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Watermill Blog - Cat Flaps
17th January 2008

It was a slightly depleted team that met this Thursday, but we did get some useful work done.

John dodged the showers and managed to lay the last few brick needed to finish the wall he has been working on for many weeks. With more rain threatening to wash the mortar away he covered his work with plastic bags before the webmaster got there with a camera, so the pictures will appear next week.

Max and Headley had a good day; out of the weather in the top of the mill repairing the floor. This was already a patchwork of repairs but we resisted the temptation to tear it all up and start again and just repaired the patches. This meant that the two of them made many trips up and down the steps to cut boards to the exact size and shape to match what was there before. They seemed happy with progress by the end of the day.

cat flaps

Colin and Richard intended to work on the hay-loft floor but got side-tracked by the hay-loft door. This door always sticks on the brick sill and is difficult to open and shut.

As we have found in so many places, there is signs of damage by roots.

In this case the roots got between the door frame and the brickwork and forced them apart, which is part of the reason the door sticks. We removed all the roots and then persuaded the door frame to return to its former position. It's amazing how much persuading can be done with a twelve pound sledgehammer.

Once the door frame was back in place the door still stuck slightly, mostly on the tie bar that runs across the building immediatley below the door. Removing the tie bar didn't seem like a good idea and trimming the bottom of the door seemed like vandalism so we did the same thing as whoever adjusted the door before us and packed the hinges. It shuts properly now.

Spending this much time fixing one door means that we get a really good look at it. We noticed two neatly shaped holes, one filled in and the other still there. The smaller one is about a foot off the floor in the middle of the door, very well cut out and filled in again later. (the grain on the plug doesn't match the surrounding plank). The second is larger, in the bottom corner of the door.

Presumably the farm mouser did its job so well it needed a bigger cat-flap!

While all this was going on Dick worked on the chaff cutter, cleaning up parts ready for repainting and doing some more dismantling to make the restoration easier. Once again he went home at the end of the day with a boot-load of parts to work on at home.

Dave joined us for lunch and checked on a few facts that he needed to put together some costings for the railing we are going to need around the walls. These railings are going to need Listed Building Consent because they are a change, so he is putting together everything we need for that application.

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