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  1. #1
    Veteran Member lhfarm's Avatar
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    NH TC40DA

    Default Bag-A-Nut for walnuts - follow up

    It has been almost exactly a year since I reported buying a Bag-A-Nut to use to clean up around our 20 walnut trees - http://www.tractorbynet.com/forums/r...my-walnut.html . I just did this year's crop today and thought I give an update and tell you about much improved results.

    I wasn't really happy with the nut sweeper last year. It worked, but jammed a lot and seem to not be sized for our big walnuts. The green fingers catch the nuts and sets of "ramps" push the nuts off the fingers and into the basket. A top bar keeps the larger nuts from escaping. The largest nuts are pushed through by the next nut. I was having jams because the nuts were too big to slip under the top bar.

    The design is pretty simple and I changed out the top 1" plastic rod for a 3/4" piece of PVC. That worked better, but I thought a 1/2" would work better and it did. It still jams, but from twigs and not nuts. Works very well now.

    The next problem was emptying the basket. It is design so you can just pull a rope, which is fine is you just want to dump them at the end of the yard. I wanted to haul them away. Last year, I picked the loaded basket up and dumped it in a plastic bin. Those nuts are heavy and I had to dump the bin all the time or dump it in a trailer and have another unloading task.

    The bucket on the tractor is just the right height and it makes a great combo with the sweeper. No more lifting and I just use the tractor to dump the nuts at the edge of the field. Figure it is a good stockpile for the squirrels.

    We had a bumper corp of walnuts, but I think I cut my clean up time in half from last year. Really glad I made the modifications and found another use for the FEL.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails -battleground-jpg   -tools-jpg   -mod-jpg  
    Barry
    Lawson Hill Farm
    NH TC40DA
    '64 IH Cub Lo-Boy
    '47 Willys Jeep CJ2a w/ PTO
    '49 Willys Jeep CJ3a w/ PTO & 3pt lift
    http://www.farmjeep.com/

  2. #2
    Super Star Member dave1949's Avatar
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    New Holland TC40

    Default Re: Bag-A-Nut for walnuts - follow up

    That looks like a good work saver.

    Are they black walnuts? Do you eat any of the nuts? I know black walnuts are tough to shell and stain your hands. Never been my favorite flavor, but some people are 'nuts' about them. As I remember, my Dad used to drive the car over the hulls to get them open.

    Now that you have it all working, maybe you could develop a larger model. I have the Congressional Bag-A-Nut in mind

    Dave.
    "Those were the days my friend, we thought they'd never end ..."
    When there is a huge solar energy spill, it is called a "nice day"!

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Bag-A-Nut for walnuts - follow up

    Quote Originally Posted by dave1949 View Post
    That looks like a good work saver.

    Are they black walnuts? Do you eat any of the nuts? I know black walnuts are tough to shell and stain your hands. Never been my favorite flavor, but some people are 'nuts' about them. As I remember, my Dad used to drive the car over the hulls to get them open.

    Now that you have it all working, maybe you could develop a larger model. I have the Congressional Bag-A-Nut in mind

    Dave.
    I don't think you can find a tractor big enough for a 'congressional bag-a-nut'.

    Harry K

  4. #4
    Veteran Member lhfarm's Avatar
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    NH TC40DA

    Default Re: Bag-A-Nut for walnuts - follow up

    Quote Originally Posted by dave1949 View Post
    That looks like a good work saver.

    Are they black walnuts? Do you eat any of the nuts? I know black walnuts are tough to shell and stain your hands. Never been my favorite flavor, but some people are 'nuts' about them. As I remember, my Dad used to drive the car over the hulls to get them open.

    Now that you have it all working, maybe you could develop a larger model. I have the Congressional Bag-A-Nut in mind

    Dave.
    They are black walnuts. I left plenty in the drive and I'll crack a few. Lots left on the trees too, so I'll need to do a second round.

    Sent a picture to a friend who thought I had attach the bagger to my FEL. He didn't think that was going to be too successful. I'll forward your idea of a congressional version. I think he will like that one.
    Barry
    Lawson Hill Farm
    NH TC40DA
    '64 IH Cub Lo-Boy
    '47 Willys Jeep CJ2a w/ PTO
    '49 Willys Jeep CJ3a w/ PTO & 3pt lift
    http://www.farmjeep.com/

  5. #5
    Epic Contributor
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    jinman's Avatar
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    Texas - Wise County - Sunset
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    NHTC45D, NH LB75B, Ford Jubilee

    Default Re: Bag-A-Nut for walnuts - follow up

    Barry, that picker seems to really do the trick. I especially like the first picture with the tractor and your trees in the background. It looks like a nice early fall scene and much the same as our pecan groves would be this time of year. I get a monthly magazine from my electric coop company and last month they had an article about a pecan farmer in TX with 1200 acres of pecans at 48 trees per acre. His equipment was a lot bigger than yours and included a shaker for the trees. He also had a sweeper/windrower that he drove in reverse on the tractor so the pecans were swept to the side before the wheels could crush them. I have a feeling that your walnuts are a tougher nut to crack.

    For anyone interested, here's a link to the issue that talks about pecans.
    Last edited by jinman; 10-12-2009 at 09:03 AM. Reason: add link
    Jim


  6. #6
    Veteran Member lhfarm's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bag-A-Nut for walnuts - follow up

    Quote Originally Posted by jinman View Post
    Barry, that picker seems to really do the trick. I especially like the first picture with the tractor and your trees in the background. It looks like a nice early fall scene and much the same as our pecan groves would be this time of year. I get a monthly magazine from my electric coop company and last month they had an article about a pecan farmer in TX with 1200 acres of pecans at 48 trees per acre. His equipment was a lot bigger than yours and included a shaker for the trees. He also had a sweeper/windrower that he drove in reverse on the tractor so the pecans were swept to the side before the wheels could crush them. I have a feeling that your walnuts are a tougher nut to crack.

    For anyone interested, here's a link to the issue that talks about pecans.
    My father-in-law, whose father purchased the farm we now live on in 1912 would gasp at what I paid for that nut picker upper. He grew up during the depression and always had used equipment that even he would often term "junk". But he could keep it running and that was all he asked. I know he left the place (it hasn't been a working farm for 30 years) and "moved to town" long before he wanted to, because the upkeep just got too hard. I'm planning to extend the years I have here by using every tool I can find to save my back. I'll still get plenty of exercise.

    I will admit to feeling a little guilty using all that expensive equipment to do a job that can be done by hand. The truth is that is was really more fun than work.
    Barry
    Lawson Hill Farm
    NH TC40DA
    '64 IH Cub Lo-Boy
    '47 Willys Jeep CJ2a w/ PTO
    '49 Willys Jeep CJ3a w/ PTO & 3pt lift
    http://www.farmjeep.com/

  7. #7
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    Mid-Missouri
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    Kubota L210

    Default Re: Bag-A-Nut for walnuts - follow up

    Funny the different perspective on things. I spent an hour or so yesterday picking up, husking, and washing 2-3 gallons of black walnuts. I only have the one tree, and I probably didn't get all of them, but that's about all the nuts I want to try to crack and pick. I just crack them in a vise and pick the nutmeats out while watching TV in the evening. I'll get a few cups of clean nutmeats that the wife will use for fudge or a cake maybe. I've got English walnuts, too, but they only made about two dozen nuts this year...maybe a bushel next year I hope. Anyway, you can't beat black walnuts in fudge, or in black walnut ice cream. Too bad the wild ones are so much trouble to crack and pick. I'd probably try to process more if I had as many as Barry, but then I'd have to come up with a sheller as well as a picker-upper!

    Chuck

  8. #8
    Veteran Member lhfarm's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bag-A-Nut for walnuts - follow up

    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck52 View Post
    Funny the different perspective on things. I spent an hour or so yesterday picking up, husking, and washing 2-3 gallons of black walnuts. I only have the one tree, and I probably didn't get all of them, but that's about all the nuts I want to try to crack and pick. I just crack them in a vise and pick the nutmeats out while watching TV in the evening. I'll get a few cups of clean nutmeats that the wife will use for fudge or a cake maybe. I've got English walnuts, too, but they only made about two dozen nuts this year...maybe a bushel next year I hope. Anyway, you can't beat black walnuts in fudge, or in black walnut ice cream. Too bad the wild ones are so much trouble to crack and pick. I'd probably try to process more if I had as many as Barry, but then I'd have to come up with a sheller as well as a picker-upper!

    Chuck
    My late FIL said they used a hand crank corn sheller in the most open setting to remove the outer husk. I've looked for a sheller in antique stores, but haven't located one yet.

    I did 3 full FEL buckets of nuts and there are still more on the ground and the trees. I would like to process some and I have left some in the drive. Actually, it is on my things to do when I retire.
    Barry
    Lawson Hill Farm
    NH TC40DA
    '64 IH Cub Lo-Boy
    '47 Willys Jeep CJ2a w/ PTO
    '49 Willys Jeep CJ3a w/ PTO & 3pt lift
    http://www.farmjeep.com/

  9. #9
    Super Star Member dave1949's Avatar
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    New Holland TC40

    Default Re: Bag-A-Nut for walnuts - follow up

    Quote Originally Posted by lhfarm View Post
    My late FIL said they used a hand crank corn sheller in the most open setting to remove the outer husk. I've looked for a sheller in antique stores, but haven't located one yet.

    I did 3 full FEL buckets of nuts and there are still more on the ground and the trees. I would like to process some and I have left some in the drive. Actually, it is on my things to do when I retire.
    Don't know what you would pay for a sheller in an antique shop, but you can buy a new one at Lehman's Hardware. Lehmans.com

    They have a hand crank corn sheller and it mentions walnuts too, $229.

    They have the most interesting stuff there, usually not the cheapest price, but always fun to look at.

    Dave.

    Dave.
    "Those were the days my friend, we thought they'd never end ..."
    When there is a huge solar energy spill, it is called a "nice day"!

  10. #10
    Veteran Member lhfarm's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bag-A-Nut for walnuts - follow up

    Quote Originally Posted by dave1949 View Post
    Don't know what you would pay for a sheller in an antique shop, but you can buy a new one at Lehman's Hardware. Lehmans.com

    They have a hand crank corn sheller and it mentions walnuts too, $229.

    They have the most interesting stuff there, usually not the cheapest price, but always fun to look at.

    Dave.

    Dave.
    Great link and yes interesting items. Apparently the idea of using the sheller for walnuts wasn't limited to my FIL. Not sure I'm ready to spend a couple of implement dollars on a new one. But I will keep looking for a used one.
    Barry
    Lawson Hill Farm
    NH TC40DA
    '64 IH Cub Lo-Boy
    '47 Willys Jeep CJ2a w/ PTO
    '49 Willys Jeep CJ3a w/ PTO & 3pt lift
    http://www.farmjeep.com/

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