This old hydraulic saw was working with "houille blanche" (white carbon) as named in Isère. Outside, some elements that allowed work are still visible as dam and penstock
This sawmill has been there for a long time as texts from the year 1725 mention its activity.
It has worked regularly until 1932. Its owner has left so the place has quickly declined. An unfortunate restoration has transformed and partly erased the initial allocation of the building. However, you can still see the penstock which produced the driving force. A small dam located at the torrent gorge's end made the water flow stronger and regular. This penstock arrives on the right side of the building (the side of the stream), you can still see the "Pelton" type wheel, driven by the water strength. This wheel used to pull on an axle on which the band saw was connected. This saw used to have a straight blade with alternating movement. (But this kind of saw needed a big wooden wheel with paddles or buckets to get sufficient strength. These wheels were much bigger : 2 meters diameter). This saw were not working throughout the year as the torrent flow was often not enough.
Office de Tourisme de l'Alpe-du-Grand-Serre - 07/03/2018
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