Tuesday 11 April 2023

How To Make A Simple Grain Mill

 The other day I saw a great little grain mill on an online museum that are trying to preserve the history of milling. 

It was a mill that was carried by Swedish soldiers in the 30 year war (1600's) and later. The soldiers would have been issued one to mill there own grain as they would have been given grain over flour (guessing as it keeps so much better). It was made from birch, a wood abundant in Sweden and a hard, strong wood as that.

I decided it looked like fun to make and have a play with. So I did (it's also going to be a magazine article very soon in Woodturning magazine)!

It's a really fun project and one that makes a really tactile item that's fun to use. I wouldn't say it's the most efficient way of milling grain, but great to show the effort involved. 

Since having made it I left it on the side with some grain in, its taken ages to mill the grain down but each time one of us in this family has walked past we've all had a go. 

I should say it's more likely it was used to crack grain to make it easier to digest, but still you can imagine it would have been a very useful item. 

Have you milled much grain by hand?

Ever made anything to crack grains or make flour?


  1. Nothing makes one appreciate flour more than having to grind it oneself! I have both manual and electric grain grinders, so I know every little bit helps. Very clever, Kev.

    1. Yeah, it really makes you think when you have to create those calories!

  2. I have never seen such a device. I can't imagine coming in from a day of battle and then having to grind my own grain to make supper. But having said that, perhaps it was sort of a meditative experience to help one wind down. I have never milled grain by hand. I occasionally do spices with a mortar and pestle.

    1. I think a soldiers life was very infrequent battles, but it would be hard after a march or any other activity!


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