Device for sorting potatoes and how to make it yourself
To store potatoes, you need to sort them. This is a very laborious and painstaking process that requires considerable expenditure of physical strength and time, especially if the harvest is rich. Therefore, it becomes relevant to the question of devices that will facilitate work and make sorting faster and more convenient. We will tell you how to make potato sorting with your own hands.
The content of the article
Why potatoes are sorted, sorting parameters
Before harvesting potatoes for the winter, they must be sorted by size, variety, appearance and other indicators that are important for producers or households.
The enterprises sort tubers according to the following scheme: 4-6 cm; 6-8 cm; over 8 cm. Potatoes that do not fall into even the smallest classification are harvested separately.
Small potatoes from the first two groups go to store shelves, and the larger one goes to vegetable markets. The largest, selected tubers are left for seed by procurers, and also delivered to public catering points.
Important! Sick and damaged tubers are rejected, which will quickly begin to rot and spoil the entire crop. Also, when sorting, they remove the fallen plants, clods of earth, stones and other debris.
Mechanism and its effectiveness
There are two ways to sort potatoes:
- manual - is produced by a person using his physical strength, i.e. each tuber is manually selected according to different categories;
- mechanized - additional devices are involved to facilitate and speed up work.
Mechanized sorting is suitable for large yields and consists in separating small tubers from large ones using a large sieve.
Mechanized sorting is subdivided into manual and automatic. The first is suitable for home harvesting for the winter, since it is slower, but cheaper than automated. The second type of sorting is used with special equipment and the harvest is processed in tons.
One of the easiest to implement, but at the same time quite effective means of saving time for sorting potatoes, is a grid table.
In fact, this is a regular wooden box with a lattice bottom. These are found on grocery and vegetable counters, in food wholesale stores. They can be bought or asked for free from store employees.
The box will have to be tweaked a little by narrowing the bottom slats on one side so that the larger potatoes slide over them. This can be done with a regular or circular saw or a hacksaw.
Attention! If you do not have the opportunity to find a ready-made box, you can make it yourself from scraps of boards and bars, plywood.
Materials with a thickness of 30-35 mm are suitable. The length of the tray is not less than 1500 mm, the width is 750 mm, the height of the sides is not less than 250 mm, otherwise the potatoes will spill out even before sorting.
The bottom of the trays is also made by hand from narrow slats, which are positioned so that in one part the gap between them is less than in the other (for example, on one side at a distance of 30-40 mm from each other, on the other - 60-70 mm ).
To turn the box into a sorting table, it is installed at an angle on small supports so that the tubers roll down an inclined plane (Fig. 1).
Under the edge that is higher, a container (box, bucket or box) is installed under the smaller potatoes, since they will slip through faster, and the larger tubers will roll down the board. They put another box there.
It is much easier to cope with such work together than alone. Then labor productivity will be approximately 800 kg of potatoes per hour. Since the structure is easy to assemble and lightweight, it can be used by several families at once.
Cylinder-shaped potato sorting machine
This type of device is more difficult to make, but still possible. It will speed up the work and the amount of the sorted crop at times.
For this you will need:
- 2 rod cylinders, fastened together;
- grates for rolling potatoes;
- lever arm;
To make potato sorting, it is necessary to place grates with holes of different diameters inside the cylinders.
The potatoes are separated in 3 fractions: small, medium and large. Small and medium tubers are sorted sequentially, while large ones are rolled out. Garbage accidentally caught in potatoes is sifted out using additionally installed small grates.
Mobile potato sorting machine L-701
One of the most popular mechanized machines is the L-701 mobile potato sorting machine. It is quite large in size and is designed to work in the field with a tractor or autonomously.
The design of this machine allows tubers to be sorted into small, medium and large. It consists of rubberized grids with rectangular holes. The electric drive starts up. Such equipment can handle a load of 5 tons of potatoes per hour.
Another fundamental difference from the cylindrical sorter is the size - at 7 m in length, the unit weighs almost 800 kg.
The most advanced potato sorting machine is the M-616. It is much more complex in design - it has a feed belt, a heated selection table, a conveyor, a bag accumulator, a support frame on wheels (which makes the unit transportable without unnecessary effort). Such a device helps to separate potatoes not only by size, but also to select seed.
This is a large unit that sorts potatoes into 4 parts. Its design allows one person to move the machine. Such equipment can handle a load of 5 tons of potatoes per hour.
How to make a do-it-yourself sorting device - step by step instructions and drawings
Another device, consisting of only 2 edged boards, can also be made by yourself.
To do this, the boards should be positioned at an angle (Fig. 3) so that a gap is formed, increasing down the structure.
Smaller potatoes will fall higher, and large ones - at the bottom.
Place a collection container for the sorted potatoes one after the other under the boards so that tubers of the correct size fall directly into the box or box.
Tips & Tricks
If you don't have a ton of your own potato crop, you can rely on homemade sorting tools.
There is no point in buying or hiring a special automated sorting machine for homework. A manual mechanism made by yourself will cope with the task.
A trellised table is perfect for small crops. For more voluminous work, you can make a cylindrical sorter that will serve you for more than one year.
Making a potato sorter with your own hands is not difficult. It is an easy-to-use device that is easy to transport.Your friends and neighbors can also use it. If you need to prepare a large amount of potatoes, automated machines are used that process up to 5 tons of potatoes per hour.