Introduction: Episode 14: the Popcorn Sorter

Picture of Episode 14: the Popcorn Sorter
Everyone loves popcorn, but what about those little unpopped kernels at the bottom of the bag?

Whether you love to eat them, or wish you could put them back into the microwave...the folks here at Stupid Inventions have got you covered with the latest Stupid Invention, The Popcorn Sorter!

Just pour your freshly made bag of popcorn into the device, and watch those kernels come out of the bottom onto a separate plate!

In this instructable ill be showing you how I made this device easily from parts i found around the house, in fact the only thing I had to go out and buy was the Popcorn!

You'll need:
4x Metal Hangers
1x Piece of Cardboard
1x Plastic Bowl
1x Vibrating Motor (this might be hard to find, I got mine from an old massaging pillow)
1x 9 Volt Battery
1x Roll of Duct tape

Step 1: Preparing the Bowl

Picture of Preparing the Bowl

Take the plastic bowl that you'll be using an make some round holes in the bottom.
You want the holes to be big enough for the popcorn kernels to fall through, but not the popcorn pieces..

Step 2: Making the Stand

Picture of Making the Stand

I'm sorry I didn't take better picture of this part, but I think it's pretty easy to do.
Just fold 4 hangers in half and tape them together as shown in the picture.
Use the cardboard square as the base of the Bowl Holder.
Use plenty of duct tape too!

Step 3: Adding the Motor

Picture of Adding the Motor

You're almost done!
Now place the vibrating motor into the bowl, and tape the wire to the edge of the bowl.
Make sure to leave enough wire so that the motor can jump around the bowl.

Connect the wires on the other end to the 9 Volt battery.

The motor I'm using was originally made for two AA batteries, so by using a 9 Volt it's going faster than it was made for, but thats the amount of power I need based on the motor size and the size of the bowl. You results may vary so perhaps bring along different types of batteries.

Step 4: Completeing the Popcorn Sorter

Picture of Completeing the Popcorn Sorter
By now you should have the motor vibrating in the bowl.
Just put the bowl onto the metal hanger holder and The Popcorn Sorter is complete!

Now whenever you add a bag of popcorn into the plastic bowl, the motor will make sure all the kernels fall through the holes and into the paper plate below!

I hoped you enjoyed this instructable and please check out the rest of my Stupid Inventions.

Zachary Snyder
Stupid Inventor


watermelonhead (author)2009-08-05

Cool! I hate kernels, especially since they've broken my braces before D: Keep up the ... um... stupid... work..!?

What other kind of work could you call it anyway?

Thanks! A lot more Stupid Inventions to come!

ERCCRE123 (author)2009-08-20

it would seem better if the moter was attatched to the side of the bowl instead of on a string so the whole bowl would shake with less noise

yes, a few people have suggested that to me, and i may try it. Thanks!

sillyzombie666 (author)2009-08-20

um ok why would u use a vibrating bullet sex toy in your popcorn bowl ...

meanbean (author)2009-08-16

AMAZING!!! i just throw the kernals away, though

why waste the kernels when you can repop them?

11orem (author)2009-08-05

vibrator on a string?

StupidInventions (author)11orem2009-08-06

No! It's the motor taken from an old massage pillow!

hahaha Thank you! my hebrew is a little rusty...

and so!..... have I got a girl for you!? (just kidding lol, my daughter is married hah- hah -sure you've got your own special someone anyway ;0) ;0) )

hahahaha... thanks anyways :)

porcupinemamma (author)2009-07-23

You crack me up! I love watching your videos you are not only a clever boy, but a fun one too! מוצרי תרגום

Thanks! Glad you're enjoying! More Stupid Inventions to come since i'm off this summer!

Transquesta (author)2009-07-21

For people who consume popcorn as 'staple' item, this isn't such a bad idea. I think it'd work better if you lost the vibrator and just drilled some kernel-sized holes into a cheap plastic bowl and attached a Tupperware container to the bottom (as by slots) to catch the duds. BTW, I've tried re-nuking said duds on multiple occasions and the absolute BEST results I achieved (about 40%) weren't worth the energy it took to force them into submission. YMMV, of course.

Thanks for watching and commenting! But if there wasn't a vibrating motor then only the kernels at the bottom would fall through. You need the vibration to shake around the popcorn and move the kernels to the bottom. This is especially necessary when dealing with larger quantities of popcorn. Oh really? Ive never actually tried to re-nuke the duds, i usually just eat them... I'm defiantly going to try a re-nuking experiment the next time i make popcorn!

Yeah, but A) I figure I can at LEAST expend the effort to shake the bowl a bit, and B), like I said, your mileage WILL vary on the re-nuking of duds. Success will depend on various factors--not the least of which will be the quality of the popcorn and the time which has lapsed between nukings. The cheaper the corn and/or the longer it's been since the first nuke, and your percentages drop precipitously.

True, but that takes all the fun out of it. The Handy Dandy Popcorn Sorter does all of the work for you! :) Interesting, I wonder what cause some kernels to pop and some not...

Variances in moisture content from kernel to kernel--if memory serves. Anyway, I'm sure would have more 'insightful' 411. :-)

im going to go look it up, thanks! lol

TheWelfareWarrior (author)2009-07-22

If you attached a 'rumblepack' motor to the outside of the bowl and mounted a battery case so there were less moving parts it would still vibrate and get results but it would be easier to work with. You could even water proof it that way so you'd just throw it into the dishwasher when you were done.

Thanks for watching and commenting! That's a great idea! Usually when I make these Stupid Inventions I try to spend as little as possible making them, so since I had a Vibrating Motor from an old massage pillow with cut wires I decided to use that, but if I had the resources that would be a better way to do it! It's funny the only part for this Stupid Invention that I needed to go out and buy was the popcorn! :)

Kozz (author)2009-07-21

Interesting. When I make caramel corn, I pop lots and need to sort out the seeds, so I've got a cooling-rack with about 3/8" square mesh. I hold that against the mouth of my bowl, turn it upside down and shake. Alton would be so proud that I've eliminated a "uni-tasker".

StupidInventions (author)Kozz2009-07-22

Thanks for watching and commenting! While that does sound like a more practical and efficient way to do it, our goal here at Stupid Inventions was to automate that process, which the vibrating motor seems to do. While I have no intention of using this Popcorn Sorter full time, it was a fun project and i was pleasantly surprised when it actually worked! Thanks again!

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