Rated 3.5 out of 5 by 2
Rated 3.0 out of 5.0 by pokey54 Good, but not great without modifications!
I have 5 apple trees in my backyard. I ended up with 2 ea. 50 Gallon Ice Chest Coolers full of apples this year, which is a typical yield. In the past I've made apple pies, made pie filling and applesauce, or brought the apples to a local winery so they could press the apples in return for some juice, or just gave the apples away. This year I decided to make my own apple press from a machine shop bearing press I purchased last year and if time allowed I was going to build an apple grinder from plans I've seen online. I was pressed for time (no pun intended) this year because of the amount of fruit I picked, so I purchased this fruit grinder from Home Depot. It is sturdy, It's made of cast iron, has a sturdy handwheel and steel center shaft and looks like it will last for some time. I mounted it on a table I made adjacent to my apple press and I processed enough apples on my first day to produce 2 gallons of juice with my homemade press. The flat screwdriver-like teeth on the interior drum seemed to do the trick and created a nice pomace for pressing.
These are the good points.
The negative points are that it took me 3 hours to produce 2 gallons of juice. Granted it was my initial experience with this grinder and my homemade press, but you would have to have Popeye arms in order to process a large amount of apples in an expedient manner with this press. The Chute kept backing up with pomace, so I had to stop each time and insert my hand up into the chute to get the pomace to fall or slide into my 5 gallon bucket. Also, there was a 3/4 inch gap on the back side of the grinder that allowed the pomace to exit out of the back of the chute rather than down the chute like it should. Also there are no bearings on the axle/shaft which makes me think that the friction between the body and the shaft will eventually cause metal wear because of gap between the body/shaft and the slight imbalance . (Bearings would have been nice!.)
I took the grinder apart to see if there would be an easy way to clean the grinder after use besides just hosing it down. It had several no. 10 machine screws holding the side plates and center guard on. It would have also been nice if this grinder would have been designed to easily disassemble in order to clean around the drum and interior of the unit where pomace can lodge between use.
My fix for this grinder's shortfalls are that I am going to mount a 10 inch fanbelt wheel on the 5/8 inch shaft and mount 1/3 HP Electric Motor underneath this unit with a 3 inch fanbelt wheel and run the motor electrically so I can process the large amount of apples I have. To compensate for the possible metal wear of the shaft/body, I'm going to mount a pillow bearing on a block of wood at/underneath the center of the handwheel shaft to try and relieve some of the nonconcentric wobble/stress produce by the higher RPM's. There is no way to modify the opposite side plate to accept a shaft bearing, so the pillow block bearing will have to suffice. I bought a small piece of aluminum sheet metal and mounted it on the back side of the grinder to keep the pomace from exiting the back of the unit.
In the end I think this will be a great grinder, but it needs modifications to get it there.
November 18, 2012
Rated 4.0 out of 5.0 by Ricki Apple crusher Good for its purpose, small jobs
The product was pre-assembled which saves time; For my application I should have ordered a high volume motorized unit.
Do you take trade-ins?>
September 16, 2014