2021 Restoration Update 7

– We continue to wait for the Department of Public Works in Pretoria to sign off their approval to go ahead with repair of the masonry of Mostert’s Mill. But meanwhile we are progressing well with re-building the wooden internals, for which we have permission from Heritage Western Cape.

The Cap Frame

Here you can see the progress being made by Jon Stevens at Floorscape on the Cap Frame, which will support the Windshaft. The end of the Windshaft carrying the four sails will pass through the central upright hole on the far side of the Frame, where a granite bearing will support the Windshaft.

At the near end, just in front of the upright structure, is a slot which will hold a granite tail bearing, as shown in the photo at left. And the near upright structure itself contains a window and two storm shutters, also close to completion as in the photo below.
Jon’s skill in turning some old beams into a work of art is most impressive!


Long Stretcher

The longest piece of timber at the Mill, at over 12 metres, is the Long Stretcher. This is part of the collection of green-painted beams that enable the Cap to be turned so that the sails face the wind. Here (below) Sarel van der Merwe is transporting the Long Stretcher from Grabouw to Maitland, using three piles of pallets to keep it well away from other traffic. Two halves of a roof support ring are also visible – you can see them installed on the first Cap Frame photo above.

The Curb Ring and Cap Circle

Here is a carefully shaped, bolted and glued lap joint in the Cap circle, which rotates inside the curb ring. The bolt hole plugs and excess glue will be ground away to be flush with the wood surface.
The photo below shows Mike Sutten’s team at Solid Engineering in Grabouw working on that Cap circle, with the curb ring set aside. Each of the two rings is made to be separated into two halves for transport. You can see part of a steel strap, painted green and attached to the curb ring for extra strength. This steel strap was recovered from the embers of Mostert’s Mill after the fire. (The curb ring looks much bigger than the Cap circle, but that’s only because it’s closer to the camera).

Mike is going ahead with making the Brake Wheel and Lantern Pinion, and we expect to have some impressive photos of that progress in your next Update. Meanwhile here is a photo of part of the old Brake Wheel being sanded smooth shortly before last April’s fire, to give you an idea of its size.


Yours sincerely – the Mostert’s Mill Restoration Team