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He Shells Butter Beans In Minutes
Wire screens with 1/2-in. openings are the important component that makes Bill Sydnor’s bean sheller work so well.
  “The 1/2-in. hole is exactly the right size for a green butter bean to go through,” says the Beaverdam, Va., builder of a 4-ft. square unit that shells 5 gal. of beans in about 10 min.
  The flat, soft beans are popular in the South and sell for about $5/lb. shelled). But they are labor intensive. Sydnor’s wife spends a good part of an afternoon picking a 5-gal. bucket (about 8 lbs. shelled), so Sydnor spent time and money to build a sheller that would last and do a good job of speeding up the shelling process.
  The cabinet hinges open and the drum also opens to pour the beans into it. One side of the drum has wire screening.
  A 1-in. cold steel shaft mounted on flange bearings in the 3/4-in. plywood cabinet runs through the center of the 2-ft. dia. drum. When it spins, the 1 1/4 by 18-in. long paddles on the shaft knock the shells off the beans. A second steel shaft above the drum turns the drum with a pulley and belt. Shelled beans fall through the mesh part of the drum into a tray below.
  Instead of building a bracket to hold the motor at the bottom, Sydnor reversed the 3 and 10-in. pulleys to turn the shaft and placed the 1/4 hp motor (from a washing machine) on top of the cabinet.
  The beans fall into a 6-in. deep tray with 1/4-in. screen and steep-angle walls.
  “The smaller screen holds the beans and lets the sand and particles go through. You can wash the beans easily on the cloth,” Sydnor says. “It’s 25 minutes from the start to putting them in pint bags in the freezer.”
  Because of the sheller, the Sydnors increased the size of their garden to six to eight 100-ft. rows (for two bean plantings). They put up 30 lbs. for themselves and sell the rest in their roadside stand. Other bean growers also use the sheller.
  Sydnor prefers the Thorogreen beans, but says other flat beans such as horticultural beans will work. He tried large sunflower heads, but didn’t have good results.
  Use the right size cloth, he emphasizes, and spend the extra money for the bearings, and you’ll have a bean sheller that does a good job for many, many years.
  Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Bill Sydnor, 13287 Scotchtown Rd., Beaverdam, Va. (ph 803 356-8134; Bill_sydnor@yahoo.com).

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2015 - Volume #39, Issue #3