Motorising the Grain Mill


Judie has experimented a lot with bread making over the past year and now that Michael is helping to get the wood fired oven project done I wanted to get onto the grain grinder motorisation project that has been sitting on my to-do list for the past year.

The cast iron wheel on our Country Living Grain Mill has a V grove that can allow the mill to be belt driven. The company that makes the mills does produce a motor that can drive it but it is well out of our price range so we have decided to build our own system using a small drill press.

I got the idea when a hardware catalogue arrived in the mail advertising drill presses for $100. I paid less then $100 for my drill over 15 years ago and seemed like the perfect fit for the job.

The grain mill needs to be turned at around one revolution per second so that it doesn’t get hot which the manufactures say can destroy some of the nutrients in the grains. The gearing block in the drill reduces the drills motor speed part of the way with an engine belt that I got from Supercheap Auto dropping it the rest of the way as it wraps around the mills large cast iron wheel.

I started by stripping the drill press of everything that was not needed for the project. There was nothing complicated in this and all the parts came away easily. I removed the base plate and a pin at the top that held the drill column in place and then pushed the column through the mounting block and attached it with some 40mm fencing clamps to a frame made out of scrap steel pipes.

Be very careful with the drills wiring, it is high voltage and you need to make sure that the insulation covers don’t come off the connections. There were also two earthing wires screwed into the cast iron mounting block which I made sure I reconnected when fitting everything back together again.

You shouldn’t turn the mill wheel without grain in it as this will rub the plates together and damage them so I fully unwound the springs for testing. This meant that the wheel on the mill spun freely without resistance.

When all connected up the mill turned at two revolutions per second with no load. I believe that once the mill is tightened up again and has grain added that this will slow down to less then a rev a second.

I need to get a few more clamps to finish this so I will add more photos when it’s finished.


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