MILLING – OLD and NEW
My first mill – a counter top cast aluminum jobby. It would take about 10 minutes of grinding by hand (there is handle on the large wheel behind the mill body) to produce about a pound of flour. Tiring and tedious. Notice the motor to the left center which I installed after a while. It took just about as long for a pound of flour but was a lot less exercise.
The mill is what is known as a burr mill. It has two steel plates, one with burrs which can be adjusted by the large round nut you see sticking out just above the flour.
This is an antique mill which was used for milling corn. It was left outside and you can see the termite damage that resulted. There are two granite stones in a typical stone mill. The one you see here is called the traveler. It is attached to the shaft and is spun by whatever powers the mill. That power is derived from and engine or motor attached to the flat belt you see on the left side of the photo. This mill was made in the late 1940’s by Meadows Mills in North Carolina. This same company made the modern mill I use today but more on that later. The traveler has two features of interest: the fields and the furrows. Notice that the furrows are deeper in the center and become shallower toward the circumference. When the mill is assembled, the shaft goes through a hole in the center of the bed stone (which does not move) and terminates in a bearing that has been removed in this photo. The bearing is surrounded by a casting that directs the grain to the spinning shaft. The spring on the shaft acts like an auger which shoves the grain to the center of the two stones. The traveler is spinning between 500 and 700 revolutions per minute so the centrifugal force on the grain is significant, moving it into the furrows and out toward the circumference of the stones. As it moves it is forced between the stones and made into flour which is flung outward to the sheet metal skirt that surrounds the stones and eventually out the spout (on the other side.)