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Compagnes Drift Mill

Update for 19th January 2008

The brief at the moment is to get the Mill ready for the Open Days in two weeks time. This includes making the most of the area of the water wheel itself. The invitation includes this image:



That digitally enhanced red input pulley made me realise that I could make some improvements, so I set to with the cup brush on the small angle grinder, as well as a strip of emery tape. Anyone who has restored a spoked wheel will know how much work is involved! There's always a patch you haven't polished, primed or painted! Anyway, now it looks like this:


That's a faithful reproduction of how I found it. Red where it was red, and Iscor Black where that had been used before. I didn't paint the outside of the pulley, I don't want the belt slipping off when it stays on, somehow, at the moment! With the pulley done, the upturned chassis which supports it was looking shabby, so that also got a lick of Iscor Black.

While I was waiting for the primer to dry, I got the hose out and washed the inner surface of all the planks on the water wheel, scratching out the dirt which had accumulated between the planks while the rest were being stripped. The day was fine, the planks dried nicely and I got stuck in and applied another coat of Iscor Black to the inner faces of the planks, the grooves between them and the end-grain on the wall side. I had previously applied a coat to the outer ends when I painted the shrouds a few weeks ago. There are still areas unpainted on the shrouds facing the wall which I would have painted today, but as the tail-race still has to be dug out, it meant standing in a puddle! So now, the general impression from this side is much better:


Between jobs outside, I managed to clear up inside quite a lot. I had decided to put the old planks from the wheel away upstairs for the day that Keith has the opportunity to make something out of them. The wood is rock hard and deep red, but so old that there is no tell-tale aroma when machining to give a clue as to what it is. This cleared out the corner where the basin is standing temporarily, so I made a bracket for that, which can be built into the uprights somehow:


The planks were stacked on end in the corner on the left here. After a bit more tidying and sweeping out, I reckoned I'd done enough of my brief!
To have got so much done meant that there were no distractions, no visitors and I didn't do any milling. However, all day, I was being watched by this:


Now.... Jayne, my wife Pippa and I recently watched Guillermo del Toro's 2006 film Pan's Labyrinth recently, and I leave anybody who has seen the film to decide what this is......

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