Fanning Mill Will Have to Rise From the Ashes

Reader Contribution by Farm Collector
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These are photos of the drive gear, bearing and crank handle of my dad’s fanning mill. To make a long story short, I had taken the handle off the fanning mill and took it home with me and left the mill on the farm. Quite by accident, the fanning mill was hauled to the ditch and burned. I went later to the burn site and could find only the drive gear and the one bearing. If I can find the fan shaft and pinion gear (which should have the rocker arms still attached) it will make the complete rebuild a little easier. The sieve screens were cannibalized by either my grandpa or one of my dad’s brothers, as there was only one left on the bottom the last time I saw it, several months before the accidental burning.

The drive gear is 12 inches in diameter. The gear fits inside the box next to the fan paddles. As per the bolt left on the bearing, the vertical posts were 1-1/2-inch by 1-1/2-inch by possibly 40 inches in length. From memory it looked very similar to the one I think was called the Clipper. I also recall that it had a small crank disc at each end of the fan shaft. The shaker arms attached to the little crank discs were either 1/4-inch or 5/16-inch diameter. The large drive gear was mounted on the paddle side of the vertical post.

The mill never had any paint on it as far as I remember. I am merely attempting to find out if anyone could help me identify the mill as per my description and by the photos of the drive gear and handle. I also need to know the size of screens and the mesh size and the angles to fit them onto the shaker portion. The rest of the general construction information I can obtain from photos of similar mills found pictured on the Internet.

Gale Wollenberg, Topeka, Kan.; email:

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