Farm Collector


Of the Frick Company, Waynesboro, Pa.

The first few years of the introduction of the wind stacker, the
waste of grain was shown at every opportunity, presented by those
that did not yet have the wind stacker. This waste of grain was all
charged to the wind stacker. So great was the ‘howl’
against it that it was predicted by many that it would never come
to the front as a standard method for handling straw. The writer,
however, took the position at the start that there was never a wind
stacker attached to a threshing machine responsible for the waste
of a single kernel of any kind. On account of his former struggles
with the thresher cylinder and his rigid demands for clean
threshing, and his knowledge of the imperfect work the threshing
cylinders were doing, led him to expect trouble from the use of the
wind stacker before he attached it, and from the start that
position was taken, as far as the writer believed it policy, for
the best interests of his employers. The situation was a peculiar
one. If the cause of the waste of grain with the straw would have
been placed always where it belonged – unclean threshing-then the
chances were that the customer or thresherman would not accept the
threshing machine, even if the wind stacker would be exchanged for
the net; but as long as it was believed that the wind stacker was
alone responsible, the dissatisfaction of the farmer and
thresherman could generally be easily adjusted by simply again
attaching the net stacker, as in most cases the wind stacker was
the choice of the thresherman when giving his order. Under these
circumstances there was some danger of misrepresentation, in cases
where the agent had not encouraged the purchase of the wind
stacker. This condition of affairs drove the writer to further
investigate the cause of unclean threshing, remembering that when a
boy working on a farm and often helping to thresh with the old
style thresher, the cylinder being a solid drum of wood covered
with sheet iron and short teeth driven into the wood, he could not
recall of ever hearing any complaint of not threshing clean, but in
later years often heard farmers speak of that machine not threshing
clean and that the straw stacks would get green.

This complaint about bad threshing and green straw stacks has
its start with the introduction of the bar, or open cylinders, the
first having but six bars, leaving a wide gap, or space, between
them. The use of this form of cylinder proved very unsatisfactory,
and was set aside by one composed of nine bars, and was, at the
time, claimed a great improvement over the six bar. Later the
twelve-bar was introduced and was soon O.K.’d by all, and is
the standard today. The writer’s observations are that at a
moderate rate and regular feeding, with the grain in good condition
for threshing, the 12-bar cylinder is all that could be desired;
but in this age of steam versus horse power and the great demand
for rapid threshing (which is brought about by the immense crops
and short seasons) and the very bad conditions of grain in some
seasons, the writer is convinced that another step will be demanded
and that an open, or bar, cylinder cannot be constructed within the
present room for the width of concave bed that will meet the
present requirements-fast threshing-short of a closed cylinder. To
further explain on this point, we will say, providing the present
sized cylinders, which vary from 15 to 18 inches, would admit of
sufficient width of concave so that the front concave tooth could
be a sufficient distance from the rear tooth, so that all the heads
of grain that are taken by the bars in place of the teeth, when
crowding the thresher, would have time to be thrown out from
between the bars and into the rear concave teeth, thereby making
sure that all heads of grain come in contact with the concave
teeth; so long as this does not occur, just so long there will be
heads passing the threshing device un threshed.

We might further give as a reason for faith in us by calling
your attention to machines designed for threshing beans and peas.
Those having experience with bean threshing know that it requires a
much slower speed of the cylinder to prevent the breaking of the
bean, and it also requires a very long concave bed so that the
teeth from the first to the last in the concave will cover as much
of the cylinder surface as possible; but even with the wide
concave, the experience of those building such machines evidently
suggested and led them to adopt a second threshing cylinder to
complete the threshing of beans. This is what an open, or bar,
cylinder no doubt requires. Beans or peas are fed into the cylinder
in a loose and tangled shape, and many of the pods fly into the
cylinder between the bars and pass through without any interruption
by the concave teeth. They are, of course, all taken from the vines
after passing the first cylinder, and will, while being shaken from
the first to the second cylinder, be in much better order to make
the threshing complete, as the unbroken pods will settle to the
bottom and the vines remain on top, so that the second cylinder
will force all the pods through its concave teeth.

The writer some years ago made a series of experiments with
large cylinders, and as there is at present a tendency for some
manufacturers to advocate and build a much larger threshing
cylinder, he thought it not out of place to give some of his
conclusions on this point. His experiments with cylinders from
18-inch to 60-inch, or 5 feet diameter, determined that an 18-inch
cylinder with the same width of concave is decidedly a cleaner
thresher than one 60 inches in diameter. There is, however, one
feature in the large cylinder which would, to a casual observer,
appear to be an advantage. He would likely notice that it would
admit of a greater irregularity of feeding without any apparent
effect on the speed. This would, of course, retain a greater
uniformity of speed of all the other parts of the machine, which in
itself would cause the machine to give better satisfaction. But the
fact is, the increased size of the cylinder has nothing whatever to
do with the improvement in the performance of the machine, but it
is its increased weight. We must not lose sight of the fact that in
the same proportion that the cylinder is enlarged we also increase
its weight, and if we would increase the weight of the small
cylinder to that which the size of the large one demands, then
there could not possibly be any improvement or difference, as the
speed of the teeth in both cases are the same, and there is no
reason seen by the writer why there should be a difference. It
would be pound for pound and speed for speed, and so far as our
subject relates to these two factors in the problem, there could be
no difference; but on account of the much greater per cent of the
weight of the large cylinder acting on the straw at any one time,
and the pull, or resistance, to each tooth being practically the
same, it occurs to the writer that if the cylinders were both of
the same weight and the speed of the teeth also the same (which
they are), that it would take a less amount of straw to affect the
speed of the large cylinder than it would that of the small one.
But when we come to the clean threshing question, it will be found
by tests that when conditions for conditions are taken with the
large and small cylinders, both threshing a certain quantity, and
then rethresh the straw from the large cylinder with the small one,
you will find you will have more grain than if you thresh the straw
from the small cylinder with the large one. One of the causes of
this difference is that when the large cylinder is crowded to the
capacity of the space between the cylinder bars and the concaves,
there is much more chance for the heads to enter between the bars
of the large -cylinder than there would be on the small one, as the
curve or circle is much shorter and fewer openings or spaces
between the bars exposed to the straw on the small cylinder; and,
as the speed of the periphery or teeth of the small and large
cylinders are the same, the centrifugal force must also be the
same, which is all that compels the straw to leave the cylinder
teeth and pass through the space occupied by the concave teeth
only, and as the curve of the large cylinder presents a greater
surface to the straw while it is being threshed, there is, to some
extent, more chances for heads to be carried between the bars while
they are passing over the concave than would be with the small
cylinder. The writer, however, is not in position to say that a
large cylinder might not admit of a sufficiently wider concave bed,
and on that and only that account be of some little advantage, but
if such increased width of concave is not sufficiently greater so
it will increase the time of the cylinder teeth passing the concave
bed, then he, up to this time, has been unable to see any advantage
in a large cylinder, but some disadvantage; such as, in case of
accidents, say a wrench, chain, bolt, fork or horseshoe fed into a
large cylinder, there would certainly be more to wreck than on a
small cylinder, and the damage and expense much greater.

We, however, are always open for the best; and when it is proven
that a large cylinder has advantages over that of the present size,
we shall advocate it as strongly as any one, and know the reason

  • Published on Mar 1, 1962
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