Mostert’s Mill

+27 (0)82 771 6480
Rhodes Ave, Mowbray, Cape Town

2023 Restoration Update 13

Windshaft

In the last update (#12) we told you that the windshaft is complete and ready to be inserted through the hatch in the thatched cap, using a large mobile crane.  If the windshaft were to be suspended in the middle, it would not be possible to get the shaft more than half way into the cap.  So the shaft has to have heavy weights at the outer end, to move its centre of gravity close to that end.

The heavy weights are one of the two sail stocks with its latticework, and a plastic bin partly filled with water until the balance is just right.  In the first photo you can see the windshaft being prepared for the crane lift, with the sail stock and its latticework already inserted through a mortise (square hole) in the windshaft.

The next photo shows the windshaft suspended above the threshing floor.  The water bin has been added, and the suspension point (vertical cable) is now nearly at the outermost end of the windshaft.  The building in the background was De Meule, and was almost destroyed by the same April 2021 fire that engulfed Mostert’s Mill.

The following photo  [credit: Irene McCullagh Photography]shows the windshaft almost fully inserted into the cap.  The next step was to lift the second sail stock with lattices on only half of it, and lowering it through the second mortise on the windshaft.  The photo below shows this step after completion.  The remaining lattice work can be completed only afterwards because it clearly wouldn’t fit through the hole.  The ends of the horizontal sailstock have to be tied down, because the whole set of sails is unbalanced and would swing around by half a turn if it could.  This would make the addition of the remaining lattice difficult.

Internal fittings

The cut-away sketch shows the first and second floors of the Mill.  The red structure in the middle Is where the wheat is fed to the two millstones, and you can see a square base and two rings at the top and bottom of a cylindrical casing.  The remaining two photographs show these items, the square  base and the two rings, being made by Charel Rossouw and Juan Blom in Grabouw.

Kimon Mamacos of Sentinel Timbers in Hout Bay is still busy with the beams and flooring of the two wooden floors, and meanwhile in the Netherlands, two refurbished millstones and a set of canvas sail cloths have been bought for us from the money raised by crowdfunding in Europe with the help of Sven Verbeek, a Dutch miller who has been of tremendous help to our Restoration project.  Those items are on their way by ship to Cape Town, and we hope that they clear quickly through customs.

For detailed information on the whole restoration process, please visit https://mostertsmillafterthefire.blogspot.com/?view=magazine compiled by Andy Selfe.

Yours sincerely – the Mostert’s Mill Restoration Team