Roller machine to create pressure on and pull through ribbons of bark/fiber, similar to a pasta maker--ideas NEEDED. Answered
I'm working on a project in Nepal to remove the bark from the fiber growing in the stalk of a wild plant (bast fiber).
The "bark ribbons" are stripped off the plant, with the fiber adhering to the inner side of the bark. The plant grows back so it's all very environmentally sustainable.
We soak the long (1-2meters) bark ribbons for 24-48 hours and then, if beaten, can break the "glue" (pectin) that's holding the bark and fiber together. We've run them through an industrial roller system and it worked very well, without damaging the fiber the way beating does. A local machine shop wants to build an expensive, heavy duty, roller system and we'll go for this eventually. However, in the meantime, we'd like to build a smaller, simpler machine, maybe a table top one rather than free-standing. We can hand crank it, or use a bicycle mechanism.
We need to be able to adjust the pressure--the distance between the two rollers--to make sure we are breaking the pectin bond between the two materials, fiber and bark.
We have access to steel pipe, PVC, cast iron makers, gears, etc. If anyone can help me with plans I'd really appreciate it, as would many impoverished Nepalis.
I've included photos of the industrial machine (the first 6) we tried and will eventually make, as well as a pasta maker and one other machine. The industrial machine had three rollers but they removed the outlying one, not above/below another, as it didn't work as intended.
Thanks so much in advance to all you wonderfully creative Instructable-ers.