OK, so I'm not the sharpest tool in the box, but even a blind squirrel finds an acorn now and then. And although I am an engineer - I am not a mechanical engineer and I'm not 100% confident when I try to innovate - especially when it comes to my (beloved) Diamant Mill.
So I'm putting this out to you-all because it seems like many of you do have that mechanical thinking ability that I lack.
I was cranking the mill the other day when it occured to me that the table that I have the thing bolted to has, as its base, the working treadle mechanism from a treadle sewing machine (told you I wasn't the sharpest tool in the box - only took me a couple of years to notice that...)
Now, this would allow me to grind with leg power (I can treadle not by flexing my feet against the treadle but by putting one foot on the back of the treadle and one foot on the front - this gives considerable power when I am treadling my treadle sewing machine) (and come on - y'all could guess I use a treadle sewing machine, right?) which I'm thinking would be a good thing, but the conversion to treadle power would involve some heavy duty work, so I'd like to do a thought experiment before I drill holes, move the mill and damage an otherwise nice surface (which I am quite willing to do if the cause be good...)
Thing is, when using a treadle sewing machine, the flywheel of the treadle is much larger than the flywheel on the machine. In the case of the Diamant - the mill's flywheel is 16 in in diameter and much heavier than the flywheel on the treadle mechanism which is only 12 in in diameter. Am I kidding myself that even by using leg power I would be gaining an advantage? (I have vague memories of an unpleasant class many years ago where they made us do these calculations, but my memory stops there...) Am I setting myself up for bodily injury?
I would use a standard treadle drive band or two (and yes, they are easily found) - I guess - unless I got a better suggestion - but something tells me that alligning the mill's flywheel precisely with the treadle flywheel would be crucial. How would I do this given that there is 2 inches of hard rock maple which I cannot see through between the two. I'm speculating that I could do some calculation to get an approximate position for a couple of slots where the band would pass through and then allign the mill - by eye (?) so that the drive band was positioned correctly and then bolt my baby down. Is there a better way? Is there a way to test this out somehow?
So if any of you have thoughts, I'll be glad to hear them.
Thanks in advance.