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millhand
02-18-2010, 11:14 AM
I had some fun in the shop before Christmas and turned a pair of 10" diameter wood bowls for nuts and candy or whatever. My wife liked them, rushed out and bought lots of almonds, hazelnuts, pecans and walnuts. I can crack the almonds and hazelnuts OK; the pecans and walnuts give me problems. Looks like I am not consuming my share 'cause there is still a bowl full.

Help me out here! I'd like a metal project this time: a shop-made nutcracker that is better than the "scissors knurl" that we have. Of course I would be open to the suggestion of b.b.b.buying one - even thinking of buying something that I can make causes me to stutter. So however I acquire it, I need a better nutcracker.

TIA
Carl

HSS
02-18-2010, 11:20 AM
I've gotten the parts to start a nut cracker for a friend but haven't begun yet, just hauling the parts around. I'll take pictures as I go. He has made one out of wood but wants this one made out of aluminum. I have a drawing of his wooden one and tried to draw one up using sketchup but didn't finish the drawing. Too many things to do and get sidetracked too easily.

Patrick

EVguru
02-18-2010, 11:48 AM
I've got one of these at home;

http://www.retonthenet.co.uk/vintage-1981-chrome-plated-3-in-1-crackerjack-nutcrackers-by-cl-rimes-limited-of-leeds-432-p.asp

Best nutcracker I've ever come accross, if a little slow.

George Bulliss
02-18-2010, 12:06 PM
We ran an article on making a nutcracker in the Jan/Feb 2008 issue of The Home Shop Machinist. It was a popular article and we have heard from a number of people who made them.

If you are interested in picking up a copy, call (800)447-7367.

George

Dr Stan
02-18-2010, 12:15 PM
Millhand,

I have CAD drawings of a nutcracker I used as a lab project. Send me a PM and I can e-mail you the files.

Stan

camdigger
02-18-2010, 12:57 PM
Vise grips?

kjbllc
02-18-2010, 01:04 PM
I have been thinking about this, although my machining experience is very limited so there are probably much fancier and elaborate ideas out there.

I found the screw type worked the best I have seen, good pressure and more accurate than lever types.
any way my simple idea was to take a 3" pipe cut to about 4" and then weld a plate on the bottom, and put a larger type thread at an angle that hits the lower corner of the plate and pipe. It would hold the nut in place, not too big and keep the shells in the bottom that you could just dump out. Now this may be a bad idea because I have never made it yet it might turn out to be a complete waste of time, but there it is>

Alistair Hosie
02-18-2010, 01:44 PM
good quality teeth OH NO :DAlistair ps you can buy these from any woodturning suppliers.

lynnl
02-18-2010, 01:58 PM
Here's a picture of my favorite pecan sheller. The "inertia" cracker, powered by rubber bands.

http://www.crackyourpecans.com/Inertia_rubber_band_pecan_cracker.htm

The verbiage in that website says all aluminum, but mine has a cast iron anvil against which the nuts are cracked.

hornluv
02-18-2010, 02:11 PM
I made one for Christmas. Basically took a piece of 2.25" steel round and bored a 1.375" hole through the side. On the end, I bored a hole to accept a piece of 1" brass tube that was 12" long. I threaded the other end of the tube to take a ring that kept the weight from coming out. Then I made a weight out of brass that weighed 1/2 lb or so and used a piece of 3/16" brass rod pressed into the weight as a plunger so I could draw it up. I put a decorative knob on the end of that to finish it off. I had to put a pretty good chamfer on the bottom of the weight so if someone dropped it without a nut in the chamber it wouldn't mushroom enough to make the weight bind in the tube. I'll take some pics later and post them.

2ManyHobbies
02-18-2010, 02:27 PM
How about this:
http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/displayitem.taf?Itemnumber=3552

With a small steel bowl under it?

At least that is what I had in mind when I read "I need a good shop nutcracker"...


:D

Bob Farr
02-18-2010, 02:55 PM
We ran an article on making a nutcracker in the Jan/Feb 2008 issue of The Home Shop Machinist. It was a popular article and we have heard from a number of people who made them.

If you are interested in picking up a copy, call (800)447-7367.

George

Millhand,

I highly recommend the nutcracker project from the HSM article that George mentioned. It's a nice design and could be modified to incorporate some wood components to match your bowls.

Good luck,

Bob

Arcane
02-18-2010, 07:46 PM
The first good nutcracker I had was made by Schwinn...:eek:

jdunmyer
02-18-2010, 08:23 PM
I made several nutcrackers from the HSM plans, they work great. I happen to have a 1" X 8 tap on hand, so used that thread on the screw, which I made from brass. Put a knob on the top of the screw, made from aluminum about 2" diameter, with milled flutes around the periphery. Also made the hole for the nut go all the way through.

Your Old Dog
02-18-2010, 08:30 PM
To open the walnuts you put two in your right hand one behind the other and slam your clenched fist into your opened left hand palm. One of them will give and open easily from there.

Im just trying to save a fellow board member from needing to use his machine and mess up a finger :D

Dr Stan
02-18-2010, 08:40 PM
I took a couple of pics of mine. http://s1016.photobucket.com/albums/af285/drstan/nutcracker/

I'll have to locate a copy of Corel Draw or something to convert my dwg files, or just take pics of the print outs. That will have to wait until Monday or Tuesday.

Dragons_fire
02-18-2010, 08:41 PM
how about something like this... it would include metalwork and woodwork...

http://www.leevalley.com/wood/page.aspx?c=1&p=32869&cat=1,250,43243,50237

Tony Ennis
02-18-2010, 08:48 PM
I can crack walnuts with my bare hands.

2ManyHobbies
02-18-2010, 09:41 PM
I can crack walnuts with my bear hands.
There, FTFY :D

3jaw
02-19-2010, 12:00 AM
This site sells the ultimate nutcracker:

[/URL][URL="http://hillarynutcracker.com/"]Nutcracker (http://nutcracker)

Mike Burdick
02-19-2010, 12:32 AM
How about this:
http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/displayitem.taf?Itemnumber=3552

With a small steel bowl under it?

At least that is what I had in mind when I read "I need a good shop nutcracker"...


:D
Actually that's the BEST nutcracker; I have been using one for years. One can very easily put just the right amount of pressure to crack the shell without harming the nut. It will crack walnuts such that one can get two perfect halves almost every time!

Walter
02-19-2010, 01:59 AM
Just use an arbor press!:D

Hrm, note to self;

Read all before posting semi smart assed reply. Shoulda known someone had beat me to the punch.

hoof
02-19-2010, 08:36 AM
I've never seen a hydraulic nutcracker. And with the tech explosion we are in the middle of the world just might be ready for it.

millhand
02-19-2010, 04:56 PM
Time to sum this one up: clearly the problem is the controlled application of force. I proved that by grabbing a handful of nuts and heading to the shop. The arbor press did a nice job on the pecans and walnuts. So any device that can control the force applied after the shell begins cracking would probably work. Screw, gear and rack, and over-center cam lever look good. The HSM design and one or two others are screw devices, but use large diameter chunks of metal. The over-center cam could be made with a De-Sta type clamp and that is probably where I will start: either a De-Sta-Co type clamp or a completely fabricated unit per Dr. Stan. Think of it as a house-broke arbor press!

I've seen walnuts cracked in the hand but never mastered that one - probably because my hands are small. I now remember what was in the back of my mind when I started this thread: the inertia cracker. I knew that somewhere I had seen an example and was intrigued by it. I could only remember the interest part - couldn't remember anything about it.

Thanks guys
Carl

millhand
02-19-2010, 05:00 PM
I went back to the websites I had opened while reading this thread and I thought I would add this about the Lee Valley nutcracker:

My nut bowl is turned from a maple burl and is shaped like the one in the Lee Valley photo. The center post is full height and bored through the center almost to the bottom of the bowl. The regular nut crackers and picks go in the hole. Looks good and works great.

Carl

Dr Stan
02-19-2010, 05:27 PM
How about a 100# anvil and a 15# sledge hammer? :D

Toolguy
02-19-2010, 07:13 PM
The easy way to crack walnuts by hand is to get 2 at a time and squeeze them together. One of them will crack. The way to do one at a time is to squeeze on the parting line.

gmatov
02-21-2010, 04:36 AM
Pecans and the like, and even walnuts, offer full halves if you shatter from the end of the nut, and the best way is with a sharp rap.

Many designs on line for them. You still have to pick out the "placenta" or whatever you want to call the shell like material between the halves.

Nut producers have probably spent millions to develop the best nutcrackers, to produce either whole cashews or walnut halves, as opposed to "bits and pieces".

Cheers,

George

Toolguy,

English walnut, true. Take an American Black Walnut and try it. Takes damn near a 3 pound hand sledge to even dent it. They HUSK them by putting them on the driveway and driving back and forth over them JUST to get the HULL off. Don't you have them all the way out there in KS? Or have you never though them little more than golfball sized green things were actually WALNUTS. They're everywhere, around here, and you pick one up with a mower it will put a hole in a house.

BillDaCatt
02-21-2010, 04:02 PM
Here is a simple representation of the nutcracker that was featured in HSM. I have intentionally left the dimensions off of the drawing, but if I recall correctly the HSM nutcracker was 2" at the base and had a 1" screw with a dished bottom. The updated one had a hollow handle and a coin pressed into the top to dress it up and indicate the year it was made. You are free to make it as simple or as fancy as you like.

http://i60.photobucket.com/albums/h7/BillDaCatt/Nutcracker/Nutcracker.jpg

- BDC

Toolguy
02-21-2010, 04:10 PM
Gmatov-
I'm well aware of black walnuts. Seen a lot of them over the years. I have not seen any I would want to eat. English walnuts are a whole different animal.
Much more refined. I'm sure the Brits on here will lift a cold one to that.

Timleech
02-21-2010, 04:37 PM
Gmatov-
I'm well aware of black walnuts. Seen a lot of them over the years. I have not seen any I would want to eat. English walnuts are a whole different animal.
Much more refined. I'm sure the Brits on here will lift a cold one to that.

Nah, we prefer ours warm
;) ;)

Tim

Dr Stan
02-22-2010, 01:20 PM
Here's the link to my drawings. http://s1016.photobucket.com/albums/af285/drstan/nutcracker/ For whatever reason the conversion was less than desirable. If anyone knows of good free dwg conversion saftware please let me know.

I made some simple fixtures to facilitate the project. One was to drill the links as a pair and the other was for the welding. I never made drawings for the fixtures, but they should be easy to replicate. Once the sleeve was welded to the base I used a 1" adjustable reamer set to about 1.002" to clean up the inside of the plunger sleeve. The adjuster was made from 1 1/8" diameter 10L18 drops from Coleman Powermate. It was nice to have the students cut threads in the Leadloy and resulted in a superior product. 20 TPI (UNEF) was chosen since it takes less time to cut than either UNC or UNF 1" threads. I purchased a cheap powder coater from Harbor Freight and a used electrode oven off EBay as the baking oven. A used electric oven would work just as well, just do not use a gas oven. The powder coasting can be messy, but I found it better than having cans of spray paint around.

I was in the process of producing a 3D assembly drawing, but never finished it. If you make one, please share it.

I bought screws and rivets from MSC for the assembly process. The base was made from 1 X 4 pine and laser engraved with the student's name, program, year etc.

I just converted them to gif files and they seem to be better. Here's the link http://s1016.photobucket.com/albums/af285/drstan/nutcracker/

panchula
02-23-2010, 01:17 PM
I made this for my father-in-law a couple of Christmases ago.

http://www-personal.umich.edu/~panchula/Pictures/Nutcracker.jpg

All the vertical components are stainless steel, horizontal are aluminum, The handle is from hard maple, the base from walnut.

http://www-personal.umich.edu/~panchula/Pictures/Nutcracker2.jpg

One thing I'd do differently is use a 1/2-13 thread. I made this 1/2-20 and it takes too many turns if you've got the munchies.

-Mike