Grain Mill Build - Part 1

>> Saturday, January 07, 2012

My lovely wife bought me a CrankAndStein 2D grain mill for my birthday.  This is a bare bones grain mill, so I building my own cabinet and hopper.  I tend to forget to document the process when I do projects like this.  This time I'm trying to remember to take pictures along the way so hopefully it will help anyone else thinking of building a grain mill.

My design calls for a simple box frame welded out of 1.5" 16 gauge square tubing.  The mill is mounted to 3/4" oak plywood which is mounted to the top of the tube frame.  The bottom shelf is made out of the same oak plywood and provides a place to mount the motor and place a 5 gallon bucket for catching the crushed grains.  Mounting the motor on the bottom shelf lowers the center of gravity and makes things more stable.  The mill is powered by a furnace blower motor I got off of a couple years ago.  The motor is  1/4 hp 1750rpm so in order to bring the rpm's down, I'm using a 12" sheave from Zoro Tools.  Normally you'd also want to use a 1.5" sheave/pulley on the motor.  My motor came with an adjustable pulley, so I'm going to try it first.  If it doesn't work I'll order a 1.5" replacement.

I started out by laying out the top piece of plywood.  I cut one hole/groove to provide clearance for the 12" sheave.  I also cut out the a hole below the mill for the grain output and drilled mounting holes.  Top edges of the plywood were eased over with my router using a 1/4" round over bit.  The edges on the bottom shelf were also eased over and notched in the corners to fit between the frame posts.

Next the mill was test-fitted to the plywood top.  This is when you find out how well you measured and how precise your cuts are.  Fortunately I didn't have any issues, but it's probably worth mentioning...measure twice, cut once.

Next I cut the tubing to size and started tacking things together.  I ran out of tubing on day one, so the supports for the bottom shelf have to wait another week.

Click here for part 2.
Click here for part 3.

Top shelf showing cut-outs and mounting holes

Bottom shelf with notched corners

Mill mounted to plywood top

View from below

Frame getting tacked up

Top fits nicely on frame