Introduction: Long Range Apple Picker
Like me you may have an apple or pear tree in your garden or local park but have no way to pick them before they fall. Fear not as this instructable will detail how I made and you can make a long range apple picker and the beauty of it is that the materials can be many different items so you should be able to get hold of them.
The materials you need are:
- A broom handle or length of wood/metal of your preferred length. (I used an approximately 1.9m broom handle)
- A pair of scissors, secateurs, wire cutters or another hinged cutting implement. (I used some old scissors and scissors are probably your best bet)
- A spring from a pen or similar unless your cutting implement has a spring.
- Length of string, rope, racket string and any other length of cord. (I used an old squash racket string as I didn't have enough string)
- Zip tie. (This is optional but I used one to secure my scissors)
- Net, cloth or old t-shirt. (I used net)
- Thick wire or kebab skewers. (I used wire)
The tools you need are:
- Glue gun. (Optional but highly recommended)
- Rasp, saw or file.
Step 1: Step 0 Springing Your Cutting Utensil:
This is only necessary if you don't have a sprung cutting utensil.
Put your spring between the two pieces of your cutting utensil and attach them with a generous, but not overly so, blob of glue. It doesn't need to secure the spring too tightly as it will only be compressed into the scissors not pulled away. This is dependent on how long your spring is and how similar your scissors are to mine but I found the spring went best just before the blades at the end of the plastic.
Step 2: Step 1 Attaching Your Scissors to the Length of Wood/metal:
Start by cutting a slot in the top of your length so that one handle of the scissors can go securely in.
I found a rasp was perfect for my broom handle but a file or saw would both work in wood and certainly a saw in metal but I would recommend using wood.
You can then secure the scissors in place: I started by putting a zip tie around the broom handle and through the scissor handle however you may not be able to do this with some secateurs or wire cutters.
I then secured my scissors with plenty of glue gun glue (you can use alternative adhesives but I think this is by far the best way). I put my scissors at a slight upward angle to make sure the movement of the free scissor arm was at the optimal straight path along the broom handle, although this isn't entirely necessary.
Step 3: Step 2 Adding a Net to Your Fruit Picker:
To add the net you first need to make a frame to wrap it around which can be achieved in a number of ways. I made a loop of thick wire and wrapped it around my broom handle, consequently, gluing it in place to secure it. However, I had considered using Kebab skewers instead and in the merry pre-covid times I would have tried to get it laser cut to make sure it would fit securely onto the handle.
Once my frame was securely in place I cut a piece of net and attached it in position with hot glue although I could equally have used zip ties.
My younger brother then felt that it wasn't strong enough and attached a kitchen cloth around the outside although I'm of the opinion that it is unnecessary and will impede vision of the scissors and diminish the capacity of the fruit picker.
One idea I toyed with was putting a length of gutter or pipe down the length of the broom handle but sadly none was to be procured but if you do this please comment with photos.
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