Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Been Framed!

Wellfleet Steel Works has completed their work on the frame.  They did a fantastic job putting it together.  We have assembled  the rollers with PVC pipe and end caps with blind bore roller bearings.  The next step is to put plastic inserts on the diverters to guide clams toward the rollers once they are swept off the hopper.  The biggest challenge now is figuring out the drive mechanism.  Our original design uses an 18v rechargeable drill motor with a continuous round belt, but we are concerned that it can deliver high torque at low speeds for the duration of an average sorting session in the field.  We have run some tests with a 12V hammer drill but it goes into hammer mode at a relatively low torque and doesn't deliver the power we need.  I think if we had a low speed drill without a clutch or hammer mechanism it might work well.  A plug in electric drill spins the rollers easily.  One alternative that has always appealed to us is a foot treadle.  People power!  Stay tuned...

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