Talk:Homemade Scratter

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Hi Ni, Excellent article! If I'd seen this first I'd have never bought my Shark... --Ray 18:19, 6 October 2006 (BST)



Thanks Ray,glad you like it.All our group that have used it have been impressed with the way it performs,the tray in particular is a godsend.

Hey My name is Tim Cook from Nova Scotia. I happened upon your page after I started researching how to build an apple press realizing that I would first have to build a scratter. I now have the drum with the shaft running through it and the screws in the drum. Also I have the bearings for what I need but I am wondering if you could get a little more in depth on the dimensions of the hopper the apples are fed into and the stand that it sits on. That would be much appreciated. BTW I am trying to build it on a budget as well and so far I managed to get the screws for free from the maintainence guy at the hardware store where I work, I got a piece of SS rod 1/2" by 12" long for three dollars at the local boat fixing shop and got a local wood worker to drill the hole mount the shaft and turn it out on a lathe for 20 dollars. Thought you would like to hear my progress so far. Tim

Well Done Tim Glad you've decided to have a go !You could be the first person in the New World to build a Codler ! The I.D. of our stand is 23in.,its only this particular size to accommodate the two circular (21in. x 10in. deep) collecting vessels that we had managed to scrounge from a local farmer.Its a good idea to have two vessels like this as you can be filling one whilst the other is being emptied at the press.Larger is good as your machine will not be long in filling the vessel up. The hopper dimensions on our machine are 81/2in. wide,151/2in long at the top tapering to 63/4in. where the drum is at the bottom.The depth from the top of the hopper to the chassis is 15in.Make the inside back wall of your hopper slope nice and steeply. Well done on the scrounged parts byetheway...keep us posted on how you get on.If you hav'nt joined already sign up to the excellent UKcider google group,the folks there are a mine of information and you'll get loads of tips on cidermaking. Ni.

Hello again this is Tim Cook from Nova Scotia so far so good. I got the motor from a friend of mine who repairs washers and dryers, for nothing. I have the stand made and the pieces cut out for the hopper but i have a question about the hopper, how much space is there between your metal plate at the front of the hopper and the screws sticking out of the drum. Is it basically just enough room for the screws to spin without hitting the plate or a 1/4" space etc. Just wondering so that i don't allow too big of pieces of apples to fall down into the bucket. Thanks Tim

Tim We set the screws as close as we could without fouling the hopper front wall, I suppose about 1-2mm clearance. Cutting the distance this fine prevents the fruit being milled too coarsely. Finer pulp yielding more juice at the press. Good luck with the rest of your build. Ni.

Tim from Nova Scotia

Just wanted to let you know that I had my first test run last night and it worked great. I don't have it quite complete but I mounted the motor and it milled the apple down very very fine, can't wait to get my press done so I can make some real cider. I will send some pictures after I complete the entire scratter. Thanks for the Support. Tim

Your very welcome Tim,glad to have been of help.Dont hesitate to ask if there is anything else i can help you with. Ni.


I think you're the first to add video Ni, I hope there will be more to come. Do you have any tips for finding your way around youtube? I'm getting some spurious error messages as I try to create a group and add contacts. --Andy 09:42, 17 November 2006 (GMT)

Andy I'm not the best person to ask as i've only recently discovered Youtube. I think that they have a useful 'imbed' feature that enables you to plonk the video in your own site, but i fought shy of trying that being a bit of a technophobe ! Ni.

Yes! I've had a bit of a fiddle and the wiki is now youTube enabled --Andy 21:21, 19 November 2006 (GMT)

Another Scratter attempt

Hi, here are some photos of my attempt at the scratter. Basically it uses my 3.5hp rotavator engine. 19mm shaft and any old log I could find (Cedar) machined with router and plane. The shaft is secured to the log via a grinded flat on the shaft and a hammer wedge driven in - not sure how successfull this is going to be as the shaft wasn't an interference fit. I'll add some more pics as I sort out the hopper etc


Well done Jeremy, its looking good ! I've been having a tweek with the length which the screws project from the drum on the Codler to see if i can get an even finer pulp (for a better juice yield at the press).Normally set at 6mm, (with a 1-2mm clearance between the front hopper wall) i've have tried screwing them in further (even so as just the screw heads are projecting)and adjusting the clearance to suit.This does indeed result in a finer pulp but large juicy dessert apples seem to 'sit' on top of the drum against the hopper wall and are not torn up by the shorter screws in the same way as with the 6mm setting.Cyder/Perry fruit which is coarser goes through okay though and is milled finer accordingly.I think the answer may be to fit a batten across the hopper above the drum which,with the machine still running, can be lowered by an external lever onto the 'stuck' fruit encouraging it through.The batten would have to work against 'stops' to prevent contact with the rotating drum.I may be fussing for nothing as the 6mm cut works great and they do say "if it aint broke, dont fix it !" Keep us posted on yours. Regards Ni.

P.S.What are you using for hairs (cloths)on your press ? I know some folk use fine mesh net curtains.

Hi NI, thanks. The press cloth material is again from Dunelms but its the stuff they use for balerina skirts - made of some sort of plastic, quite large holes compared to net curtains but maybe not as strong?? They are 12 months old now. If they only last a few years its fairly cheap stuff so not too worried. Not sure how they will handle to acid and sterilising fluids though.

Re finer pulp - I guess you could either increase the speed of the drum or maybe put a few screws in that stick out a bit more to grap the apples and hold them tight agains the hopper wall while the shallow screws do the business - depends on clearances though. If you fill the hopper with apples, does the weight of the other apples not hold them agains the drum? I haven't actually tried mine properly yet so dont really know - it does rip through old potatoes though.

I have thought about making a mangler (2 driven rollers with a mm or so clearance between them) as a 2nd stage of scratting. I'm not sure if pulp milled too fine will block the juice extraction of the press though? Maybe next year... --Jeremyf 11:29, 3 October 2007 (BST)

To clean or not to clean

Hi Peter. Your questions and some answers, have been moved to the Cider makers FAQ section, in particular the new Getting started - first steps FAQ. --Ray 11:56, 4 October 2008 (BST)

French Apple Grater

I've not posted anything before so apologies if it's in the wrong place or anything. I wondered if anyone had used a french apple grater (Râpe-pommes)( for making pulp prior to pressing? Its advertised as being "a drum system resembling a giant cheesegrater which transforms your apples into little shreds which work very well in the press to produce juice" (apologies for errors in translation)helpfully you can also use it to shred cabbages for making sauerkraut. I had previously used a bucket with a drill/chopper but I've now too many apples to put up with the slowness, back ache and vibration induced pain.