The Wonderful Machine

We started reading the Little House on the Prairie series together  last week.     I prefer to read a good book instead of watching brain deadening TV.  We just finished the first book Little House In the Big Woods, and came to the chapter where Pa and the neighbors were threshing grain:

Pa threshing grain.

Well, depending on where you are at on the Hobby Farm / homesteading spectrum, you may or may not have toyed with the idea of growing your own grain.

From what I’ve read,  a 40 ft by 40 ft plot will produce 2 bushels of wheat, which is probably enough for the average small family.  The kicker comes when it’s time to harvest.

I have spent quite a bit of time thinking and reading on this question.  I can still buy Organic wheat, Rye and hull-less oats @ my local grain mill, but I want to grow my own….

without spending hundreds of dollars on equipment that you only use once a year

and without spending hours trying to thrash and clean by hand.

If you have a few minutes, you can watch this clip.  I appreciated this lady taking the time to share her experiences…what worked, what didn’t...more than anything, it motivated me to come up with a better way…

As much as I love doing things myself,  it’s not about seeing how much time I can spend just to survive.  If that’s your gig, more power to you, but I’m  from the school, work smarter not harder.

So in the back of my mind,  I have been wanting some type of  home made thresher.

I read in a comment thread on the Internet, someone had built a thresher out of one of those old reel lawnmowers…well, we had one sitting in the shed so I thought I would”give it a whirl” 😉

I worked on it yesterday…   Here it is mounted on an antique clipper grain cleaner I am restoring:

Home made grain thresher for the hobby farmer sitting on top of antique clipper grain cleaner

Here’s a couple of more pictures:

My home made thresher sitting on top of the antique Clipper grain cleaner

looking  inside the thresher

close up of the grain after it was threshed, before it was cleaned

close up of the original hopper that came with the clipper grain cleaner

Another view of the Clipper.  I still need to find a belt for the left side.  See the wooden pulley’s ?  Are they cool or what?

Anyway,  I know some of you  who read this live somewhat locally…if you’d like to experience grain threshing first hand, let me know.  I do plan to thresh grain later this Summer/ Fall when it’s ready.

I love my wonderful  new machine. 🙂


footnote:  You wouldn’t need the grain cleaner, if you couldn’t find one. I could screw 4 legs on the thresher , put a tarp under it and then just winnow out the chaff with either  a fan or the breeze.

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2 Responses to The Wonderful Machine

  1. I read the whole series this winter! I received the set when I was 9 years old for my birthday and finally brought them to my own home. The stories were a bit more interesting to read from an adult perspective…… I was actually very annoyed how Pa kept up and moving everyone as soon as they got settled! I savored reading each an every one of them. And I didn’t have a thrashing machine to tinker with for inspiration 🙂

  2. Phil BUdnik says:

    I have an old Wheat Thresher that is hand cranked and is made by Chatham. It has a small metal chute on the side where ground wheat flour would come out. It’s orange in color. When you crank it it shakes the wheat down through a shifter, then to a grinding stone and out comes flour. I would like info about it and what it is worth. It’s quite ornamental with all the detailing. It works to fine and I even have the attachment chute.
    Phil, I’d love to see a picture of it. Maybe you could e-mail one to me? Thanks DM

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