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Washington's Gristmill: Vocabulary and Terms

Bedstone

Lower or stationary stone in a pair of mill stones.


Bolter

A machine used for separating meal into grades of flour.


Bran

The outer coating of a grain of wheat or corn.


Buhr or Burr

Millstones quarried in France and generally made up in separate pieces of freshwater quartz.


Draw knife

A two-handled knife used while seated on a shaving horse to shape wood into tool handles, barrel staves and wheel spikes. Used by coopers living at the gristmill.


Dress

The pattern of furrows in a millstone.


Dressing

The act of dressing (or cutting out the furrows) of a millstone.


Face Gear

A gear wheel with cogs mortised into it’s face and usually associated with the driving of lantern pinions.


Flour Chest

Receives the meal from the stones (also can be called Meal Bin).


Flume

The channel or canal which carries water from the millrace, via a control gate (sluice gate) to the water wheel.


Furrow

Channels cut in the grinding face of a millstone.


Gear

A wheel with teeth or rods made to fit together with other gears so that one gear’s turning causes the other gear to turn.


Greater Face Gear

The largest toothed gear in the mill. It is attached directly to the shaft of the waterwheel.


Gristmill

A mill used for the grinding of grains

Hopper

Tapered wooden container for grain, mounted above and feeding millstones.


Hopper Boy

Machine used to cool and dry hot meal received from the millstones through a raking motion. (Until Evans system installed in GW mill, this process done manually with a rake)

Horse

Or Horse frame, is the framing on top of the stone casing and supporting the hopper and shoe.


Hurst Frame

The large, heavy wooden frame, which contains all gears and shafts for driving and supporting millstones.


Lesser Face Gear

The smaller toothed gear that fits together with other gears to turn the grinding stones.


Merchant Mill

A large gristmill having trade over a wide area.


Mill Bill (mill Chisel)

The chisel used for dressing millstones.


Miller

The person who operates the mill.


Millpond

Area of water normally created by a dam and which serves as a reservoir for water to power the water wheel.


Millrace

The canal that carries water from the millpond to the mill.


Millstones

A pair of large round stones between which grain is ground. The turning of the top stone (runner stone) does the grinding, while the bottom stone, (bedstone) does not move.


Millwright

The person who designs, builds, and repairs a mill.


Runner Stone

The upper or moving stone in a pair of millstones.


Shoe

Tapered wooden trough, which is vibrated by damsel to feed grain evenly into millstones for grinding.


Tailrace

Channel which carries water from water wheel and back to stream.