08 July 2012

The right stuff

A recent post on a woodworker forum remembered me the right kind of ladders needed to climb a hoogstam (high trunk) pear tree.  I have one remaining anachronistic giant in my garden.  The main problem is harvesting.  I lack the material and the guts to climb in my tree and harvest pears in the autumn.

Visiting a former farm in Wetteren I could see the right kind of ladders stored and displayed.  The ladders  looked still in perfect condition, and as can be seen it is a full set allowing to reach the lower, middle and higher branches of the tree.

I also found other wooden stuff hanging around

The wheel of a pulley once used to move bags of grain upstairs.  The missing part are the small iron forks used to hold the pulling rope.

 Once I found out that it is called a gaffelwiel (a fork wheel,  it's the same gaffel as in gaff sail)  I had no problem to find some examples from windmills, although different in style - the first one is probably made by a wheelwright.
 A second picture showing clearly that in windmills double motorization is available,  wind power on one side and hand power on the other.  It also shows the clutching mechanism:  a pulling rope going through two pulleys to a counterweighted lever that lifts a mobile axle support.  When this axle is lowered the driving wheel is powered by a supporting horizontal wheel fixed to the main shaft of the windmill. The design looks flawed as when a heavy load is pulled it will be impossible to un-clutch the pulley until something breaks.

To finish a mystery , I have no clue for this two part wooden ring,  the only thing I could think about was a  support used to build the deep water well in the inner courtyard of the farm.