When it is cherry season, one of the chores is to remove those pits. This Instructable will guide you through the process of making a simple Cherry Pitting tool out of a piece of 1/8" wire. It is easy and safe that the children can help pit the cherries. I personally like to use this style of tool because it allows me to open each cherry and inspect it in case a worm has decided to make it a home. It will also allow you to remove the pit and leave the stem intact to make decorative desserts. (This does take time and practice)
You will need:
1 - 6 to 10 inch piece of 1/8" wire. I like to use Stainless Steel Wire
Scotch Brite pad for finishing
Step 1: Form the Tip of the Tool
It is a crude, but effective method to form the tool tip. Use a hammer and flatten one end of the wire. Pound the wire on a very solid, metal surface such as the anvil portion of a bench vice. Continue to hammer and flatten the wire until it is about 1/4" wide at the tip. The photographs above illustrate the hammering process. Take your time and strike it firmly, but you do not have to smash it all in one or two hits. Tap away on it to control the forming process to build a nice tip. Do not hammer it to a sharp tip. The edges and tip should be about the same thickness as a spoon. This tool should be blunt to avoid cutting fingers and hands. Notice the side view picture (Last Picture). The tip has a slight curve in it from the hammering process and the edges are blunt.
Step 2: Shape and Finish the Tip
After the tip is hammered into shape, you will need to smooth up the edges and add a radius on the front. It takes a few minutes with a file to remove any sharp edges or burrs. File everything smooth and shape the tip. Nothing should be sharp and all edges should be smooth. When you are satisfied with the filed shape, use Scotch Brite or fine emery cloth to smooth and polish all file marks.
Step 3: Form the Loop
Form a loop on the opposite end of the tool. To accomplish this determine how long you want the tool to be. 3 1/2" seems to be a good length of wire before the loop. You can customize the length.
I simply hold the wire with a pair of Pliers at the point where the loop starts. Then I freehand the bend using my thumb and forefinger to work the wire around in a circular shape. It takes a little practice and tweaking, but you can make a neat looking loop. I intentionally start with my wire a bit long. This allows me to cut off any excess after bending the loop. After the wire is cut, use a file and emery cloth to remove any sharp edges or burrs. Typically there is a sharp edge where the wire is cut and small burrs may occur where you clamped the wire with the pliers. Run your hand over the entire tool and everything should be smooth. Polish to a bright finish with Scotch Brite or fine emery cloth.
Step 4: Using the Tool
To use the tool:
1.Hold the cherry in one hand with your thumb, forefinger and middle finger. Insert the tool near the stem area and slide it down along the Cherry pit.
2. Begin to pry against the pit.
3. Begin to lift out the pit.
4. Continue lifting on the pit and it begins to emerge out of the cherry.
5. Pit is completely removed, inspect inside of cherry for quality.
When you get good, this process only takes a couple of seconds
Step 5: Tool Variations
I have used this style of Cherry Pit Removal tool for many years.My dad made them out of galvanized #9 wire when I was a kid. The galvanized wire could be easily cleaned with steel wool before using. I prefer the stainless because it does not rust. Copper wire would be too soft for this project.
The picture shows a couple of different sizes we have used.
The smaller ones are easier to handle for little hands. Good luck with the project and hopefully it works well for you!