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Showing support for the Amboy Clippers

Posted: Tuesday, Nov 6th, 2012


Betty Kidd of Amboy stands next to the Clipper grain cleaner. (Photo contributed)


AMBOY - Betty Kidd keeps coming up with new and better ways to celebrate and show support for the Amboy Clippers. Recently she decided that having this old farm machinery lying around wasn't doing anyone any good. So she asked a few of her close friends to see where it could be donated so people could see the way farmers used to take care of their crops. So she donated some old farm equipment, which included an old steel wheeled wagon, old windmill pieces, and this Clipper Grain and seed cleaner.

This is the way Betty and her late husband Bill's Clipper grain and seed cleaner works: Clipper machines do separations based on the differences in the width and thickness as well as the weight of the seeds. This is accomplished by combining aspiration, which lifts and removes the light material from the seed mass as it flows through a column of air, with scalping, a process whereby good seed drops through the openings of a perforated metal screen, while the trash continues its flow over the screen to a discharge spout, and sifting or grading where the smaller particles of good crop seed, weed seeds, sand, etc, fall through the openings of the screen, and the larger crop seeds flow over the screen. More information may be seen at http://www.ebmmill.com/product_flow.htm.

By following the flow of material you will see how the seed or grain, flows by gravity out of the hopper mounted on top of the machine and is spread evenly across the full width of the top or first screen deck.

A screen deck typically consists of one to four screen sections made of a perforated metal or wire screen material, mounted on steel cladded wooden frames, lying end to end in the same plane.

The screens are mounted horizontally, in optional variable pitch rockers, which pivot within a large box called a shoe. The shoe itself is made of high-grade finish plywood and reciprocates at a high frequency causing the product to flow through the machine. Clipper precision air-screen seed cleaners typically have two shoes with one to three screen decks mounted in each shoe. The screen decks are numbered from the top. For example in a five screen cleaner, screen decks one and two would be mounted in the top shoe and screen decks three, four and five would be mounted in the bottom shoe.

As the seed flows from the hopper, it is passes through a duct or air leg that is connected to the back mounted section fan. A stream of air passes through the seed to remove dust and light foreign material. Larger foreign material is scalped off over the top or first screen deck to a catch-all spout.

Good seed flows through the top or first screen to the second screen deck in the upper shoe sifting out small trash and weed seeds.

The good seed flows from the top shoe into a three or four-way splitter where the product flow is divided into equal segments. Each segment is directed to one of the screen decks for very precise sifting separation such as removing broken, withered or immature seeds or removing splits from beans.

The good seed flowing over the individual screen decks is recombined and flows into the vertical air column for a final, precise air separation. The bottom blast fan, synchronized and balanced with the back mounted fan lifts the remaining light foreign matter, weed seeds, and immature, insect damaged, poor quality seeds from the good seed. The trash is removed from the air flow in the expansion (settling) chamber. The dust and very light material is carried with the air to the dust house, collector or dust filter system. The cleaned grain or seed discharges from the cleaner through a slotted opening, which extends across the full width at the bottom of the machine.

In the past the farmers would make their own seed corn. They used a grain cleaner like this to ensure there would be minimal foreign material in their seed to be used the following years.

Betty and her husband Bill farmed in this area their entire life. This was one of the tools they used in their family farming operation. Now it will reside in Mendota and can be viewed by the public and generations to come at the Breaking the Prairie Museum in Mendota next to the Train Station.

So Betty is trying to educate the people of today what farming used to be like and at the same time celebrate another great year for the Amboy Clippers.












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