Clipper Seed Cleaner–the Wonder Machine

Here is an amazing seed-cleaning machine that Matthew Frey found through eBay five years ago. After a couple of weeks of research, he knew what he was looking for and found it on the web.

This is the Clipper Seed Cleaner, designed back in the 1920’s. He located it in the Dakotas and had it shipped out. The Freys were originally looking for something to clean the grain they grow. When it arrived, Matthew took it all apart and cleaned it.Then he sealed the wood with beeswax. There wasn’t a motor, so he installed one. The body is mostly wood with metal attachments. The screens are sheet metal with holes drilled through. When the Clipper arrived, several screens were too rusty to use. Matthew found some screens a neighbor had that he refit to the Clipper.

The Freys use it to clean grain, sunflower seeds for oil and grape seeds for oil. This is roughly how it works:

  • Two metal screens are selected and fitted into the body–one with larger mesh than the seed the other with smaller.
  • The rough seed and debris go onto the hopper.
  • The engine makes the screens vibrate like mad.
  • Josh or Matthew uses a small hand broom to push grape seed through.
  • There are several chutes one where larger debris can tumble down and away.
  • The grape-seed (or any other seed) drops through to the second screen along with any debris the same size or smaller. Chaff falls through the bottom screen.
  • The machine was designed to drop clean seed into a small container on the ground.

Learn more about this machine at:

Josh Cleaning Grape Seeds

Since the Freys sometimes process up to 3,000 pounds of wheat in a year, Matthew didn’t want the grain coming out close to the ground. He wanted to place 50-pound sacs in place to fill easily, so he designed a vacuum hopper that pulls the seed up and then can drop into the bag. I saw a similar machine at the Humboldt Organic Seed Field Day last summer. Check out the post on grape seed oil to see more pictures of the clipper in action.