Thursday, January 30, 2020

Pruning the Container Vineyard | January 2020

Now that its winter again, the vineyard has gone dormant. This is the perfect time to prune and take some cuttings before they come back to life, so let's get busy.

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Grain Mill Part 4 - Hopper

The next order of business for the grain mill was to construct a hopper to hold the pre-milled grain.  I decided on a one-piece folded design made from a scrap stainless steel trash can.
Here I am cutting out the flat pattern with aviation snips, and also punching holes in some of the corners.

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Grain Mill Part 3 - Assembly

Now that the rollers and housing have been completed, a few more articles need to be attended to before assembly can begin.  Firstly, we'll look at the handle.
I found this big cast iron handle at a garage sale for $2 which seemed like the perfect candidate for this build.  However, it needed a hole tapped in the side for a set screw to secure it to the fixed roller's shaft.

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Grain Mill Part 2 - Rollers

My selection of roller size was decided by the fact I had two identical scrap pieces of 3" diameter steel sitting around.  I thought it would finally be a good use for them.  What I failed to consider was that a larger roller would result in more force required to mill grain.  This is due to two factors:  The shorter lever arm between the end of the handle and milling surface, and the larger contact area from the increased radius of curvature.  This I wouldn't realize until the testing phase.
Design wise, one roller is fixed, and the other is movable to allow variable spacing for different sizes of grain, nuts, and so forth.  The fixed roller would require a longer shaft for attaching the driving handle.  For this reason, I decided to make the fixed roller in two pieces, while the movable roller has the shaft built in.  The fixed roller is secured to the bearings with set screw collars, while the movable roller is held by two 3/8"-16 bolts through either end.  This was another design flaw that I wouldn't realize until later when I found out the bearings for the movable roller weren't actual ball bearings and would seize up when tightened down.
We begin with the movable roller.  First turning one end, and roughing the diameter for the bearing.

Wednesday, January 8, 2020

Grain Mill Part 1 - Housing

We begin the grain mill build with the outer housing.  I decided to make this from some scrap pieces of 1/2" thick stainless steel.  Firstly, squaring up all the sides in the milling machine.
Next, I drilled screw and dowel holes in the side pieces.  The screw holes were drilled 9/32" to clear 1/4"-20 screws, and the dowels were reamed for 1/4" dowels.  The dowels ensure more precise alignment of the housing pieces.

Tuesday, January 7, 2020

5 Vegetables for 5 Gallon Bucket Container Gardens

Have you been looking to start a container garden, and have quite a bit of space to grow some vegetables? You may want to look into using 5 gallon buckets to grow some food. Being cheap and readily available, you can get your garden off the ground for next season with no trouble at all. Let's talk about setting up a 5 gallon container garden sand some crops to consider growing.