The bare-bones mill needs a hopper to hold the grain prior to cracking and a bin to collect it after.
Having used Dave’s mill, the features that I’d like to build into the mill are:
- a design where the hopper can fit into the bin for neat storage
- easy access to the set-screws for gap adjustment
- hopper large enough to fit a full 5kg grain bill
- flow-control, so that grain can be stopped and started independent of the drill
- fully enclosed sides so that grain can’t spill out from the rollers
My material of choice for building the mill is 12mm plywood. I wanted to avoid MDF because it’s amazingly unfoodsafe and swells like a bastard when wetted. I figured that everything I wanted to make can be built up out of laminations of ply.
I started by boxing in the mill…
I then cut a slot in the box above the rollers to allow grain to feed through, and routed the edges with a chamfering bit.
Next I built up some laminations to make the adaptor that would adapt from the circular hopper outlet to the long thin roller inlet…
Into this I cut the circular hole for the hopper with a hole-saw. All the edges were also routed/dremmelled to ensure there are no horizontal surfaces for grain to catch.
The adaptor block also has a slot in it to take the flow-control slide. You can see that my hopper is simply a 12L water cooler bottle. I found it best to leave the red cap on, cut the end spout flush with a scalpel and then sand the sides of it parallel with a beltsander. It’s a snug press fit.
The slide was fitted. It’s simply a board with a triangular hole cut through it. I used some aluminium channel screwed to the ends to make it captive and allow for its removal, should that be required.