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Watermill Blog -  Re-assembly
29th April 2008

Martyn, Colin, John, Max, Headley and Derek where joined later in the day by Richard and then Jonathan.

ground beam repair

Derek continued the never ending gardening jobs, clearing rotten stubs and ground ivy from the bank to the north of the mill.

The grass seed that we put down last autumn is coming up well but so are the weeds!

Inside the mill we have started to tackle the re-assembly of the hurst. The ground beam under the inner upstream hurst post has been repaired and now takes it share of the weight. You can just make out the end wall of the gear pit that John added the last course of bricks to in the morning.

Next we inserted the hurst cross beam that ultimately support the centre post. With this beam back in place we could remove the props and jacks that have been supporting the centre post beam. In turn this enabled Jonathan to complete the brickwork beneath the opening to the waterwheel.

re-asembling the hurst

The next timber to go back is called the bridge tree. This beam support the spindle that carries and turns the runner stone.

Putting the tree back in was fairly easy compared with inserting the stone nut and its spindle. No particular technical problems, just the sheer weight of iron that has to be manouvered into a confined space.

Step one was to support the cast iron stone nut from its own hoist. We still need to repair the lifting chains so we made do with some strong rope.

re-fitting the stone nut

Next, the spindle was handed through and slid up through the stone nut and then the bearing in the bedstone. A short rest was taken at this stage.

The cup bearing was then slid under the bottom of the spindle and lined up with the bolt holes in the cross tree. The original bolts where in good condition so we have re-used them.

While most of this was going on Richard was trying to remember how to repair the fine glazing bars on the front casement windows that he started to repair weeks ago. Progress was slow because he kept on breaking off to see what was going on inside the mill.

Headley also spent some time in the workshop cleaning up the bevel gear for the PTO shaft, but he was also drawn to the work inside the mill.

The local wildlife seems to be OK. The moorhens are still on the nest and so is the grey wagtail. We still haven't seen the aquatic life that seems to be colonising the pond, but there is definitely something living in the water.

This is the last watermill blog for April and it is good to be able to report on today's progress. This re-assembly session is a major step towards the day when we can try and turn the machinery with water power. We are not there yet, but it is much easier to believe that is going to happen now.

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