But what do you do if your wife buys a boatload of cherries to make pies and you don't have a cherry pitter? Send her to Instructables.com...What do you mean there's nothing?...Did you try cherry?...Did you try pitter?....Nothing? GASP?!
So, this is how I set out to make her a cherry pitter on a Sunday afternoon with only the items I had available to me in my junk boxes and shed. As it turns out most of the available equipment was bathroom themed so hence the name Cherry Pitter a la Commode.
This actually works rather well and my wife claims that it made her job of pitting the cherries a heck of a lot easier. The original design didn't work out but I revised one small detail and it probably turned out better in the end. I have annotated the pictures where there appears to be an extraneous part here and there.
I hope this gives others some ideas on how to make a better emergency cherry pitter.
Step 1: Starting Materials and Equipment
(1) - 1/2 inch Sch. 40 PVC (~1-2 ft piece)
(1) - 1/4 inch OD (3/16 inch ID) Copper tubing cut to slightly longer length than the pop-up drain pull rod(~1-2 ft piece)
(1) - Plunger/pull rod part of a bath lavatory sink pop-up drain assembly.
(1) - Plastic spring-action toilet paper holder
(2) - ~1/16 inch thick, 3/8-1/2 inch wide plastic straps (I used ones that came as part of my children's toy packaging)
(2) - Strong short rubber bands (I used the bands that came
Marking device (sharpie, crayon, etc)
Tubing cutter (recommended over a hacksaw or PVC cutter because it reduces the ID of the PVC tub slightly)
Dremel tool (also could substitute drill and files)
Drill + 1/4 inch drill bit (you could probably use your Dremel also)
Step 2: Create Plunger / Seed Ejector
Use a Dremel too to ream out the copper tubing on one end to a punch shape as shown in the photo. Also, make sure the other end is reamed out to at least the id of the tubing to allow the tubing to slide onto the drain pull assembly.
Step 3: Assemble the Spring Powered Ejector
Insure the copper tubing is as straight as possible and slide it onto the drain pull. This is a tight fit, and you may need to rotate the two parts back and forth to fully work the copper tube up to the top of the drain pull.
Then insert this copper tube/pop-up pull rod assembly into the smaller diameter end of the toilet paper roll holder. The final assembly is show in the picture below.
Step 4: Measure and Cut the Length of 1/2 In. PVC
To measure the necessary cuts, lay the assembled plunger (toilet paper spring holder + sink plunger + copper tube) next to the PVC with the PVC tube overlapping the spring holder (as if it were inserted). See the picture below.
This cut should be slightly before the end of the copper tube, but it might be best to cut it at the end of the tube and dremel out the rest for a perfect fit later.
This cut must not go beyond the full stroke of the plunger, i.e. the end of the tubing after you have fully depressed the plunger. The size of the opening depends on the size of the biggest cherries you expect to pit, try to pick the smallest opening that you think you will need. Since the pipe is a half-inch pipe you really shouldn't need anything more than an inch.
Step 5: Cut Pass-thru, Add Guide Straps
Cut your (2) plastic strips to ~5 inches long.
Use the Dremel tool or a drill to drill a ~1/4 inch hole for the plunger to slide through. This should be You may need to file this out slighty to get a good fit.
Step 6: Pitting Cherries and Technique
I've attached a video and some pictures on this page so you can see the mechanism up close. After you build this you may need to play around slightly with the alignment of the plastic strips. Your copper tubing should extend about 1/4 inch from the top plastic strip. I found this aids in getting the alignment with the bottom hole. The bottom hole is slightly larger than the top hole to also aid in alignment.
Step 7: Delicious Results!
All credit for the pie goes to my wife who is a master pie chef!