Saturday, 9 August 2014

Update - 9 August 2014

It's been a while since we updated this Blog so here's what's been going on recently....

Since the sails were put on, the cap hasn't always been turning freely so it's been hard for the fantail to point the sails into the wind. To help the cap run more smoothly we have installed two skate bearings which greatly reduce the friction round the track below the cap.
Skate bearing
The cap was also distorting slightly when it turned, so we are aiming to stiffen it with metal girders. The girders were welded by Burwell firm N & G Marsh, and will be fitted in the next few weeks. They are very heavy and it will be quite a challenge for the Mill Team to lift them into place - they'll be hoisted through the trap doors used for taking sacks of grain to the top floor. That's the easy bit! Once the girders are on the top floor they will need to be installed in the cap. Easier said than done, but the Mill Team are confident they can meet the challenge.
Girders in the museum workshop in the process of being painted. You can get an idea of the size of the girders by comparing them to our ride-on lawn mower at the far end of the workshop.
 Waterproofing work on the cap is currently taking place (as you may have seen on the museum's Facebook page). This has involved hanging from the cap in a harness. Since the photo was taken a ladder has been purchased, which has been specially bent to the same curvature of the cap. It is hung from the finial and the person working on the waterproofing stands on the ladder but still wears a safety harness. This makes working much easier as tools can be hung on the ladder rungs. It is also more comfortable as the person's weight is not being taken by the harness the whole time! 
Waterproofing the cap