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FBP LC Sheller

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To improve the Universal Nut Sheller(UNS), the LC Sheller(Light, Cheap Sheller) design lowered the cost and weight of existing design using locally available and light weight materials. The reduction in cost makes this technology more accessible to the average farmer. The reduction in weight allows the client to more easily transport the sheller from farm to farm. With the LC Sheller, more nuts could be shelled with a relatively low investment.
The LC sheller


The Full Belly Project is an organization which creates low cost, simple technological solutions to be implemented in developing countries. One of these solutions, the Universal Nut Sheller, minimizes the work load of women in Western Africa by allowing nuts to be shelled through this device rather than by hand.

Problem Statement and Criteria[edit]

Currently in West Africa, the nut sheller that are in use, weighing some ninety pounds are placed on the back of bicycles and transported long distances. This presents serious drawbacks in terms of trasnportability and raises the risk of breakage. Additionally, the cement in West Africa is costly and of poor quality. For these reasons, the Full Belly Project's executive director helped Team Nuts for Peace come up with the following criteria:

To reduce the cost of the Universal Nut Sheller
To improve the transportability
To maintain or increase the durability of the UNS
The degree of safety required for the final product
Ease of Construction
To minimize the number of specialists in the implementation process


The costs, in both dollars and hours, required to build an LC sheller are estimated to be:


Product Quantity Price ($)
Cement 1 bag (94 lb) 15.00
sand 1 bag (60 lb) 12.00
clay (dry) 2 gallons harvested
Machine Grease 1 can 4.00
Threaded Rod 1 15.00
UNS Mold 1 provided by Full Belly Project
Total costs 46.00


Project Step Approximate Time Required
Mold Assembly, mixing and pouring 2 hours
Roughing the inner surfaces (24 hours later) 20 minutes
Form assembly 1 hour
Total time 3-4 hours

Construction instructions[edit]

Diagram of the LC Sheller: Unshelled nuts in the top, shelled nuts out the bottom.
The construction of the LC Sheller is carried out in the same fashion as the Universal Nut Sheller; the only difference being the materials going into the initial mix.

The changes to the mix include the addition of dry, finely sieved clay and sawdust. Soak the sawdust in water until it is soaked thoroughly. Mix the sawdust with the clay, sand and cement and mix until a homogeneous material is formed. Additional water might be needed. The mixture should have the consistency slightly less moist than that of cottage cheese. Follow the instructions provided from Full Belly Project for the rest of construction. Instructions from Full Belly Project.

Next steps[edit]

While improvements were made to the UNS, additional materials testing could result in a mixture that more thoroughly meets the Fully Belly Project's criteria. The final mixture decided upon is a base to move from. Other possible modifications include replacing metal hardware with bamboo. Using bamboo, a local material in parts of West Africa, would further reduce weight and cost. The most easily replaced parts are the top and bottom brackets.


Contact us at:

Scott Hargreaves: User:ScottH

Zach Johnson:

Marcus Grant: User:Marcus Grant

Sterling Wallstrum: User:Sterling

See the full documentation of the LC sheller's development here.