Introduction: Long Reach Berry Picker
Easily pick those blackberries that are just out of reach and deliver them to your holding container. I found this takes a bit of practice to get the hand-eye coordination down. It becomes a sort of game with the instant reward feeling the berry rolling down the tube and making a plunking sound into the container. OK…enough of that.
This is a very simple construction. A Big thanks to Thinkenstein for the idea of using the 1” PVC to deliver the berries to a container. This is my first instructable and I'm very pleased to finally be able to contribute to this amazing Instructables site. In Victoria, BC we're nearing the end of our Blackberry season so I hope this hasn't come too late.
Step 1: Required Items:
1. Five feet of 1” PVC pipe (I found mine in my basement rafters)
2. One Long Reach Pickup device (Dollar store)
3. Two ½” copper pipe brackets (Hardware store)
4. Four small screws and washers (washers needed to keep the screws from entering the pipe too far.
5. Plastic Container – like a yogurt, cottage cheese, etc type that has a snap on lid.
6. Tools: Saw (Hacksaw or band saw); Screwdriver; Drill; Some Painter’s tape or masking tape, Pencil or felt tip pen, xacto knife or box cutter razor.
Step 2: Cutting the PVC Pipe:
First cut one end of the PVC as shown in the first picture (this will hold your berry container to the pipe), then cut the other end of the PVC as shown in the 2nd picture (this is the berry trap, where it starts it’s long roll down the tube).
Step 3: Attach the Long Reach Pincer
With your hand, hold the Long Reach Device to the PVC pipe so that the open pincers are above the cutaway section of the PVC pipe. Careful that you don’t let the collar of the Pincer go past the cutaway edge or it can jam when you try to pull it back with that super juicy berry lost forever. Now slide the pincer back down the pipe until the end of the pincer is just into the drop zone.
Step 4: Attach Copper Pipe Brackets
Now slip the copper pipe bracket over the pincer shaft and mark the holes with a pencil or felt tip pen, then drill two pilot holes and screw into place. Now move down the shaft and attach the second copper pipe clamp. After attaching both copper clamps, test the slide and ensure it moves freely. Note: I found it easier to drill a pilot hole then screw in one side, test the slide then mark, drill and screw the second side of the copper bracket. Since we're attaching to a round object, if we're not careful, it can cause it to be too snug a fit to slide easily.
Step 5: Make the Holding Container
Now take a plastic container and draw an X not much bigger than the diameter of the PVC pipe and cut the X using the xacto blade. Make sure to clip the top triangle of the X so it doesn’t poke into the PVC pipe too far (Don’t want a berry jam in the pipe…keep it for toast.) We’re pretty much done, the last thing is to place the container on the pipe.
Just an update: Switch the Yogurt style container for a clear Peanut Butter Container with a screw on lid. I got carried away picking and the weight of the berries, in the yogurt container, popped the lid off. We learn through our tears. :-)
Step 6: Notes and Video
i) For close berries where you don’t have to reach far this device works well as a simple berry drop without the problem of accidentally spilling a larger handheld container.
ii) Device works well for grabbing branches and moving them out of the way.
iii) Empty the container into your larger bucket regularly so it doesn’t get too heavy and pop the top off.
iv) The reason I made it 5foot long was that the container was bumping against my leg so I made sure it was behind me.
v) I’ve also made a short 2foot pipe with the container and no Long Reach Pincer just for quick berry picking without the worry of spilling an open container.
vi) The video shows it in action, although I seem to be really tugging at these particular berries.