Dreamer, Inventor, and the guy who gave
you the world's best handmill
A bad experience with an electric grain grinder started me on an
education process that has lasted well over a decade, and is still
going on. Here are a few of the things I've learned about grinding
plates for grain mills:
1) An internationally respected research institute dedicated
to upgrading food production and resources for third world countries
extensively researched the effectiveness and viability of grain
mills with both stone plates and those with iron and steel. Their
recommendation, without reservations, iron or steel over stone!
Why? Primarily because of the grit and particulates left behind
by some grinding plates. I saw numerous pictures of skulls, both
old world and new world, with the teeth worn completely away. Researchers
say the total destruction of the teeth was the result of eating
stone ground grains.
A variety of stones have been used as grinding surfaces for
grain and food mills - often whatever stone has been available has
been the "stone of choice". I have even seen sandstone
grinding plates. Unfortunately, for the millions of molars that
have masticated stone-ground flour over the centuries, particulates
break away from the grinding surface quite easily. Also, Mother
Nature is not always consistent in the stone-making department and
she doesn't discriminate against such things as lead and arsenic
seeping through the ground water or existing in the stone itself.
3) My next step in searching for the perfect grain-grinding
surface led me to a major manufacturer of stone grinding wheels.
"What are man made stones manufactured from?," I asked.
"Aluminum Oxide plus binders", was the answer. Aluminum
has long been linked to a woeful list of ailments - dreaded Alzheimer's
is the latest. Ingesting aluminum in powdered form in your bread
and pancakes is about as smart as eating slug bait for breakfast.
Yet I and thousands of others have done just that because of the
misinformation that's rife in grain grinding lore.
4) The coolness of the grind is often dependent on at least
a) How efficiently the grinding surface works
b) The speed of the mill
A superior design means a cooler grind.
The quest for a superior grinding plate has been neither easy
When I started manufacturing the Country Living Grain Mill we used
a cast iron plate made from sand castings. They worked, but there
was not enough control over every aspect of the grinding plate.
So recently we decided to spend thousands of dollars more on an
injection die that would allow us to create individual wax patterns
for each set of plates. For many centuries, artisans of fine (and
very expensive) sculptings have used this "Lost Wax" process
for reproducing their masterpieces.
This state of the art "investment" casting method is so
accurate that it could reproduce even a fingerprint if necessary.
So, just like the great sculptors who have captured their timeless
and priceless creations in metal over the centuries, each set of
Country Living high-carbon steel grinding plates is formed using
a refined version of the ancient time-proven lost wax process.
Each plate has its own wax model which is coated with a colloidal
silica slurry. Then, it's put into an autoclave (an oven using both
heat and pressure). This, of course, melts the wax (Lost Wax) leaving
only the shell. This shell, because of the heat and pressure, turns
it into an extra ordinarily tough monolithic structure.
Finally, 3,000 degree molten high-carbon steel is poured into the
shells. Once cooled and hardened, the plates must be machined to
assure complete flatness. No other grinding plates in the world
go through more exhaustive processes than the plates for your Country
Fine - Tough - Long Lasting - High-Carbon Steel: Country Living
Country Living Productions
The Country Living Mill - Built Smart for Tough Times.