Morris (Clarksville, Florida)
A lull during
my visit with Willard Green to Dewey
Hall’s place gave an opening for Virgil
Herndon and me to ride over to visit with Mr. and Mrs.
Roy Morris, who were cooking syrup.
They have a really neat set-up from which I took
some lessons. Their
operation is centered on a dedicated syrup shed (Slide
1) and a mechanized Golden No. 2 (Slide
2) nearby. Of
particular note are tractor shut-off switches mounted on
either side of the mill (Slide
I do not take these pages as a soapbox, safety is the
top priority to me. Ptos
are deadly; a tragic accident with a pto-driven cane mill
occurred 30 miles south of me in 2001.
Another similar accident occurred in the 2002
season about 15 miles from my hometown.
Although I do not wish to say more, these accidents
are a grim reminder of the need for care, even with unmechanized
and his son put a great deal of thought and effort into
mechanizing the mill and I will recount some details here.
The top sprocket (Slide
3) has a custom-fitted sleeve that mounts to the
journal, fitting snugly over the top in place of the lever
also provided a bearing above the sprocket, which is the
first I’ve seen done this way.
Although chains have an inherently lower overhang
load than do belts, this double bearing must eliminate the
load almost entirely.
The chain is adjusted by a spring-loaded idler arm
right-angle converter (Slide
5) is the differential from a Toyota truck.
(The teeth of the spider gear were welded in order
to make the rear end “positive traction.”)
Note the black tubing, which is for lubricant.
6 shows a reduction going into the differential.
In the end, this mill operates at 9 rpm (which is
the recommendation from an early Golden catalog, but
arrived at independently by Roy). The juice output is about 50 gallons per hour, which is only
slightly more than Golden advertised for the mill
operating under one horsepower using a sweep.
(Often, the juice output claims made by companies
for cane mills do not stand up under scrutiny.)
The juice is
coarsely filtered and then pumped (Slide
7) through a sock-type cloth filter (Slide
described in detail elsewhere,
filtration of juice was highly recommended by the
extension services during the first part of the recent
century, but few modern syrupmakers go to extraordinary
means to filter juice.
The kettle is
large, requiring six burners (Slide
9), which are operated with 3-4 psi (Slide
10) and provided with an 8-inch dampened flu (Slide
skimming is done without use of a rim (Slide
12) whereas a carefully constructed double-rim system
14) is used later.
The bottler, not yet in use, is shown in Slide
Many thanks to Roy and
other members of his team for the interest that day.
Thanks also to Roy, who followed up with a phone