This berry picker is made out of PVC pipe. Heat is used to shape the plastic. Two "fingers" at the working end do the picking. The berry then falls through the pipe and lands in a plastic bag tied to the other end.

This berry patch belongs to a neighbor. I plan to grow some at my house on rebar trellises, for easier maintenance and harvesting. See my trellis instructable when you are done with this one: http://www.instructables.com/id/A-REBAR-TRELLIS-for-Home-and-Garden/

Also, for further PVC working inspiration, see my instructable: http://www.instructables.com/id/PVC-Its-Great-for-Inventions/

Step 1: Safety

We love plastics for what they do for us, but plastic manufacture and decay tend to pollute the environment and negatively affect our health.

Vinyl Chloride, one of the components of PVC, is carcinogenic. When it is locked up in the polymer, however, it is much safer to be around. In my years of experience working with PVC, I have not noticed any adverse effects on my health from being around it.

Always work in areas with good ventilation. If you do get caught in a cloud of smoke, hold your breath and move to clean air.

When heating PVC with a gas stove or propane torch, try not to let it burn. Smoke from burning PVC is bad. With experience one burns it less and less. Don't panic the first time you do burn some. It scorches, but doesn't immediately burst into flame. Move the material away from the flame and try again. Don't breathe the smoke. Smoke avoidance comes naturally for most people.

While heating PVC over a gas flame, keep the plastic an appropriate distance from the flame. Avoid scorching the surface before the inside can warm up. It takes time for heat to travel to the center of the material being heated.

Keep the plastic moving, and keep an eye on the state of the plastic. When heated, the PVC material is flexible, like leather. Beyond this stage, you risk scorching it.

A word from James, the plastic engineer -- "Just a word of warning, PVC can handle some high heats but if it catches fire, you wont be able to put it out, it does not need oxygen to burn so don't do this inside".

I do work inside, but my house is made of cement and has good ventilation. MAKE SURE THAT YOU HAVE GOOD VENTILATION. IF YOU PLAY WITH FIRE, DO SO CAREFULLY.
<p>mmh... interesting idea, could be useful for picking cherries also. </p>
<p>brilliant! Now I can reach into those brambles</p>
great idea! works well.
<p>oooooooooooooooh this is awesome</p>
<p>Instead of heating PVC on an open flame using a hot air gun is better as you get a better control of the process. However you still should be cautious of fumes and gazes.</p><p>Thanks for posting !&hellip;</p>
<p>HOW did I miss this great idea? No more standing on a step ladder trying to reach the cherries! </p><p>Thanks for sharing!</p>
So my husband thought I was crazy when I brought home a 2 metre length of pvc pipe and sat outside with the pipe, a saw and a hairdryer (in placeof an outdoor heat source this works really well, just need to find a long extention cord) This intructable worked a treat, and we've been blackberry picking with out picker this morning in the local park. <br>This is such a great tool. We used it to pick the good looking berries out of reach, and also to pull branches towards us and push nettles out of the way to pull the berries within reach by hand quickly and safely. Thank you so much Thinkenstein!!
Thanks for the positive feedback. That's the best reward for posting. Glad to hear the info is helping you get those big, juicy ripe ones.
best Idea have seen in a long time, very simple. Excellent.
wow pure genuis
Wow, nice instructable! My mom, and pretty much my whole family, harvest berries, mushrooms, etc every year. I'm going to make her this for Christmas, thanks!
Thanks for this! I saw it a while ago, but actually made one this year for our massive cherry tree. We'd been happily munching away as we picked until one of my kids noticed this &quot;little white caterpillar&quot; inside one of the cherries . . . make that, ALL of the cherries. It was quite a let down after weeks of waiting for ripe cherries, and it ruined the season for us, as we had a killer crop. (We treated the tree systemically this year but didn't spray. Oops!) <br> <br>At least the picker is ready for next year.
Sorry to hear about the worms. May the next crop make up for it. Pity you have to use chemicals.
My cherry tree just started bearing good last year. I could not get the high ones and lost a lot of fruit. I will be ready for them this june when I make this picker. Thanks so much for this great idea.
Yum! What a pity that cherries don't grow everywhere, like where I live! Good luck getting the high escapees next year.
Wow! Your I'ble is excellent. Your pictures are clear, your explanations are detailed without being excessive, and the idea is well presented. I like when we can make or reuse things.
Nicely done! Your name applies perfectly to you. I love the way you think and I cant wait to go check out all your other instructables. <br>Do you have a web site for your farm or products? Is there a way to PM on this site so I don't have to post my email on this comments page?<br><br>Please tell me how you superimposed that image of the picker onto your other photo.<br><br>Keep inspiring and thinking creatively!!<br><br>Michael
Hi Michael. Glad you liked the picker. <br><br>My web site is www.angelfire.com/in2/manythings . Hope you enjoy it. <br><br>I think if you click on my icon it will take you to my profile, and from there you can send a private message. <br><br>I use a photo editing program called PhotoImpression that lets one work with layers and make collage images. It's a lot more user friendly than Photoshop is.
AWESOME! This is such a great idea.
Cool ible. I'm definitely gonna make one for myself. <br>I like to use hot water to soften plastics though.
Thanks for this great idea and instructions! Looking forward to trying these out on some high cherries this afternoon:<br>
what is the brand name of your propane stove you use there.
My stove is marked RENCA. It was used when I got it. Cast iron. Much better quality than the ones you get today.
i've been looking for a way to pick the cherries from our huge tree this year..they've going to waste for the last 4 years..this is great!!!
If you make some pies I would love to see how you go about making them. I love cherry pie.
When I was a kid I use to pick apples with a similar combination. One stick had a hook on the end and the other stick had a 2 litter bottle that was cut and the mouth was taped onto the end of the stick to form a cup. you then used the hook to grab your apple of choice and the ripped it into the 1 litter bottle top. It was a fun way to get the good apples at the top of the tree.
Hey, that was easy!&nbsp; I made two of them, one for me and one for my daughter.&nbsp; I had a little trouble because the pipes I found had a much thicker wall than yours, but it worked out okay.&nbsp; I used an old fashioned glass Coke bottle for the flared bit at the end, since my juicer is plastic.&nbsp; Thanks for the idea, we'll try them out in a couple of weeks when the blackberries start to ripen!<br> <br>
This is great. I think an electric heat gun would probably be the safest way to make this. <br><br>
:D what a funny heck ! great !
Congratulations on being featured on <a href="http://www.instructables.com/community/DIY-Green-Projects-On-ABC-News/">ABC News</a>!<br />
Thanks for letting me know.&nbsp; <br />
you <em>are</em> awsome!<br/>
Thanks. It's nice to have fans.
i really wish i had fans like me........
If nothing else, you can be grateful for the enthusiasm you have. Practice what you love and when others take note, you'll have your fans. If they never do, at least you will have spent your time well.
again you are a genius just <em>listen</em> to yourself!!!!!!<br/>
He merely took a practical thing and used it for something that people who live near everywhere who enjoy such a thing.&nbsp; It can also be used for getting Christmas ornaments down off of the tree.&nbsp; Anyone with a critical mind could have done this. <br /> <br /> However, how many people have even this?&nbsp; I have yet to see it in my generation, for all they care about is what they look like.<br />
&nbsp;his name says it all&nbsp;<br /> <br />
haha yep :-)<br />
i think this is one of the&nbsp; most brilliant things i've ever seen. I've been berry picking for years getting scratched up and falling down hills. Ii'm trying this for next year. <br />
&nbsp;GENIUS!!!!!!!OMG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!5 STARS!!!!!!!!!!!!
Thanks.&nbsp; <br />
In the northern parts of eastern Washington state, Idaho, and Montanna there are wild Huckleberries (aka Bilberries) which are rare, EXPENSIVE and labor INTENSIVE. One solution to picking faster is a &quot;Huckleberry Rake&quot; device. If hand picking in a good patch of berry bushes provides a double handful after 2 or more hours of picking, imagine how happy people will be when they can quadruple their harvest. I've found one commercial product that is unfortunately very expensive. Does anyone want to make an instructable to build something similar to this? <a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.huckleberryrake.com/">http://www.huckleberryrake.com/</a><br/><br/>(Huckleberries are selling for $40 per gallon bag at the farmers markets.)<br/><br/>Thanks!<br/>
<p>use a 1 gallon plastic milk jug with short fingers cut out of the side opposite of&nbsp; the handle</p>
I looked at the huckleberry rake it looks like something you can make with wire hangers and a milk jug.
Just a thought. Electric fans come with 2-part protective wire cages around them. The wires radiate out from the center. Cut the wires right before the border edge reinforcement and you would have a circular comb that might work for combing the huckleberry bushes with. If you leave half of the border reinforcement, it would be more comfortable to hold, leaving the other half to comb with.
"very expensive" isn't really the case - 25 bucks if its built well could last a long time. That said - you could make one out of a plastic bottle (bleach/detergent etc with a handle). Cut the back portion off, as if making a bailing bucket, then attach your choice of fingers. I recommend bamboo with rounded tips, attach at the base of the bucket with duct tape.
I have a bunch of huckleberries and they aren't rare or expensive.
This is an awesome solution!<br />
&nbsp;oh my gosh this is such a GREAT idea i swear get this patented and you will make some good money this is genius =) if i had a berry farm i would make this right now

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Bio: I'm a refugee from Los Angeles, living in backwoods Puerto Rico for about 35 years now and loving it. I built my own home ... More »
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