The Fresh Loaf

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DIY: Motorizing hand-crank mill Country Living, Grainmaker

WaCur's picture

DIY: Motorizing hand-crank mill Country Living, Grainmaker

I have a Country Living Mill.  Hand cranking was "fun" for the first month -- everyone cranked one or two loads.  But then they all disappeared and cranking was left to me.  So, I decided to motorize it.  Those motorizing kits sure can be costly though.  A DIY motorizing kit was in needed.

Here's what I did: picked up a $40 1/2" high-torque drill from HF, purchased a 1/2" ID, 1-1/2" OD pulley,  a belt, and a 3" x 1/2" bolt. Ground a small flat near the head of the bolt. Slid the pulley on the bolt so the set screw locked into that little flat.  Ground three flats on the bolt threads such the bolt was triangular, so that it wouldn't spin in the chuck.  Mounted the CLM to 14"x12"x3/4" plywood (#1). Removed (removable) handle from the drill. Attached the drill to a second piece of plywood (#2).  Attached 1"x2"x4" piece of wood to plywood #2.  Drilled 9/16" hole through this piece of wood, such that it is aligned perfectly with the center of trhe drill chuck.  Inserted the pulley/bolt through this hole and into the chuch.  Tighten up. Attached plywood #2 below plywood #1 so that the pulley is aligned with the CLM pulley, and the hinging action just moves the pulleys closer/further.  Attach belt between the two pulleys.  Gravity pulls the drill down to tighten the belt.  Add weights as needed to add more tension.  The tension force is on the 1x2x4 piece of wood, not the drill, so the drill bearing should not wear out due to radial load.  Plug the drill in and wire/tape the trigger in a position that will give you 1 rotation per second at the CLM -- keep hands, feed, nose, etc away from moving parts.   Total cost < $80.  Its been running for about three years now.  The drill came with a set of replacement brushes and I had to replace them late last year.  Good for another couple years and will then have to buy a new drill as they don't sell replacement brushes.

Looking to move up to the Grainmaker 116 and will do the same.

barryvabeach's picture

Sounds interesting ,  glad you sorted it out, though a photo might help others in the same situation.  I have always owned motorized mills, as I have that for most, your experience is quite common - at first it is fun, but then you realize there is a real advantage to motorized.  

The Egg Lady's picture
The Egg Lady

I have one of these mills too. It's great, but I don't have it motorized. Back when I was selling bread, I had it mounted in the kitchen and one of my sons would grind a while every time he passed by. But those days are gone, he has moved out and now I don't use it very often. But when I do, it works great. I like it for making cracked grains to add to bread. And sometimes I crack some treats for the chickens.

AggieSigGuy's picture

I’d like to do something very similar. Any chance you’d post pictures of your setup?