Cleaning Bean Seeds With The Office Clipper

Over the years we’ve accumulated a few fancy pieces of seed cleaning equipment.

The one we probably use the most is the Office Clipper from A.T. Ferrell.

Please note – you don’t need a machine like this to save seed! For years we only used box fans and home screens to clean seeds. With these tools we could get the seed real clean. If you didn’t know what to look for, you wouldn’t have been able to tell that it wasn’t perfect.

Here’s a classic post from the Going To Seed archives about how we’ve saved beans seed for years. We have replaced the dance moves with a stationary thresher but the process is essentially the same.

But as our production has increased and the number of clients has increased, we wanted a tool to clean those last bits from our seed lots.

Enter the clipper.

In the spring of 2015, we bought an office clipper through a grant from the The Bauta Family Initiative on Canadian Seed Security. (We are very grateful for this grant!)

We still thresh, winnow and screen in the field. But now the last step for most dry seed crops is the clipper.

Let’s go on a tour and clip some Dragon Tongue bean!

A mix of Good Beans and Split Beans

This is what the seed looks like when it comes in from the field. We have quite a few split beans from running the thresher a little too fast.

The Office Clipper

Seeds go in through the top and come out the bottom.

Unwanted material is separated out a few ways.

The Lightest Stuff Is Blown Here

A fan blows air through the machine and the lightest stuff collects in this chamber.

Top Screen Removes Big Stuff

There are two screens on the clipper. The top screen skims off anything that is bigger than the seed. This can include unthreshed pods, rocks, sticks …

They drop out on the far side into this bucket.

Bottom Screen Removes Small Stuff

If you remove the top screen, you can see there is a second screen beneath. Tiny seed, dirt, & bits all fall through the bottom screen. The good seed floats over this screen and drops into a bin beneath the machine.

The white chute is where the tiny stuff emerges. (The wooden drawer on the left is where some of the other discarded seed winds up.)

Screens Of Different Shapes And Sizes!

We can change both the bottom and top screen to get the perfect combo

Watch This Video Of The Clipper In Action!

What’s Your Favourite Seed Cleaning Tool?

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