Stone Dressing

How often stones need to be dressed depends on how much grain is ground and the type of stones used. Millstone grit will need to be dressed more frequently than french burr, for example.  A good indication that stones require dressing is when the 'tentering' gear provides little control between coarse and fine flour and the stones make the 'meal' hot.  

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First the runner stone needs to be lifted to allow the grinding surface to be inspected. If the stones are in a poor condition it will be necessary to cut back to a smooth and level surface before the main furrows can be cut.  This heavy work is usually undertaken using modern stone cutting equipment. The light feathering at the edge of the stone may be done using a traditional stone chisel.

Both the runner stone and the bed stone need to be dressed. The pattern of the furrows will depend on the type of grain to be ground. There are different patterns for wheat and barley with regional variations.  The depth of the furrows and the offset from the centre of the stone are also critical to how well the stone will grind. If the furrows are not cut correctly then flour production may be slow or, worse still, grain may get through the stones and into your flour spoiling it.

If the stones are completely worn out brand new composite millstones can be obtained.