Mill Hopper

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
  • lightweight
  • 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.

I glued some circular locating feet on it so that it stays in position on the grain bin.  And lastly cut a lid to cover the mill rollers when it’s turned upside-down and not in use.

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