On a work trip to a Guatemalan town with Engineers Without Borders - USA, Larry Bentley invented a sheller made from used cans and cement. It's cheaper than store-bought shellers, and it's made from materials that anyone in the town can get their hands on.
Bentley shared his notes and photos with us and we posted a how-to guide on our site. Now, we'd like to share Bentley's corn sheller with Instructables.
What you'll need:
- Metal cans
- Can opener
- Needle-nosed pliers
All corn sheller photos by Larry Bentley
Corn stalks overlooking Lago d'Atitlan in Guatemala by IMs BILDARKIV / Flickr
Step 1: Step One: Two Cans
Using the can opener, cut out the bottoms of both cans so that they are open at both ends.
Step 2: Step Two: Make the Teeth
The fins should protrude enough to fit the corn cobs that you want to shell. Corn varies in size, so you might want to make several shellers with different-sized fins and openings.
Step 3: Step Three: Finished?
This actually works as a sheller as is. In tests, though, Bentley found that a single can breaks and doesn't last very long. For a more durable tool, move on to Step four!
Step 4: Step Four: Cement and Finished!
Fill the gap between the two cans with cement and sand. When it dries, you're finished!
Step 5: Side-by-side Sheller Comparison
The PVC sheller didn't work as well. The teeth flexed too much. But it might work better with supports glued under the teeth. Something for another project!