Introduction: Reconditioning a Root-Heath Corn Sheller
This project illustrates the reconditioning and operation of a hand-crank Root-Heath Corn Sheller.
The Root-Heath Manufacturing Company was formed in 1904 between George Root and his son-in-law Charles Heath.
George Root had been in a manufacturing business with his brother earlier but when the business moved to Plymouth Ohio his brother did not join the relocation. The business was involved in building hardware items such as corn shelters, grist mills and lawn mower sharpening machines. A line of four hand corn shellers were produced. The top of the line was the R-H model, which was finished in red and gold, and had an advertised capacity of 14 to 16 bushels per hour.
Since the sheller bears only the Root and Heath names, it was probably made between 1904 and 1919 when the company brought in another investor, J.D. Fate Co.
The shellers had provisions for mounting on the edge of a wooden box or barrel. The shelled corn fell into the container, while the cobs were ejected to the outside of the box.
This step shows the finished sheller and the condition before restoration.
To watch the sheller in operation, check out the linked video.
Step 1: Sandblasting Sheller Parts
After disassembling the sheller each part was sandblasted in a home-made cabinet constructed from a clear tote box.
Step 2: Painting
After the parts were sandblasted a thin layer rust will form very quickly on the surface. Therefore a primer paint is applied within several hours of sandblasting.
The original color of the sheller was very hard to determine. There was no original paint on any of the parts not even between the parts where they had been secured together with the bolts. One reference on the internet from the Root-Heath Company indicated there was no mention of color. Pictures of repainted Root-Heath shellers on the internet revealed several different colors of paint, but the most common was red. One internet source referred to the color as a deep red about the color of burgundy. Therefore burgundy was chosen. If someone has substantiated proof that the red shade should be changed, the sheller could be repainted.
Step 3: Making a New Wood Crank Handle
The old handle had been severely chewed on by an animal. Since the old handle could not be restored, a new one was made from oak wood.