The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

Automatic mechanical walnut cracker?

smashing with mechanical means in 2011

do it yourself mechanical smasher worked out well at saving some time and effort building the hanger portion of our Avian Aqua Misers, but the process was a bit cumbersome and dangerous.

mechanical smasher do it yourself

I decided to simplify the hanger design so that a pair of normal pliers could be used to squeeze the hanger into place without as much effort as before.

My latest idea is to use this type of mechanism to automatically crack walnuts. Of course there would need to be some system that fed each nut one at a time, which is the part that has me stumped at the moment, but it's one of those low priority problems that will have to wait a few years due to more pressing projects.

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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

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I love the way you guys keep coming up with innovations! I hope we can be half as innovative once we're out in the boonies - although DH is pretty creative anyway.
Comment by Emily Wed May 25 17:06:26 2011
I have no idea how they work, but maybe something like the hopper that feeds tennis balls into an automatic serving machine? Interesting idea!
Comment by Bethany James Wed May 25 20:25:31 2011

Emily --- thanks for your kind words! Mark is a real innovator, and I'll bet your husband will rise to the occasion.

Bethany --- That's an intriguing idea! It's always good to use gadgets that already exist rather than totally reinventing the wheel.

Comment by anna Thu May 26 13:10:06 2011

Wouldn't a long lever be a much easier method to crack walnuts? Place the walnut under the lever near the pivot point, and push on the free end. How long the lever should be is a matter of experimentation. A machanism to feed the walnuts et cetera isn' t that hard either. I'll make a sketch and send it when I' m back home.

Roland (not logged in; currently travelling on the other side of the world)

Comment by Roland_Smith Sat May 28 05:41:42 2011

Not in the U.S.?!

From this map --- --- it looks like the other side of the world for you would be in the ocean midway between Australia, South America, and Antarctica. :-)

Comment by anna Sat May 28 07:51:39 2011
I was speaking figuratively :-) Actually I'm in Shanghai for a business trip.
Comment by Roland_Smith Sat May 28 20:19:34 2011
I was just teasing you --- I figured you weren't in the South Pacific. :-) If you do come to the U.S. on business sometime, you'd better email us, though! Have fun in Shanghai.
Comment by anna Sun May 29 07:52:05 2011

Shanghai is a very busy city (20-odd million people). Yesterday was sunday, so we did some sightseeing. Old Shanghai (what is left of it) is pretty picturesque. The Huxingting tea house in the Bazaar and the Shanghai Museum are definitely worth a visit! It's a big country, though, Last week we spent 4 hours in a jam-packed 250 km/hour train to get somewhere! Also tall west-europeans literally stick out in the crowd. People who aren' t at least a head shorter than me are in short supply.

If my travels take me to the US (fortunately I don't have to travel that often, because it can be quite tiring) I'll definitely keep you posted.

Comment by Roland_Smith Mon May 30 02:17:30 2011

Wow! Sounds like quite an experience! Mark and I were just talking about you at supper last night, hoping you tell us a bit about your journey. Of course, in our dream world, you went to visit mushroom farms instead of tea houses. :-)

I know what you mean about travel being tiring....

Comment by anna Mon May 30 07:50:45 2011

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