Work has been keeping me busy, so I haven’t even thought of posting. Now that I have a new position in the company and am no longer head of the Maintenance department and the sole Parts person I can post occasionally again. Yay!
Lately I’ve been keeping my eye out for a grain mill, one of those things that takes wheat and turns it into flour and things like that. I had been holding out for the Cadillac of grain mills, a Diamant D525. Turns out I really don’t like the thought of spending around $1000 on a mill, go figure. So, my next pick was a Quaker City F4, with a retail of around $250 for the base raw cast iron model, or a little more for the fancy TIN coated one that makes clean up easier. I just happened to be looking on E-bey for some blacksmithing stuff and saw a QC F4 for sale, $75 as is missing parts. The kicker was, it was the TIN coated fancy one. The ‘Buy It Now’ button was firmly smacked and it was in my mailbox a few days later.
It is in great shape except the missing clamp to hold it down and a few bolts and wingnuts. I contacted Quaker City about replacement parts, clamp $75 and bolts a few bucks apiece. Nope, not going to pay that price. I have a machine shop in the garage for goodness sake, no way I’m paying $75 for a damn C-clamp with a hole in it. Off I went to OSH and picked up a 4″ C-clamp, some STAINLESS bolts and wingnuts, and a can of semi-gloss black spray paint. Total cost, $12 freaking dollars.
Take a look, there is almost no wear on the grinding plates. And… they are metal plates. None of the stone ground, wear your teeth out eating fine rock crap for me. The light surface rust will go away with the first milling, I’ll run a small bit of wheat through it and toss the results from the first rough grind.
Ok, time to modify the C-Clamp. A little work with the hack saw, drill press, and belt sander was all it took. About 20 minutes total while listening to Pandora and this is the result.
Fits like a glove and holds the mill tight and true. Spray Bomb love made it look good.
Put it all together after a thorough bath in suds, bleach, and hot water and ended up with this beauty for under $90 and a little attention.
And for those of you who know me, no, I didn’t wait more than 10 minutes to see how well it worked. I’m really happy with it. The grinding plates are like brand new and haven’t even worn in the spacing bosses yet, so I expected some course flour. Turns out even with the ‘virgin’ plates it turned out really nice wheat flour that made some really good bread. A little more than 3 cups of flour took about 15 minutes since I was playing with the settings. Figure I could do it under 10 minutes once I get a feel for the mill.
Sorry, no pics of the bread. It and a can of Red Feather butter disappeared before I even thought about taking pics. 😉