Union Mill The Union Mill Cranbrook
Registered charity no.1031879

A Glossary of Windmill Terms

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BEDSTONE
the lower of a pair of millstones, which remains stationary
BINS    [ picture ]
Wooden boxes for holding the grain
BIN FLOOR
Floor of mill where the grain bins are situated
BRAKE
wooden or iron brake shoe encircling the brake wheel
BRAKE WHEEL    [ picture ]
the largest geer wheel, fixed on the windshaft. The brake contracts onto its wooden rim
BRAN
partly ground husk of grain
BREAST
front of a post mill
BRIDGE    [ picture ]
Runner stone at Spilsby Windmill, Lincs
metal bar cemented into eye of runner stone to act as bearing for the top of the spindle
BUCK
The body of a post mill
CANISTER
see Poll End
CANT POSTS
corner posts of a mill
CAP
The revolving top of a tower or smock mill
CENTRE or MAIN POST    [ picture ]
Remains of Smarden post mill
The large central post which supports a post mill
CHAIN WHEEL   [ picture ]
wheel turned by means of an endless chain. For winding the mill or for working striking gear.
CILL
low stone or brick wall
COGS   [ picture ]
wooden cogs on the great spur wheel
the wooden teeth (usually Applewood or hornbeam) inserted into cast gear wheel to drive mill machinery
COMMON SAILS
sails with a wooden framework covered by canvas.        
COMPOSITION STONE
millstone made from cement and carborundum
CURB   [ picture ]
Curb exposed during 2002-3 renovations
circular track at the top of the tower or smock mill on which the cap turns.
DEAD CURB slips on pads of metal
LIVE CURB carries cap on rollers
CROSS
multi-armed iron casting fixed to the end of the windshaft to carry the sails
CROSSTREES
horizontal timbers at right angles which support the centre post of a post mill
EYE    [ picture ]
Runner stone at Spilsby Windmill, Lincs
hole in the centre of the runner stone through which grain passes into the middle of the two stones.
FANTAIL   [ picture ]
fan at rear of cap which automatically turns it to face the wind.
FAN STAGING
platform at the rear of the cap of a smock or tower mill to provide access to the fantail
FEED SHOE
guides grain from hopper into eye of stone.
FLOUR DRESSER    [ picture ]
machine for separating (white) flour from the rest of the meal.
FRENCH BURR
freshwater quartz stone from France used to mill wheat        
FURROWS
low part of pattern on the surface of millstones.
GALLERY
a platform around cap
GOVERNORS    [ picture ]
The governors are painted red
part of the tentering gear, which adjusts the distance between the stones as the sails turn faster or slower.
GREAT SPUR WHEEL    [ picture ]
large gear wheel on the upright shaft driving the stone nuts
LANDS
high parts of pattern on the surfaces of millstones.
LUFFING
see winding
MIDDLINGS
heavy timbers to which the sails are fitted - also called stocks
OVERDRIFT
stones driven from above
PATENT SAILS
shuttered sails with self-regulating control gear to automatically adjust their speed
PEAK STONE    [ picture ]
millstone grit from the Peak District of Derbyshire used for grinding animal feeds        
PETTICOAT
downward extension of the cap to cover the top of the tower against the weather
PIERS
brick supports of a trestle.
POLL END    [ picture ]
cast iron socket at end of windshaft to hold the stocks
POST MILL
Mill in which the whole body is supported on and turns around a central post
QUANT    [ picture ]
four-sided shaft from stone nut to mace on overdriven stones.
REEFING STAGE
see staging
ROLLER MILL
mill using metal rollers in place of stones
ROUNDHOUSE    [ picture ]
Rolvenden Mill
building around the trestle of a post mill to protect it and provide storage.
RUNNER STONE
top stone of a pair which is turned by the mill.        
SHUTTERS    [ picture ]
a series of hinged vanes in vertical rows in spring and patent sails
SMOCK MILL
Mill with wooden tower, often on a stone or brick base, with a revolving cap.
SPIDER   [ picture ]
metal coupling operating the shutters of Patent sails
SPRING SAILS
sails with shutters linked to a spring, the tension of which can be set manually so that the shutters will open and close according to wind strength.
STAGING   [ picture ]
a platform around the body of the mill
STOCKS
heavy timbers to which the sails are fitted - also called middlings
STONE DRESSER    [ picture ]
Henry Hicks dressing a stone
a man whose profession it is to re-sharpen or dress millstones
STONE FLOOR
the floor of the mill where the millstones are situated
STONE NUT    [ picture ]
final gear at top of quant which drives the stones
STRIKING GEAR
mechanism to open and close the shutters on the sails
SWEEPS
term used in southeast of England to describe the sails        
TAIL
rear end of a post mill
TAIL POLE    [ picture ]
Rolvenden Mill
long timber at the rear of a post mill or cap used to turn it manually
TAIL WHEEL
wheel mounted at rear of windshaft to drive a second set of stones
TAIL WINDING
when a wind catches the sails from the rear; a strong tail wind has been known to blow the cap off the tower
TALTHUR
small beam attached to tailpole of a post mill which when hooked to the ladder will lift it clear of the ground while the mill is being winded.
TENTERING GEAR    [ picture ]
device to make fine adjustments to the gap between the millstones
TOWER MILL
Mill with a brick tower and revolving cap
TRESTLE    [ picture ]
Remains of Smarden post mill
wooden substructure of a post mill supporting the main post.        
TUN CASE
see VAT
UNDERDRIFT
stones driven from beneath
VANES    [ picture ]
blades of a fantail.
VAT    [ picture ]
Vat containing French burr stones at Union Mill
removable wooden case enclosing millstones.
WALLOWER    [ picture ]
Steel wallower with wooden friction drive for sack hoist
horizontal gearwheel at top of upright shaft taking drive directly from the brake wheel
WHIP
the backbone of a sail or sweep
WINDBOARD
wide board replacing the shutters on inner half of leading edge of sails
WINDING
process of turning sails into the eye of the wind
WINDSHAFT   [ picture ]
main axle of iron or wood that carries the sails and brake wheel
Y-WHEEL
wheel with metal Ys around circumference to increase grip of chain.