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APPLE JACK:  A local name for fermented apple juice (aka- Stone Fence)

ATTRITION MILL:  A mill that grinds grain by the rubbing of two corrugated disks traveling in opposite directions.  A transition between stone buhrs and hammer mill.

BEDSTONE:  The lower stone, which is stationary, of a pair of millstones.

BRAN:  The outer layer (skin) of wheat, rye or oats, separated by grinding.

BREAK:  Any one of the roller mill processes by which the grain is made into flour.  The first break begins the process, followed by the second and as many as the mill has.

BREAST WHEEL:  The water reaches the buckets at about the middle of the wheel.  Wheel is turned by the impact of the water and its weight.

BURRS:  Millstones.

BUHRSTONE MILL:  An old grist mill using burrs or millstones for grinding.

CAPSTONE:  Another name for the runner stone.

CARDING MILL:  Machines used to clean, separate and process wool.

CHOPPING:  The grinding of a mixture of grains.

CONDITIONING:  The wetting of the grain to prepare it for grinding by toughening the bran and mellowing the floury part of the grain.  OR Tempering.

CORN CUTTER:  A machine in the mill to cut grains of corn for poultry feed.  

DAMSEL:  A device which agitates the hopper, as the upper millstone revolves, so that the grain is shaken down into the stone for grinding.

DRESS:  To true the surface of a millstone and cut lines in it in order to improve the stone's grinding capacity.

DRESSING MILL STONES:  Sharpening and leveling the stones with metal picks and chisels.

ELEVATOR.  An endless belt with cups used to transport grain or flour in the mill.

FLUME:  An artificial channel used to convey water from the milldam to a mill; may be a wooden trough or pipe.

FLUTTER WHEEL:  An undershot wheel with a series of long paddles connected to arms radiating from a shaft.  Requires a substantial water supply, with a swift stream.  

FULLING:  The process whereby woolen cloth is cleaned, shrunken and felted to give it the desired texture and consistency.

GRIST:  The quantity of grain taken to a mill by a farmer to be processed/ground.

GRIST MILL:  A mill used to grind grain for flour or animal food using a water wheel and millstones.

MERCHANT MILL:  A mill that purchases and grinds grain into flour or grain products for commercial use.

MIDDLINGS:  Coarse bits of the floury part of the wheat grain, small bits of bran may still be present; used for animal feed.

MILLRACE:  A ditch trough, or pipe made of earth, wood, or iron that conveys the water from the dam to the mill.

MILL ROOM:  An office in the old grist mill.

MILL STONES:  Stones used in grinding grain.

MILL WRIGHT:  A craftsman with a knowledge of mills and mill equipment, its construction and installation.

OVERSHOT WHEEL:  The water reaches the buckets at the top of the wheel by means of a flume.  The weight of the water turns the wheel forward.

POWDER MILL:  Was used for grinding soft rocks for use in manufacture of paints/plaster.

PURIFIER:  Machinery used to separate flour from middlings by passing a current of air through a moving sieve to assist in the separation.

QUERN:  A primitive hand mill used for grinding.

SIEVE:  To separate the coarse bran from flour.  Hand sieves were used in early grist mills to sift cornmeal and take the hulls out of buckwheat flour.

SIFTER:  A bolter, especially one in which horizontal sieves are used, as distinguished from a centrifugal.

STILL:  A distillery.

STONES (burrs, buhrs):  A set of millstones used to grind grain.

RUNNER STONE:  The upper (rotating) stone or buhr of a pair of millstones.

TAILINGS:  The material that is left after the flour is sifted through the bolter or sieve.

TAILRACE:  The channel for water to flow back to the stream after passing through the waterwheel or turbine.

TEMPERING:  Wetting the grain by toughening the bran and mellowing the floury part of the grain.

TRUNK:  A wooden trough to carry the water to the waterwheel.

TURBINE:  A horizontal water wheel with vanes; the water runs through the vanes, causing the wheel to turn.  Has greater power and efficiency than the water wheel.

UNDERSHOT WHEEL:  The water reaches the buckets near the bottom of the wheel,  Only the impact of the water turns the water wheel and it moves backward.  Undershot wheel used where the fall of water is insufficient for the more efficient overshot or breast wheel.

WATER HOUSE:  A structure that holds the water around the water wheel or turbine.

WATER WHEEL:  A hydro-power system; a system for power from a flow of water.
Most common use of the water wheel was to mill flour; other uses were foundry work and pounding linen for use in paper.  The wheel is large, typically made of wood, with a number of blades/buckets that are arranged on the outside rim forming the driving surface.  The wheel is mounted vertically on a horizontal axle.  Water wheels came in two basic forms-- undershot and overshot.  Sometimes the early water wheels were enclosed inside a building or under a roof for protection from snow and ice.


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This page was last updated on:   02/16/2009

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