2012 - Volume #BFS, Issue #12, Page #87[ Sample Stories From This Issue | List of All Stories In This Issue | Print this story ]
Veggie Washer Cleans 800 Lbs./Hr.Cleaning carrots and other root crops is a dirty job, but Keith Wyndlow gets the job done easily. He and his daughter have run as much as 800 lbs. of carrots an hour through his homemade veggie washer.
“It also works great with potatoes, turnips, or any kind of root crop,” says Wyndlow. “Produce feeds through the rotating drum and water sprays them where they meet the drum surface as they roll. The design makes efficient use of the water.”
Effective water use lets Wyndlow get by with low-pressure well water delivered by garden hose. He sets up the washer next to the garden so wash water and dirt are recycled back into the garden beds rather than run down a drain.
Wyndlow’s carrot cleaner is also energy efficient. Belt-driven rollers turn the cleaner with power from a 3/4 hp electric motor. A gearbox with appropriately-sized pulley wheels reduces the motor’s 1,800 rpm’s down to 10 rpm’s.
The washer stands about 10 ft. long and about 5 ft. high. The bulk of the length is the washing and draining drum. It sits in a cradle of rollers. Two rollers drive it, while two sets of rollers at either end guide it. The cradle stands on 40-in. legs.
The washer is carpet-lined to cushion the tumbling of the drum, which is a steel pipe about the size of a 45-gal. barrel. A steel frame lined with recycled belting extends out from the drum. Drain holes in the belting allow dirt and water to drain off. Simple nylon ties hold the belting in place. Water sprays the carrots the length of the washer drum.
“The protective guards over the moving parts were the toughest part to devise,” says Wyndlow. “I wanted to keep the weight down, yet make the machine childproof.”
Wyndlow made one unit that he later sold to a neighboring vegetable producer. He and his family use the second one he made. At nearly 80, bad knees prevent him from doing the welding necessary to make more washers.
“I would like to license my design for a nominal amount to someone to make,” he says. “I would provide all my plans and exact specifications.”
Wyndlow says the entire unit weighs about 800 lbs. He estimates it could be made and sold for around $4,000. He says that is about 80 percent the cost of a similar sized commercial unit he had considered buying.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Keith Wyndlow, 13110 Doole Rd., Ladysmith, B.C., Canada V9G 1G6 (ph 250 245-4091; firstname.lastname@example.org).
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