Monday, June 13, 2016

Sharpening Millstones

At one time thousands of grist mills operated with sets of two grinding stones.  They were obtained from England, then France, but could also be quarried in some locales (see below). The mill stones had to be sharpened periodically. 

A decade ago Mason Maddon, the miller at Colvin Run in Virginia, demonstrated the process of dressing mill stones as part of the Colvin Run Historic Mill Symposium.

The 'paint staff' is painted, 
then rubbed around the face of the mill stone (first photo) 

 leaving red paint on the uneven sections

Leaning against a sack of flour, the 'mill chisel' is constantly striking the stone

Moving the heavy stone

innumerable furrows in an intricate pattern

In an 1950 paper, "Old Millstones" a miller interviewed a man born in 1877 near Mt Airy, Pa, Lancaster Co. South Mountain range, one center for quarrying and cutting mill stones. HERE

SPOOM's Annotated books listing HERE

©2016 Patricia Bixler Reber
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