Introduction: Blueberry Cleaner/sorter
Anyone who has cleaned blueberries knows that it's a tedious job, sometimes taking longer than the actual picking. This blueberry cleaner/sorter doesn't clean them completely but it does a lot of the work and saves a lot of time.
Step 1: Side Boards
Take two pieces of 1 x 6 boards about 30 inches long. Cut the bottom of the boards on a 25 degree angle. Cut a groove up the middle of the boards the thickness of sorting platform. For this project, I used 1/4 inch underlay so I cut the grooves 1/4 inch thick and 1/2 inch deep.
Step 2: Side Supports
Cut two pieces of 1 x 2, 14 inches long and cut one end of each on a 25 degree angle. Screw them onto the bottom of the side boards.
Cut two pieces of 1 x 2, 12 inches long and notch out one side so the side board will fit into the notch. Screw the pieces onto the side board and onto the bottom support.
Step 3: Sorting Platform
Cut a piece of 1 x 2 six inches long. Cut each end on a 75 degree angle. This is going to be the end board that stops the blueberries from rolling off the end of the sorting platform.
Cut a piece of 1/4 inch underlay 24 inches long and 18 inches wide. Then cut the sides on a 75 degree angle so that the narrow end is 7 inches and the wide end is 18 inches. When the underlay is slid into the 1/2 inch slots that you cut into the side boards, it should end up six inches wide at the bottom end, exactly the same as the end board.
Cut the underlay into four pieces, starting at the narrowest end, nine inches, three inches, three inches and nine inches. Bevel the edges slightly so that the top of the opening slots is slightly narrower than the bottom. This prevents berries from getting stuck part way through the cracks.
In the bottom, narrowest piece, cut a semicircle that goes from side to side. This is where the good berries are going to drop through. Push it into the slots and screw it in from the bottom.
Slide in the narrowest three inch piece, leaving a gap of 3/8 inch. You can make the gap larger or smaller, depending on what size berries you want to eliminate. Screw that in from the bottom also.
Repeat with the remaining three inch and nine inch pieces.
Step 4: Set Up
Place a large bowl or pot so that it is underneath all three slots. Place another bowl so that it is underneath the semicircular hole. Place a strong fan at the lower end of the sorter. Turn on the fan and slowly pour your pail of uncleaned blueberries onto the top nine inch piece of the sorting platform. The fan will blow the leaves and small pieces of debris away and the smaller, green berries will go through the 3/8 inch gaps and into the waste bowl. The good berries will roll over the slots and into the bowl under the cut semicircle.