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Farm Antiques and Collectibles Old belt driven farm equipment: shellers, milkers, threshers and pumps.

Farm Antiques and Collectibles

Unknown burr mill


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  #1  
Old 09-13-2014, 11:55:21 PM
Steam Pig Steam Pig is offline
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Default Unknown burr mill

Ok, here we go...
I recently became the owner of a burr mill (my first). I cannot take pix of it as my camera was wrecked at a tractor show last weekend. My phone cam sucks, not worth the trouble.
I have been looking over web images and found a pic that looks really close to my mill. It is from an older ebay list (apologies to original poster) and I am including it. Mine is currently black rustoleum (no help there), and my pulley is smaller and mounted inside the frame not on the end of the shaft.
Originally thought maybe a later David Bradley as castings are very plain and unstylized.
One odd thing I have noticed is that all of the castings are numbered and end in the letter "A". Example- the main frame casting is "8172 A". Sliding trap door at base of hopper to control flow locks with a thumb screw. Lube seems to be simple oil holes. Any ideas?
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Old 09-14-2014, 03:21:06 PM
Robert H. Thompson Robert H. Thompson is offline
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Default Re: Unknown burr mill

I have one just like the pic. Was told it is David Bradly .
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Old 09-14-2014, 11:43:20 PM
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Don Tomlinson Don Tomlinson is offline
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Default Re: Unknown burr mill

Mr. Steam Pig,
Your mill, as described, is one of those built by David Bradley and most likely sold by Sears. It was called the "Little Wonder Grinding Mill" and as you describe it and the casting numbers was one of the earlier designs. It is listed in the Sears catalog of 1917 for $7.80 without legs and $9.65 with legs. The one in your photo looks like the same mill with a few differences. I have one identical to yours, and also a newer version which was marketed in the 1930s, also by Sears. The newer version uses part nos. in the 700s and includes a bolting attachment for sifting flour, and both coarse and fine burr sets for $8.70, or complete with all that plus legs and a flywheel for $11.00 in the 1932 Special Anniversary catalog celebrating David Bradley's Implement Factory's 100th Birthday. Both are fine mills and each has it's advantages. The one you have is nice because it can be adjusted at both ends so that the burrs don't grind on each other when no grain is passing through. That comes in handy when you run it just as an exhibit. Most cannot be run without grain passing through without risk of ruining the burrs. Both mills can grind from 5 to 15 bushels per hour with a 2 HP or larger throttle governed engine at speed. Hit and Miss engines on the 1 1/2 to 2 HP size can work if you keep the speed up so the miss and then the sudden hit doesn't cause the belt to slip and come off the pulley. Get some whole kernel corn and play with it. Next thing you know you'll be grinding 500 lbs at a show and making corn flour for all your friends. If you would like I can scan these catalog and post some pictures in your thread. Just let me know. In the meantime, just enjoy your new mill. Not everybody has one. Good Find !
Don .
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Old 09-15-2014, 12:57:34 PM
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Jebaroni Jebaroni is offline
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Default Re: Unknown burr mill

According to the scans I printed from the Sears catalogs, that style of mill (with the pulley in between the bearings) showed up around 1911 and lasted until around 1920 when the style changed but the name remained the same. Support legs were optional. I've tried to attach my scans, but those images were already posted on another thread, so I can't reuse them. I'll do some digging and try to post a link to them in this thread if I can find them again.
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Old 09-15-2014, 10:25:51 PM
Steam Pig Steam Pig is offline
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Default Re: Unknown burr mill

Jebaroni and Don,

Thanks so much for your reply. I know very little about this type of mill. I do plan on displaying it. My plan was to grind some corn and give it to my buddy to use as chicken feed for his 4 laying hens.
I have a 1 1/2 hp New Way horizontal hit & miss that was going to run it with. The engine likes to run kinda fast (like alot of smaller ones do) so it sounds like it may be a good match.
I didn't think it was quite as old as it is. This has no legs, but not to say they weren't removed at some point.
I will be looking for some ideas about orig paint schemes.
As you stated, I can see where having adjustments at both ends would help limit wear and tear.
Is it unrealistic to expect this to make something edible for people? I would guess it would take multiple passes to get it down fine enough.
And thanks for the catalog excerpts Jebaroni. Don, anything you may scare up would only help and look forward to seeing what you can find!
As I get into this project I will definitely post more pix (when new camera arrives!)
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Old 09-16-2014, 06:34:40 AM
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Jebaroni Jebaroni is offline
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Default Re: Unknown burr mill

Even though it may be POSSIBLE to grind something that people could eat, I personally wouldn't recommend doing so just from a cleanliness standpoint. If you wanted to use it for that, you would want to completely disassemble it and clean out all of the old grease (unless you like that wheel bearing grease flavor in your cornmeal) and use food grade grease.

Also, keep in mind that spiders and other insects love to crawl up inside these machines when they are not in use. The alternative to that is to run 20-30 pounds of corn though the machine that you would throw away or use for animal feed and use that to "clean out" the grinder before using anything that you would eat at the table. Just my 2 cents worth.
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Old 09-16-2014, 11:47:55 AM
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Don Tomlinson Don Tomlinson is offline
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That's a good hint from Jeb. Food safe oils and greases are readily available and cleanliness is important. I use a Mobil synthetic oil that is food grade in the mills I grind meal and flour for human consumption, and keep them cleaner than the others. A little common sense goes a long way. I'm loading for a four day show today but I'll try to post some pics by next week.
Happy Grinding :-) !
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Old 09-24-2014, 11:07:55 PM
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Don Tomlinson Don Tomlinson is offline
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Photo Re: Unknown burr mill

Steam Pig,
Here are a couple pages from the Sears - David Bradley catalog of 1917, showing your "Little Wonder" mill. I'm sorry about the quality of the scans but I think my scanner is on it's last leg, so to speak. I hope this helps. I haven't ground with my "Little Wonder" yet, but did just put my David Bradley No. 8 to work this past weekend at the Draft Horse Classic in Grass Valley, CA. along with a small flour mill built by Associated and sold through Mont. Wards. People just love to watch the old iron work!
Happy Grinding !
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