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Watermill Blog -  Chaff Cutter
21st February 2008

This watermill blog can report that team managed a couple of milestones today. Max finished repairing the top floor of the mill and Dick started re-assembling the chaff cutter.

finishing touches

Max fitted the last of the floor boards to the garner floor today.

A couple of small holes were repaired with sheet metal patches and are indistuingishable from old patches.

The picture shows Max fixing the edge of the metal bin lining to the new boards.

Max assures us that he has jumped up and down on all the planks and only replaced the ones that broke under his weight. We think he was joking about his test method but are happy that he has left as much original material undisturbed as is possible while making the floor safe to walk on.

Headley and Jonathan worked to release the PTO pulley from the end of the shaft. The last entry predicted four wedges would have to come out. It turns out that the four 'wedges' are actually keys and they have to be driven all the way out, they don't free off once they have moved a bit.

freeing the pulley

The whole object of releasing the pulley is to get it out of the way to enable repairs to be made to the brickwork of the pit it runs in. There is very little space to work round the pulley.

Headley applied heat and as much force as could be applied with a big hammer in a small space. A certain amount of verbal encouragement was also tried.

Eventually the four keys were removed and the pulley is now free to slide along the shaft. Lifting the pulley out of the pit will have to wait until next week as none of us had enough energy left to try and lift it today.

Richard made a start on constructing the sliding screen to go with the barred window. All the material is cut to size and all eighteen mortices for the mortice and tenon joints have been roughed out. Slow and steady will get there in the end.

chaff cutter re-assembly

Dick put the supporting frame for the chaff cutter together last week but the real re-assembly work started today.

The flywheel and cutting blades still need to be cleaned up and painted, but it will be much easier to do this with them supported in place.

Hopefully we will be able to power this machine from the waterwheel via the PTO shaft and flat belts, just as it was a century ago. We will have to put up some serious guards though, which certainly wasn't the case when the machine was first installed.

Only five of us on site today but we still got enough done to fill another watermill blog entry.

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