Wednesday, June 11, 2014

My New Peddle Grain Grinder

      I love my Wondermill Jr. grain grinder.  I've had it on my kitchen counter for a couple years.  I bought it through Emergency Essentials a few years ago and put it in storage, but when I began developing my recipes for sourdough bread I took it out of storage and attached it to my kitchen counter.  It works great.  I highly recommend it.  Mine cost about  $215.  It came with a pair of stone grinders for grain and a pair of steel grinders for nuts and seeds.  The steel ones are great for hard, small beans which I have been using for pulse recipes.  Don't use the stone grinders for crushing the split peas and beans...they will wear out the stones too soon.  

           My husband recently adapted it to a stationary bicycle so now I can peddle my grain into flour and not hand and arm grind it.  Although, I didn't mind the hand/arm was a good upper body work out, but he had concerns that when we need to leave and live in tents, that a stable counter would be hard to find so he thought of attaching it to an exercise bike. 

     If you notice, the seat and handle bars are not positioned on the bike frame the way they are supposed to be; they are switched.  This solved a problem when he thought he was finished and I tried it out but the auger inside the grinder was going backwards not pushing the grain forward into the stones.  We laughed about it and he thought he had to take it all apart to put the grinder on the left side of front not the right side.  I suggested switching the handle bars and seat and it works which saved him the work of making new plate and putting grinder on left side where it should have been.  So, now I peddle grind backwards without seeing the grinder.  Still works. 

      He had to buy a couple used bikes at thrift stores to get the 2, 48 teeth sprockets and 1, 38 teeth sprocket 2 chains to make this work.  He can do metal cutting and welding which is really handy for projects like this.  Finding a small table or chair to put the catch bowl on will be easy enough.  The grinding goes much quicker with leg power, than arm and back power.  
This doesn't work.

My husband has since modified this machine to work better.  In the picture above, the grain grinder is behind seat.  We switched out the handle bars and seat so the auger in the grinder would rotate the right direction was not easy to grind.  The peddles for the bike have to be right under the seat otherwise your legs are stretching to far forward and it was very awkward.  So he reattached the grinder to the left of handle bars proper place and now seat is above the peddles where it should be and it works!  I can now grind a cup of hard wheat in 10 minutes where before by hand it took 20.  As my legs get used to the action, I will get quicker.  Another modification is straps to the peddles to keep my feet on them.  We will have this machine at the Liston's Pot Luck Dinner July 21.   

One thing I forgot to mention is the need to purchase Wondermill's "adaptor" that fits the auger inside the grinder.  This "adapter" is welded to  one of the 48 teeth bicycle sprockets so it can be run by a chain.  The "adapter" from the company is for a power drill, but Perry knew a belt would not work and a chain would work better.  You need to get the "adapter" and weld it to the sprocket.  

This picture is the latest update and now it is perfect.  Peddles are underneath the seat where they should be for better action, the mill is on the left side of handle bars and stabilized with 2 steel rods and the peddles have toe holds to hold your feet to the peddle otherwise the hesitations bounce your feet off and that slows down the action.  

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