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Made-It-Myself Small Crop Rice Huller
Paul Hutcheson may have the answer for small-plot rice growers who need a way to hull their harvest. Commercial machines are hard to justify when you have only a few pounds to hull, as Hutcheson did. His solution was to modify a $65 corn grinder. When it didnt work as hoped, he went even simpler.
I planted a short grain variety of dryland rice on a 3 by 15-ft. plot in 2021, says Hutcheson. It yielded about 3 1/2 lbs. of rice. I needed a way to hull it.
So, I bought a corn masa food mill, says Hutcheson. It has an auger feed and two plates that can be tensioned. The faceplates have aggressive grooves for grinding the corn. It had an adjustable gap between the face plates.
He knew the faceplates left as is would grind the rice rather than simply hull it. He superglued gum rubber pads to the face plates. He also added washers to the adjustable gap to increase the space.
I ran half a cup through and then passed it through two more times, says Hutcheson. It removed at least 95 percent of the hulls.
The problem was the face plates were still too aggressive. By the time he had put several cups of rice through the device, holes had been ripped in the rubber pads.
Hutcheson then adapted the revolving disk concept to an even simpler design. He screwed together two short lengths of 2 by 6-in. lumber and mounted them to a piece of 2 by 10. This became the base for his huller.
Hutcheson cut two 6-in. diameter discs from plywood and superglued gum rubber pads to them for hulling plates. He drilled 1/4-in. holes through the two plates and the base to mount a shaft. A second hole was drilled about an inch in from the edge of one of the outside plates. He lined up the center hole in the inside plate to the hole in the base and screwed it in place.
I decided to use a gravity flow instead of the auger on the corn grinder, says Hutcheson. I drilled a hole at an angle through the end of the base to a point about an inch from the center of the fixed hulling plate.
He mounted a bolt to the off-center hole of the remaining plate to serve as a hand crank. He inserted a 1/4-in. threaded rod through the base, the fixed plate and then through the plate with the crank.
A nut and washer at one end of the shaft held the outside plate in place. Hutcheson slipped a washer and a spring over the other end of the shaft, securing them in place with another washer and a wing nut.
I can adjust the tension on the plates with the wing nut, says Hutcheson. I fed about half a cup of rice through it and identified a few kinks to work out.
One problem was the gravity feed through the angled hole in the base. The rice grains caught on the wood. He tried a plastic tube, but the rice didnt flow well through that either.
I added a plastic funnel for the rice to flow between the hulling plates, says Hutcheson. I also added a paper shield to funnel hulled rice into a collection chamber. With these changes, Ive had good results.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Paul Hutcheson, 1901 Broad St., Culpeper, Va. 22701 (ph 540-407-0902 evenings only; windmillheightsgardencenter@gmail.com).

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2023 - Volume #47, Issue #2