Saturday, 01 August 2009

Wooden Grinder Nears Market

Volunteer LeAnn Taylor, practicing the Wood Grinder assembly

Over the past year we have had several parties express an interest in our wooden grinder. In each case we have been able to send to them our engineering drawings of the grinder. In all cases, these drawing have not been able to fill the needs of those interested in this break-through technology. For some, the electronic transfer has not been successful; for others, a lack of exposure to three dimensional  presentations was not understood; for still others, the use of “English units” was an impediment.

Thanks to the outstanding work of Brigette Blesi, all of these problems have been overcome. Brigette has taken an existing wooden grinder and broken it (not literally) down into its individual components. A template was then made for each of the seventeen wooden parts with dimensions given in both Metric and English units. Brigette then identified each of the 97 fasteners, by number, and researched the closest metric part size that corresponded so as to complete the Bill of Materials.

The next step was for Brigette to establish the step by step assembly procedure. Anyone who has ever had “nice” things to say about assembly instructions now can claim that they know someone who has written one of these procedures. Every piece of wood, every fastener, every metal part s could be translated into action????

TaDa!!! Enter our guinea pig…otherwise known to her friends as LeAnn Taylor. LeAnn will be taking a wooden grinder down to El Salvador this month to determine if the wooden technology will expand our impact with the bakers of El Salvador. LeAnn used Brigette’s instructions and her part identification techniques to reassemble the grinder, not once, but twic e. Well done LeAnn! Now she can teach our colleagues in El Salvador how to make a wooden grinder.

Major kudos to Brigette for all this exacting and accurate work! We are one step closer to getting our wooden grinder accepted as an alternative, cheaper and more sustainable technology.

Published in Volunteer
Monday, 15 September 2008

Wooden Grinder Update

Jerry LaGra reports from Guyana that he and his team have built a wooden grinder out of a native hard wood called Purple Heart.  Jerry indicated that the carpenter that made the grinder has above average skills and easily copied the oak grinder that CTI sent as a model (see photo).  The metal pieces that comprise the working parts of the grinder were also sent and incorporated into this Purple Heart grinder.  Fearing concerns about contamination, Jerry modified the design to include a stainless steel liner for the parts of the grinder that touched the food.  Jerry admits that this was a defensive decision because Purple Heart is already widely used for food bowls and other serving dishes.  Further work will be required on durability, leakage, etc. before the concept can receive a full endorsement, but to date the status is positive.

We have not received any reports on the horizontal axis wooden grinder and the lower cost vertical axis wooden version which have been shipped to Zambia.  We will issue another Flash Alert when we have more information.

Published in Newsletter