Homemade Corn Sheller Perfect For Small Farm

Due to last year’s bumper corn crop, Patrick Burrington needed a quicker and more efficient way to shell the cobs harvested from his 1/4-acre field.


     “I use the corn for animal feed, making corn flour, bread, grits, and tortillas,” says Burrington. “After trying some older, hand-cranked models without much success, I realized I had to come up with my own idea.”


     To power his homemade sheller, he bought a used 1/10-hp. Bodine electric motor with a right-angle gear reduction box on eBay. To fine-tune the speed he needed, he water-jetted two gears on his cutting table and used them to increase the rpm’s from 43 to 72. The gears work together to drive a 14-in. long 1 1/2-in. schedule 40 pipe supported between two 1 15/16-in. pillow block bearings. To cut the kernels from the cobs, he welded four small 1/8-in. thick steel plates of about 3/4-in. by 2-in. to the inside of a round pipe and attached it to the drive pipe. He installed a plastic shroud to direct the kernels into a collection container.


     “I didn’t know this, but corn cob centers all measure about 1 1/4 in. no matter the cobs outside circumference,” Burrington says. “I spaced the cutters that far apart to knock the kernels off without waste or getting the cobs stuck.”


     He estimates he invested less than $100 into the homemade electric sheller as he had almost everything he needed lying around.


     Burrington explains he would make the shroud slightly larger to funnel the kernels down into the collection container better if he were to build another.


     “It works so well I can double fist the cobs through halfway, then flip them over to finish them up while I’m grabbing two more,” he says. “It goes really quickly once you get the hang of it.”


     Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Patrick Burrington, 130 Garnet Dr., Stevensville, Mont. 59870 (ph 406-642-3155; patrick@rapidcreekcutters.com).