The working water wheel provides power via gearing to drive the grindstones.
Both grinding workshops at Shepherd Wheel were powered by a single waterwheel. The wheel is 5.5 metres high and 2 metres wide and is made of cast and wrought iron, elm and oak and bronze. The water to turn the wheel comes from the large dam where water is diverted from the River Porter. The waterwheel turned twenty grindstones and several “glazing” stones.
The grindstones were used to create a fine, sharp cutting edge on the blade. The final smoothing of the blade was done on the glazing stones, before they left Shepherd Wheel for polishing.