The old millwrights used hot lead or babbet if it was available, babbet was used for bearings and was stronger but dearer and more scarce to obtain--the babbet was heated until--get this--a dry pine shaving would burst into flames upon contact--my millwright and I conducted an experiment and we registered the temperature of the babbet, from then on we just heated the lead to this temperature when we were actually pouring the babbet--it came out beautiful, and didn't burn the oak that contained the wings of the crank and idler gudgeons
After pouring and cooling the babbet it was pounded with a mallet and dull edged babbeting chisel all along the wings to expand and really tighten everything
Right now this whole unit has been operating approx. 12 years and shows no sign of failure
Going on to another aspect of this setup the pitman which was heavy oak approx. 9 feet long and rectangular in shape had to be renewed as part of the restoration, this shaft connected to the offset crank (which we just renewed and leaded in), up to the sawing level and attached to the 6' blade, (referred to previously).
Now has any one an idea how this wooden pitman was attached both at the upper and lower level, so that it could withstand the jerking and yanking experienced as the large wooden shaft rotated , especially when it was under load and experiencing the cutting action of the blade at the nominal rotation of approx. 90 rpm,.At the lower end (crank end) the crank rotated in a 24 inch circle, and of course at the blade end had to move back and forth slightly
it is incredibly interesting in my opinion to understand this old technology
Thanks for coming on board let me know if you enjoy this deviation from constructing wooden frames, I did construct historical wooden frames too, but thoroughly enjoyed straying into other historical areas, which at times intermingled with hewing, framing, millwrighting, it sometimes is hard to understand the connection and the experience needed at times to carry out a project, that might include hewing timbers, it might also be setting a steam engine in position, it could be placing mill stones and their associated drive mechanisms in place on their "beds" which in my case were very heavy oak husking frames that they rested on--If there is interest I could really expand on this subject-let me know
All I can say is enjoy the chat, it may be of use to some of you someday--I hope so