Adapting a grain mill to a treadle base is not that difficult to do and a wonderful solution if you can not turn the grain mill handle. Back in April, I rummied up my loose change and bought a grain mill. We chose a Grainmaker #99 model. We really liked it, except for one thing; I couldn’t grind it with my bad shoulder, even though we’d attached it to a piece of plywood and clamped it all to a table. So we decided to fix that.
I used to buy at auction, rehab and re-sell treadle sewing machines. I knew that I had a treadle with a heavy wheel in storage, so back in July, I retrieved it and started to work on it. It’s a heavy wheel because the wheel has a channel the belt rides in, but it also has a weighted outer rim. This is important because the weight puts more force on the wheel and helps it to rotate – grains are hard substances and you need all the help you can get!
I took the metal base to a place nearby for welding broken parts, sandblasting and powder coating. It came back gorgeous, with the exact same fire-engine red color as the mill.
Next, I bought a piece of plywood that had one finished side from the local lumber store. While I was out for surgery, I asked my dad, he of the magic carpentry skills, to cut it down and drill holes in it for the belt. I got this:
Then, I stained it with Cabot’s Australian Timber Oil – this is Jarrah Brown . (It’s my new favorite product!) I put two coats on and then took some butcher block wax and put a final coating on. The husband re-attached the board and the mill and we collectively put a new belt on.
Works like a charm, it’s ready to go!!!