all done the webmaster suggested that they do it all again so that he could take pictures for this water mill blog. You will probably notice that there isn't a photo of the operation.

metal tongue

Once the chaff cutter was out of the way we could get a good look at the floor. There is an area without floorboards at the east end of the loft and the most cursory of inspection identified at least one joist to be replaced.

To remove the damaged joist we needed to lift a couple of floorboards and this gave us another surprise. The boards are joined to each other with a steel tongue set into narrow grooves in the edges of the boards. You can see the metal tongue in the picture.

Dick had a bit of a shock as he was sawing through the first board to be removed as the sound of his saw hitting the metal strip was nasty, to say the least. The saw survived OK but we will approach these boards with caution from now on.

The joists are dovetail jointed into the beams and can only be removed by lifting them straight up. We will have to get some suitable timber and make the same joints to replace the bad one. Then we can put new boards down and have a nice sound floor that we don't have to watch where we are putting our feet!

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