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Powered black walnut huller
I've sold more than 4,000 nutcrackers since my first prototype was featured in FARM SHOW in the 1980's. People who've bought them say they're the best nutcracker money can buy. It's got a cam-operated lever so it's easy for kids to use and is designed so the top piston comes down only 3/16 in. - just enough to crack the shell without smashing the nut meats. No flying shells or injured fingers. Cracks any nut from 1/2 in. to 2 3/8 in. and mounts on a wood tray that catches shells. It's built heavy out of the finest materials. Sells for $45 plus shipping.
Recently I made a powered black walnut huller out of an old LP gas tank that had been on the junk pile for a few years. I left both ends in the tank but then cut out half of the body of the tank. Then I made a grate out of 1/2-in. dia. steel rod. I bent the rods with an iron bender and welded them to two pieces of angle iron, spacing the rods about 5/8-in. apart, and then bolting the grate to the tank. A 1-in. steel shaft goes through the center of the tank, supported by bearings mounted in either end of it. Short lengths of 1/4-in. chain - 24 in all - weld to the center shaft in a staggered pattern. When the center shaft spins, the chains run to within 3/4 in. of the shell of the tank and the grate. An 8-in. dia. pulley on one end of the center shaft is driven by V-belt by a 3-in. pulley on a 1/2 hp., 1,700-rpm electric motor that mounts under the tank.
I pour nuts into an intake funnel at one end of the tank and the chains knock off the green outer hull of the nuts. The broken hulls fall out through the bottom grate and the nuts - in their hard inner shells - fall out through a tube underneath the other end of the huller. It takes 3 to 4 min. to completely hull a 5-gal. bucket of walnuts. Works great on native, hard shell walnuts. (Lawrence Hunt, Box3, Hartford, Iowa 50118ph515 989-3729 or 0117)

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1992 - Volume #16, Issue #5