Monday, January 26, 2009


In the summer of 1998 Tom and I went on vacation to northern Virginia and Washington, DC. While in northern Virginia, we visited an old mill. I could tell that Tom was fascinated by all of the machinery and took great interest in seeing just how the mill worked. I am sure that visit to the mill is what sparked him to suggest that we build a mill for our contest entry.....because we had decided to enter the HBS contest again. Most of the spare time in the fall was taken up by our planning and building the grist mill. We used nails in a jar of vinegar (which took a couple of weeks to develop into the aging liquid that I used on the mill) .Meanwhile Tom was building the basic structure of the building. HBS had again selected the roomboxes for the contest and this time we used the single box with another single on top for the second floor. We built the mill floors and Tom worked on the mill wheel and spillway. Eventually, we got around to making the millpond....our first experience with two part resin and we were pleased with the results.

While Tom was making all of the gears and cogs, I was aging the mill structure and then I started to do the landscaping. I have to say that Tom was very precise in making the machinery that made the mill run. All of the systems actually worked. There was an electrical switch in the back of the first floor and when that was turned on, the mill wheel turned, the cogs on the first floor turned and the millstone on the second floor actually turned. Of course, it didn't really grind the flour, but then again, we didn't actually try to see if the millstones would grind. I would not be surprised if they did. Now for some pictures of our mill.As a postscript I have to write that once again I received a phone call at the office telling me that Tom and I had won the 1998 Grand Prize. I was thrilled, of course and enjoyed all of the treasures and supplies that the winnings provided. We haven't tried to enter the contest since and I do wonder if we could actually find the right inspiration for another try at that wonderful contest. To those who recently won the latest contest, I salute you. I know how exciting it can be!!

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