Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Homemade Berry Rake

With the help of my friend Ric, I finally got around to finishing a berry rake project that I started last year. The concept of the rake is that the leaves and branches slide between the tines, while the larger berries get plucked off and fall into the storage chamber. The tines extend all the way into the storage chamber allowing any small and unripe berries, insects, or leaves that came off with the berries an opportunity to fall out. In theory, this will make cleaning the berries much faster.
My materials are entirely recycled and include a copper plated steel firewood rack, stainless steel bicycle spokes and some scraps of oak wood. I got the copper at Goodwill and pounded it flat, and then cut out my container, and bent it into shape. I soldered a small portion of the original firewood rack handle onto the top my berry rake, and soldered a rectangular plate of metal onto the back of the rake so that four of the six sides are enclosed. The bottom is made up of stainless steel spokes that I got at the Hub, which is a bicycle repair shop that saves bikes from the garbage and fixes them up for sale. They have a scrap metal bin that the owner let me rummage through. I fastened the spokes to the back plate of the berry rake by drilling a series of holes about 3/16 of an inch apart. Then I laced the spokes through the holes until the spoke nipples seated against the holes. The spokes are held into place in parallel rows by three oak brackets that are drilled, laced over the spokes, and fastened to the sides of the rake with brass screws.

The specifications are as follows:
Length- 9"
Width- 6"
Depth- 3"
Length of spokes- 10"
Number of spokes- 26
Distance between spokes- 3/16"

I have enough material for a second rake, so I think I will make one with more widely spaced tines.

My berry rake in action on some Evergreen Huckleberries

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