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Water Mill Blog -  No Jokes
1st April 2008

It might have been April Fool's Day today but this water mill blog is a joke free zone this year.

Jonathan returned to the team this morning having successfully given his daughter away at Easter. He took up his bricklaying trowel and did sterling work repairing brickwork in the North wall of the stable.

John investigated the South wall of the stable overlooking the courtyard and Bird Barn. There has been a roughly bricked up alcove between the two doors that seems to have had a water tap at some time in the past.

He found that the brickwork was either rotten or completely missing and a sizeable section of wall was ready to collapse. Some speedy bricklaying and the use of a trench jack (like a very short acroprop) has stabilised the wall and he will be able to complete the repair in the next couple of sessions.

Kim was only able to stay for the morning but did manage to partially glaze another window. He was slowed down by an excess of old putty that had not been cleaned off the frame while it was in the workshop.

Martyn took the section of PTO shaft to a machine shop this morning, having built up the worn journal with layers of weld. He arrived at the mill around midday with the the finished article nicely turned to size.

Colin spent the morning finishing the mortices in the hurst post repair and once Martyn arrived these could be checked for fit. After all these are not pieces of timber that can be picked up in one hand and trial fits are definitely a two man job.

The joints proved to be a little bit tight but we are lucky to have an old shipwrights draw-knife that proved to be very good for cleaning up the sides of the mortices. This draw-knife was one of a number of tools willed to the mill that had been originally owned by a shipwright who worked in the Dumbarton yards at the time the Cutty Sark was built. Who knows, we may have used a tool to shape hurst timbers that had been used to build the famous clipper ship.

The jackdaws have continued to try and build a nest inside the stable and have been seen posting long twigs through the ventilation holes in the brickwork. Sadly, the twigs then fall to the floor rather than staying on the ledge where the jackdaws want them. At least Derek had plenty of twigs to start his bonfire with today.

Sadly there are no pictures today as the photographer managed to spoil every shot by getting the focus setting wrong. Maybe it was All Fool's Day after all.

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