Lou's Place in Cyberspace
CASTLE VALLEY MILL
THIRD FLOOR-SECONDARY POWER TAKE-OFF
Power from the main Power Frame on the third floor, was delivered to the Secondary Power Take Off by a large 10" leather belt. To enable the mill workers to control the power or to disengage it, a clutch mechanism would have been necessary.
In analyzing what remained at the mill and my understanding of other mills I have visited, I began to reconstruct how the clutch would function.
The clues were:
A 10"X4" stud bolted horizontally to the floor. On the top surface were the remains of bearing pocket in the center of the post.
A pulley mounted on an angle to a support beam near by.
A 3"X3" post mounted vertically and able to rotate. Cut into the post were three slots. Two on one side of the post with one larger slot located between the two smaller ones but on the opposite side of the post.
From having seen power take offs in other mills, and various clutch mechanisms, I began to construct the likely configuration of how this system may have operated.
The mounted block on the floor once held a bearing pocket or cup which supported a vertical metal shaft attached to a support. The lower bushing cup mounted on the top of the wood block held grease and allowed the shaft, which would have been mounted in the cup, to rotate freely.
Mounted on the floor nearby was the vertical wooden 3"X3" post which has 3" rectangular slots cut thru it. This post could rotate 360 degrees. Supported on the bottom by the above described block and bearing, and at the top by a wooden pivot shaft which was held rigid by two wooden support arms.
Located behind this post was a wooded hand made pulley mounted on an angle to a supporting timber. A hole had been drilled thru the floor below the pulley, allowed a rope to pass up thru the floor and over the wooden pulley.
This pulley was used to actuate the vertical rotating post as a pressure clutch mechanism for the power take off belt.
This device was used primarily to drive the Eureka Brush Machine and other secondary equipment.
The following illustrations will make clear how this device was used.
View showing pivot bearing base mounted on floor in foreground. This base supported the lower end of the vertical shaft with pulley wheels of various sizes mounted on it. Behind the base is the "pivot post" resting on a higher wooden base extending from a structural support. Note notches cut through the pivot post.
Another view of the pivot post and bearing base from a different angle. The two slots cut thru this side of the post can be seen. Between the two slots, but on the opposite side or plane, is the single larger slot hole. The slots are cut completely through the post. The pulley wheel head can be seen just to the right of the pivot post near the floor.
View from other side of Pivot Post showing location of pulley near the base of the pivot post.
Detail view of pulley and pivot post. Note hole in floor for passage of control cable or rope.
View of pivot post and pulley. Slots cut through the pivot post are clearly shown.
The center slot in the pivot post would have held an adjustable wooden arm, as a lever, to which the rope passing over the pulley wheel once connected.
The two evenly spaced slots would have held smaller wooden arms acting as adjustable bracket supports for a solid wooden wheel suspended between the brackets horizontally.
A belt from the Main Drive Shaft lower pulley wheel was wound in such a way that the small wooden wheel on the Pivot Post acted as a pressure idler wheel.
When the rope was pulled taught, it put pressure on the lever arm moving the roller and tightening the slack in the belt, thus engaging the other belts connect to the Secondary Power Take-Off pulley shaft to rotate.
The tension of the belts would cause back pressure on the idler wheel and when the rope tension was released the Secondary Power Take-Off would stop rotating as the idler wheel moved away from the belt, allowing it to slip.
Photo of Pivot Post and pulley. Power take-off shaft base is to right of Pivot Post (partly showing).
Photo of Pulley, Pivot Post, and to its immediate right, the floor block which held the vertical Secondary Power Take-Off shaft and pulleys. Note the rectangular metal bearing pocket to immediate right of lower slot hole. (arrow)
Detail of Pulley, note hole in floor. It is mounted to the block which holds the pivot post.
Power Take-Off Base with remains of bearing pocket.
View showing the Pivot Post with Idler wheel suspended between the two adjustable bracket arms. The belt from the Main Drive Shaft lower pulley wheel engages a wheel on the Secondary Power-Take-Off shaft. The lower larger wheel and belt powered the Eureka Brush Machine at top of photo (partly visible in shadow). The idler wheel on the Pivot Post functioned as a friction clutch. Tension on the Pivot Post lever arm shaft by a rope which passed over the pulley head controlled starting the machinery connected to the Secondary Power Take-Off. The notch in the vertical support on right of image indicates it may have taken larger diameter pulley wheels. All diameters in illustration are approximate for illustration only, but the Secondary Power Take-Off shaft would have held several wheels of various diameters stacked along the vertical shaft.
Another view showing the belt paths from the Main Drive Shaft. The lower pulley from the Main Drive shaft via a leather belt, delivered power to the Secondary Power Take-Off pulley wheel and shaft. The lower belt from the Secondary Power Take-Off was used to drive the Eureka Brush Machine, out of view in this illustration. This illustrates how the pivot Post was used to make a simple workable clutch.
View showing the secondary Power take-Off drive belt connected to the Eureka Brush Machine. Note horizontal drive shaft going to front of mill from drive pulley wheel at top left.
View looking towards rear of mill showing Main Drive Shaft within the Power Frame. Power was sent across the mill from the top pinion gear set, to the left of the drive, powering the Central Rear elevator Head above (not shown) and the Suspended Bolter at left edge of view. The middle pinion set drive shaft, which ran horizontally towards the rear of the mill, powered the six Rear Elevator heads, and the drive shaft running along the north wall of the mill leading to the front Clutch and drive pulleys running across the front of the mill. The lowest pulley on the Main Drive Shaft was a wide metal belt wheel which supplied power to the Secondary Power Take-Off shaft. Additional belts and wheels on the Secondary Power Take-Off would have powered other devices. As shown, it would have powered the Eureka Bruch Machine, as the drive pulley on the machine aligns perfectly diagonally to where the Secondary Power Take-Off shaft would have been located. Since the Eureka Brush Machine is still in its original location it provided the necessary clue to the meaning of the Secondary Power Take-Off base, and the associated Pivot Post, as a clutch. The notch in the support beam in foreground implies a larger diameter wheel may have been used on the Secondary Power Take-Off shaft. Diameters in illustration are not implied to be the exact ratios that were used, but for illustration only.
Another view better showing the top pivot gear and shaft powering the Suspended Bolter to the left, middle pinion set powering the both the drive belt wheel and shaft going to front clutch shown (top right) and the Rear Elevator heads. The lower belt pulley wheel and belt powered the Secondary Power Take-Off shaft.
As viewed from above.
Overall view of power delivery system. View looking west from front end of Mill.