You may have seen this imposing building during your travels in the Great Haseley area of Oxfordshire. Sadly, it has fallen into neglect and the years have taken their toll. A major restoration project is now underway, aiming to return this historic building to its former glory. Follow the progress of the restoration in our blog....

The Restoration Team

Thursday, 24 October 2013

A long overdue update

Hello again. Well, lifting the cap onto the mill already seems like a long time ago and the summer has been well spent. Work-wise, we were away for a while, painting the sails of Danzey Green windmill, at Avoncroft Museum, Bromsgrove. Back at Great Haseley, we have spent some time setting up the drive gear from the fantail, so that the cap will turn into wind. A few teething problems, mainly due to lack of space, but we are getting there. Also, we have made lots of progress building the brake wheel. This is the large gear which is fixed to the windshaft, and has a brake around its outside rim, hence the name.

Here, the segments of the brake wheel have been cut and joined together.

The next step was to mark out the 90 mortices, into which we would fit the cogs. These were very deep mortices, tapering and at a slight angle. Not easy.

Here we are with the cogs driven in, and by now the segments of the wheel have been bolted together.

Next, the 'clasp arms' were fitted, four on each face of the wheel. These will box around a square portion of the windshaft, so that the brake wheel can be wedged solidly into place. In essence, the whole drive for the stones come from this interface, so it has to be strong and accurate. In this image, the four arms on the underside have already been fitted, and two on the upper face are in position. These two were the only salvageable originals, and even they are a bit wormy - we shall see!....

Once complete, there was just the trivial task of taking it all to bits again, taking the pieces to the mill and rebuilding it in position around the windshaft. Unfortunately levitation is not one of our skills, so the last step was a bit awkward.

Clasp arms wedged into place

and the wheel built around them.

It will take some time to fine tune the position of the brake wheel on the windshaft, and the position of the wallower (the horizontal gear with which it meshes). It also looks like the brake wheel cogs will have to be shaped slightly, to get a perfect mesh. So, we are getting there, but slowly.

PS. Other news; we have just taken delivery of timber for the sails. So that'll be more morticing then.......