How the Mill Works

No. 13.
The Case Sifter

This sifter is what the mill uses for the first step in the separating process. Once the corn has been ground the buckets and elevators move the ground material into the sifter where the flaky bran and corn hulls are removed. This is done by the material moving across a cylinder covered with screen. The hulls are too big to fit into the holes of the screen. The cylinder spins around letting the corn meal and flour drop through while the hulls are pushed over and down a chute.

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No. 14.
The Cyclone Cleaner

The cyclone cleaner is used to catch the pieces of corn cob and corn stalk that may be in with the corn when it was brought into the mill from the fields. The grain would move across an area of large metal screens and drop down into a chute that leads to the storage bins. The water power from the mill would spin a set of wooden blades inside the cone shape. This would create a strong draft and suction that would remove dust, dirt, cob and stalks early in the storage process.

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No. 15.
The Old Stones

stone_parts.gif (83282 bytes)Inside this wooden case are the original stones that the mill used back in 1802. They are almost 2 tons in weight and are 48 inches wide. These stones are unique because of the way they are put together. The stones are pieced together like a puzzle to help form a round wheel. The pieces are from the ballast of some of the early ships that came here. There were no quarries then so they used the rock ballast to make the grinding stones. These stones are also made of granite. The stones are set in a horizontal position. The corn drops into the center and is ground up by the weight and motion of the top stone, the "runner", while the bottom stone remains stationary. The top stone is called the "runner" because it moves while the bottom stone is stationary.  These stones are able to grind 400 to 500 lbs of grain. The amount of corn that can enter the stones is controlled by what is called the shoe, which sits on top of the wooden case. As the stones grind at a constant level the vibration is also fairly constant. The vibration helps the shoe shake some corn down to the stone. A small rope on the shoe helps determine how much corn the shoe will drop into the stones. You can see the shaft that powers these stones in the floor below. The miller would check the degree of coarseness by moving the little door at the bottom of the stones base. The miller would open it, stick his hand in and squeeze it to see how much flour there was. He can adjust the stones to make it more or less coarse. Move stones close together and get finer flour, move apart and get coarse.

Sharpening the Stone


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