Footpowered Thresher For Rice Sorghum Oats And Other Small Grains

by B. David Williams, Jr.

This type of foot-powered thresher is not new. Until more advanced mechanization became wide spread tn japan and Taiwan, similar machines were found extensively on small farms in tho.se countries.

Substituting bicycle sprockets and chains for the gear system provides a simple answer to the problem of gears. Beatings from the bicycle pedal shaft are also easily obtained and are adequate for both the drum and the large sprocket shaft. The only sophisticated tools needed to build this thresher are an electric welder and a drill press. Most of the operations can be done with simple hand tools.

Sorghum Threshers

The most difficult part of the construction is the drum, but if done carefully, it can be made with simple tools. Balance is important, but not overly critical, as the drum spins at only 250 to BOO revolutions per minute. The wire loops on the drum are the teeth which sir ike the grain from the stalks.

* Reprinted with permission from Appropriate Technology, vol. 2 no. 2.

The most difficult part of the construction is the drum, but if done carefully, it can be made with simple tools. Balance is important, but not overly critical, as the drum spins at only 250 to BOO revolutions per minute. The wire loops on the drum are the teeth which sir ike the grain from the stalks.

* Reprinted with permission from Appropriate Technology, vol. 2 no. 2.

Sorghum Thresher

This machine does not separate the chaff from the good grain. As in threshing by hand, the grain must still be winnowed. But the machine does speed up the threshing and is also effective on some tough grains such as sorghum, which often defies hand threshing.

Threshing is done by holding a bundle of unthreshed gram firmly your hands, beating and twisting the bundle lightly against the drum (which revolves away from you), and throwing the bundle of threshed straw aside. The grains fall down onto a canvas or plastic sheet which is placed under the thresher.

The work of cleaning the grain %vill be a lot easier if you first put the threshed grain into a box with i/2-inch wire mesh screen on top. This will remove many of the broken stems and longer trash.

Those who want a simple, engine-driven thresher can build a similar machine, but with a wider drum of 36 inches, a stronger shaft of 34 inch, and a large pulley on one side. A three to five horsepower engine will be sufficient, and in this case, approximately 400 revolutions per minute would be best.

A 24-page fully illustrated booklet, "Do-it-Yourself Foot-Operated Thresher Plans," for construction, assembly, and maintenance is available from:

S.P.A.T.F.. Office of Village Development P.O. Box 6937

Boroko, Papua, New Guinea

A condensed version is offered by: Intermediate Technology Publications, Ltd. 9 King St.

London WC2E SHN, England

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Responses

  • Elda Romano
    Do amish have mesh for threshing sorghum?
    5 years ago

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