October 15, 2013
Well its been almost a full year since we started this project. It has been one of the most fun, historic, educational thing we have done in a long time as a family.
We have learned sooooo much about American History, the Mills history and how much fun it is to run a historic mill.
We have learned so much on how "She" has her quircks. Like she cant be rushed. You have to easy your way up to full speed if you want her to keep her belts on! She will NOT be rushed...she will show you whos boss... :)
Every time we run it we learn more...kind of like dancing with a new guy/girl you have to learn how to move them.
AND the cornmeal and Grits that come out are the BEST things I have ever eat. They have FLAVOR! not like the stuff out of a box on some store shelf for who knows how long.
We could not have done this with out the help of Mason G. Maddox Jr., Miller of Colvin Run Mill, VA. who taught Pete and Chase so much on how to run/repair a historic Mill, John our welder in Cumberland Gap, TN, Kerry our neighbor for turning a new piece wood piece for the wood pully thing (Like that tech name?) and the kids - Chase, Mario and Tyler for all of their help putting new belts on, cleaning, greasing and running up and down the stairs to make sure the belts were still on..
We are almost 90% consistant with the running of the mill. We have one more thing to do and that is level the front of the bed stone about 1/4 of an inch so it will run flat all the way around and then we should have a more constant production of corn meal.
We hope you will come and see us soon! Thanks!!!!!
October 30, 2012
Well now that Pete has some training under his belt it is time to put it into action.
This is a long way from being a Commercial Aircraft Mechanic!! But he is going to LOVE it!
First thing is to clean it up and grease it.
Replace one rotten log outside and then fix a belt that Seiverville Co-op said they can do for us if we need them too. We will have to go over to Tazewell, TN to get our Food Grade corns, wheat and buckwheat's.
We will be grinding Real Grits, Corn Meal (white and yellow) wheat flour and Buckwheat flours. Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays only soon.
Now to start practicing with the corn meal! Yummy!
November 3, 2012
What a great day to start taking this apart! All of us are very excited - but not as excited as hubby!
They stared by taking off the top hopper then the shaker (oops sorry the horse) - the grain drops into this little shovel looking thing and is shaken into the stones and then the millers ring,
which is interesting....when they would bring the grain to be milled it would push some of the finished meal off the stone as it grinds and into the Millers ring - that was his share of the meal - he didn't tell the farmer he got - his tip you might say. Its a space about 3" that is between the stone and the outer ring. So when you clean out the mill and lift the millers ring off you have this nice packed ring of meal to keep or sale.
Another thing that surprised me was the size of the grinding stone..I always see the 4" x 5" thick stones...which I found out is the Dead stone that does not move on the bottom...the grinding stone that turns is about 18" thick. It was also topped off/sealed with plaster??? would like to find out why on that too.
Our mill also grinds "Clockwise" which is rare.
ANYWAY... We were very happy to see what kind of shape it is in.
DIRTY! hasn't ran since the 1940's and full of Hickory nut shells - if anyone knows why they would be grinding them I would love to know why.
At first we could not get it to turn and had to go down and adjust a couple of things and then Pete got the stone to rise at lest 2" and spin freely. The stones should never grind against each other. And if taken care of can last forever (these are over 174 yrs old). These stones came from England and would be the ballast for the big sailing ships. He said the stones both look really good.
(Just a little of the stuff found under stones)
So now is to figure out how to build a lift to take up the big stone (looks like about 600 lbs+) for cleaning and re level the dead stone, and to shore up the floor, because when they put in the duct work, the stupid fools cut the beams/floor joist under the floor to put in the ducts. Not smart all the way around! Quick and lazy...sorry I digress! upsets me when they destroy history/craftsmanship.
(Holes used to lift stone for cleaning ~ miller ring is that at the bottom of stone)
So we are going to get the metal poles (hubby calls them the stripper poles) and jack up the floor around the mill, which it was in need of anyway, know I know why...our local CO-OP said they can help with the belts. And we need to find fish friendly grease for wheel gears outside.
We are going to try to run it with the water we have, but if that is not enough we are going to repair the flume and pump the creek water over the top. Should make quite the sight!
Soooo - as it is, no big surprises, except the floor joist, but we have son-in-loves who are Master Carpenters and will have this fixed in a day.
So until next week (because he is not going to waste any time with this new project - :) ) ...
(was really hoping to find some dates, names ??)
November 15, 2012
Meet with welder to design the new "Stone Hoist" we have to
have to lift the stones to clean and grind the grains. First step
is to fix the floor joist. We will need a steel beam to fix the mess some
one made of the joist. Its like breaking the leg and not setting it!
Then we will have to cut a hole into the floor so the lift can go all the way
to the floor below the stones.
December 20, 2012
Well the steel is all here and ready to be turned into the stone hoist.
The Guys have been slowly jacking up the floor and reinforcing it while
they have been waiting. So maybe some time this next week we will
have it in.
January 15, 2013
New year with a great start. The cracked beams are fixed, the new support plates are in and looking good. The new post to hold the outside gear is ready to go in, IF we could get some dry weather for a day! New belts sizes are done and ready to order. Closer every day!!!!
January 21, 2013
Alot of work has gotten done now that it is not raining or snowing! New beltsare now on order, the gears are fianly realiened out side. The new beamis in place and the gear are all greeased!
Febuary 5, 2013
We should have water going to the sleuth sometime in the next few weeks! New pump, new stone hoist is almost all the way installed. Rain and snow holding things up again. Pete and Chase got the stones to turn using the water! First time in 75 years they have run here! July 28, 2013
We have Grits and Cornmeal!!!!
$5.00 for 2 lbs !
These are the best thing you will ever eat! Stop by on Saturdays or Sundays...