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need design help

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  • need design help

    greets all.
    its olive season in these parts.. all the locals pick their trees by hand and go the presses for the yearly olive oil harvest.

    the olives need to be de-leafed and de-stemmed otherwise the oil comes out bitter. this is all done by hand.

    they have big wooden grates that shake.. the loose leaves fall through, the ones still stuck to the olives (stems, etc) have to be plucked by hand.

    i'm trying to make a smaller version of an apple deleafer (is that a word?) for my farmer friends (i get free olive oil this way

    apple deleafers use a series of pinch rollers.. maybe 3" in diameter.. the leaves and stems get 'pinched' and pulled through the bottom.. the apples are too big to go through so they just rattle around on top.

    olives, on the other hand, are small. so i'd be using 1/4" rollers. problem is i'd need to mount then side by side, in contact. maybe 20 of them? (testing) how do i squeeze bearings in there? and how would i drive them? each roller turns the opposite direction of the one right before it.

    basically its 20 1/4" rollers (maybe a foot long) that are in rolling contact with eachother. even if i use really small rubber belts (rubber bands?) it'll space my rollers out and might not pinch the leaves.

    sorry so long.
    any thoughts?
    any other way to de-leaf?

  • #2
    Small gears of the right size and pressure angle etc. would give you opposing rotation. Do you have any photos or sketches?


    • #3
      Drive alternate shafts from opposite ends. Use a chain and sprocket with a hold down above each sprocket to keep the chain from riding up and off the sprocket.
      no neat sig line


      • #4
        use small toothed timing gears and run the toothed belt over one timing gear then under the next timing gear etc. that way each pair of rollers are turning towards each other...jim


        • #5
          In grape havesters they use a 20" suction fan rotor at 3,500 rpm over the top of a conveyor.

          add a rotating screen to keep the olives from going to the fan.

          In green pea and bean harvesters they use suction fans too.


          • #6
            Pair the rollers in set of two. One driven and one idler. Have the driven roller in contact with the idler roll and it will turn in the opposite direction. Result will be one set of pinchrolls. Put in as many pairs as you need. Leave a small space between the sets. The idler rolls would have short shaft and the driven rolls would have longer shaft and could have larger bearings and drive pulleys outboard of the idler bearings position. Use a timing belt to drive the rolls. There will be room for a tensioner roll below the drive rolls.

            Hope this helps.



            • #7
              I like the idea of every other roller on each side. Just to try it out, it's too bad you can't get a couple of used 2 1/2" or 3" wide supercharger belts. I just looked at mine and the back of it has 1/16" deep serrations all the way across. If you could glue some serrated hose to the rollers then run the blower belt inside out around these...tension would mearly be a uhmw platten pushing the serrations of the blower belt into the serrations of the hose glued to the roller. The drive pulleys would have to be larger of course but idlers would push it together on each end to meet the height of the platten. I'm thinking that a 1/2" wide by 1" high (or so) brass bar could be drilled for the shafts. Possibly split down the length so it could be taken apart? Hope you get the ghist of this...seems really clear to!
              I have tools I don't even know I own...


              • #8
                Support the backside of each roller with a section of flatbar,edge up with a 1/4 radius groove milled in the edge.

                The driving situation I would use gears,gear them all together input your power via a roller in the middle,this cuts the maximum torque rating in half.

                Only thing is,wouldn't the rolers need to be rubber covered to grip the leaves?
                I just need one more tool,just one!


                • #9
                  I like the tube, rollers w/bearings pressed in the ends. Kinda like a conveyor line.

                  If you don't want to gear drive, perhaps a xl belt from grainger like I used to use on my small machines. I'd cast them out of the resin from a lead mold. Use air pressure to pop them out. Shoot a hole with the lathe chucked on the outside and the gears cost you about a buck a piece. You can drill and tap the polyester resin.. I think rockwell hardness of 75? almost weapon strength. You could make knives out of the stuff.. thou that'd probably be illegal these days.. Mostly that is what I used it for.. gears.. I poured the lead right around a pulley once.. then popped it out, sprayed the release spray on and cast a perfect copy. 1% shrinkage.

                  I have two or three xl gears laying about the shop if you want me to mail you one to copy.. It'd be a pain to make unless you have a cnc. Easy to cast thou. A belt drive on each side every other roll. Whole shebang should cost about thirty or so bucks to make.

                  Cheers.. I am off to bed.


                  • #10
                    1/4" rollers nearly touching...wouldn't that be sort of a small gear?
                    I have tools I don't even know I own...