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I like a challenge--another corn sheller

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  • I like a challenge--another corn sheller

    Hi everyone
    Some of you may remember that I did a complete restoration of a 1900 Hocking Valley cornsheller last year. That was a very interesting and challenging project and I enjoyed bringing back a little bit of history with the restoration. I did a video of the operation of the corn sheller and have received lots of comments from folks asking about the project. I recently received an e-mail from a gentleman in Mississippi who is interested in having me restore his cornsheller.
    This is a Hocking Valley Improved 2-hole sheller made in the 1930’s. A little different but basically the same as far as the mechanics . Back in the 1930’s this unit sold for $95 and weighs 225 lbs. I asked the client for a little history about the cornsheller so here is the story:

    Mike My daddy retired in 1996 and proceeded to purchase his dream retirement property in south Mississippi. The land he purchased had three old barns on it. The prior owner had cleaned out all the items that he wanted and told my daddy he could have anything left. As you can imagine, there was a lot of junk. In the cleaning out process, some old antique tools were found along with the cornsheller. Daddy quickly put it to good use. He grew corn and would have me and my small children come over to help him turn the crank and do the shelling. We would catch the corn in a 48 quart cooler and then take it to the grist mill for grinding. He was known to give out bags of fresh ground cornmeal for Christmas every year. Store bought cornmeal just doesn’t compare to the fresh ground taste of the grist mill cornmeal.

    My daddy died in 2004. I drove the hour drive from my home to the old barn about a year later to try to find the old cornsheller. The trees and underbrush were so thick I could not get my truck close enough to load it. A few months ago, my brother called and said they were clear cutting trees near the old barn. I remembered the old sheller. I went to the old barn to see if the sheller was still there. After seven years of it sitting in the old barn, it was a sad sight to see. Part of the barn roof had fallen in on the sheller. I loaded the remains of the sheller in my truck and drove the one hour journey back home. The memories of my daddy and me and my now grown children swirled through my head. I felt bad that I had forgotten about the sheller and thus let it get in such bad shape.

    Mike, you know the rest of the story. I found Woodworking Plus on the internet. I look forward to being the granddaddy that shells corn with his grandchildren. Who knows, you might even get a bag of fresh ground cornmeal from south Mississippi one day.


    So he loaded it up on a pallet and sent it to me .As you can see, there's not much to work with .

    I used white oak for the restoration. I even got to do a little scrolling to do the cut-outs for the bearings and the cut-out for the top.
    Woodworking complete

    I had to make new stencils for the lettering and hand painted all of the pin striping just like the original Hocking Valley.

    And here is the restored Hocking Valley Cornsheller ready for action

    If anyone is interested in seeing this unit in action I did a video which can be seen by following this link:
    1930 Hocking Valley Cornsheller Restoration- complete.WMV - YouTube

    This was a fun project
    Last edited by Woodworking Plus; 01-26-2012, 08:56 AM.
    "Why buy it if you can build it"
    My Blog --
    My CustomMade Page

  • #2
    Wow you certainly didn't have lots of parts to start with...another fine er I mean a sweeeeet fine job Mike. Thanks for posting those photos. You have the ability to make memories for those people come alive. Good for you. Thanks for that video, wondering if there was a machine to peel the husks first, or did they do that by hand?
    Gloria ............... Two memorable things to say in life, "Hello" for the first time, and "Good-bye" for the last.


    • #3
      Wow!! Your video was neat. I'm really impressed with your restoration skills. Congratulations on a job well done.


      • #4
        Wow, that is just so neat! I love seeing things like this......from times gone by.
        You surely did an excellent job on the restoration.
        I know the people who own it will take care of this one, and not let it get in the elements of nature.


        • #5
          Very interesting! When will you have your own reality show on Corn sheller restoration?
          RBI G4 26 Hawk, EX 16 with Pegas clamps, Nova 1624 DVR XP
          Philosophy "I don't know that I can't, therefore I can"
          Proud Member of the Long Island Woodworkers Club
          And the Long Island Scrollsaw Association


          • #6
            Thanks for the comments everyone.
            These restorations are really fun to do.
            To WD-- I'm sure that they had some kind of equipment to shuck the corn but that is another story LOL.
            To Rolf-- Don't know about a reality show but I did get an article in Farm Collector Magazine of the restoration. Fun Stuff!!!
            "Why buy it if you can build it"
            My Blog --
            My CustomMade Page


            • #7
              WOW, Mike, that is a cool video. I like to watch those old style machines work. My Father & I used one back in the '50's, to feed our chickens that we raised. It was fun for me, I was about 10 yrs. old then. We also used it later on, to shuck dried walnuts. Surprisingly, it worked pretty good for that too. It wasn't in as good a shape as your restored one though. The walnuts came out pretty clean too. Saved the hands from the walnut stain. Thanks for showing us.


              • #8
                Mike you did a wonderful job on that one. It is always nice to see the good old tools make a come back....a little work with the arm and no electrical bill needed....thanks for sharing


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