It is that point of year again, and now that my apple tree is eventually generating fruit that is adequate, I Had want in order to get it apple-by-apple and never dropping a whole branch of apples on the earth or needing to go get a stepladder. They sell two-claw grippers at the neighborhood Home Despot, but catching a sphere with two fingers needs more dexterity than I am willing to invest. Additionally, those grippers are just three feet long at best, and I need six or seven feet dangling from the range of my hand.
This four-bar-linkage a sliding collar attached by another four-bar drives shut claw to every one of the three fingers. The collar is sprung to return the fingers open, therefore it may be controlled by pulling on a cord. For simplicity, the twine was knotted on a sliding collar farther down the post to manage it better. At some point I may redesign this collar to a squeeze-handle lever, but for the time being, I simply need my apples.
The best part? This threads on a conventional broom handle, which implies that you do not have to keep a six-foot post outside of apple season... or at all, if you already have a sweeper. And in case you would like a sixteen-foot post, only duct tape your broomstick onto another post (or two?) and use a longer cord.
Additionally, a word to the wise- apples are picked with a kink, not a pull. In the event that you elongate some silicone surgical tube over the fingers, or wrap all of them with the professional grade uncured rubber electrical tape (not the low-cost vinyl fecal matter), you need to have the ability to get a good enough grasp to wriggle free the apple without breaking the spur and damaging the tree.
So several remarks after using this thing... it does work, but it is not quite as plugandplay as you had hope:
-The jaws don't shut entirely because the very first degree linkages go perpendicular at about 1" apart... but that is good for picking apples.
-It requires a good bit of force on the path to get the jaws to close, as well as the return spring that I used could do with a little more impact. The apples pick greatest in the event that you trap the stalk between two fingers so you could give an excellent spin to it.
-I am looking for some of that great rubber electrical tape at my local hardware so that I can better cushion the fingers, get a better hold and give a wide berth to bruising the apples.
Furthermore the broom handle and an appropriate length of twine, additionally, you will require a compression spring that fits over a 16mm dia pole, and 19 3mm or 1/8" dowel pins, or a similar sized pivot stick. (You may have the ability to get away with M3 machine screws in the short term, but nevertheless, it'll eat your pivots with time.)
These components are kitted into two pallets for an Upward! Miniature. I've additionally supplied an STL of the construction for reference only.
Deraft all the parts and nip off both spacer norkers. Ream the bores on all twelve connections out to coincide with your pivot pole diameters, so they whirl free without wiggle. One side of the bore sets on the receiver as well as fingers mounts on gripper mount and the gripper head, in order to add the pin on the free side and press it in on the far side. You can superglue it in in case you screw this up. Ream out the duplicate crossbore on the gripper and also the crossbore on the slide pole mount, one side only.
Load the gripper head on the slide pole so the head of the stick sits in the inlet of the gripper head. Load on the slide pole, and after that add the slide pole into the gripper mount bore. Press in one of your pins to fixture the slide pole into the gripper and align the crossbores mount.
The gripper head should now slide freely on the slide pole, and compress the spring against the gripper mount.
Assemble the links in order they fit the illustration, with the amounts right aligned. Press in the pivot pins to place the links.
Assemble the fingers to the links to match the illustration, pressing in the pivot pins.
Thread the cord through the best bushing on the gripper mount, the right bushing on the gripper head, through the crossbore on the gripper head, through the left bushing on the gripper head, and also the left bushing on the gripper mount. You can run one twine to the slide handle and tie this into a loop below the mount, or you'll be able to run both twines to the slide handle.
Line the broom handle into the gripper head. Slip the slide handle on the broom handle from the underside, and place it to a height that is comfortable. Thread the cord(s) through the supplied holes and knot it at the proper height in order that when the claw is close, the chute handle continues to be a comfortable space from the end of the broom handle.
Go decide something.