How to Make a Walnut Picker-Upper

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Picking up walnuts off the ground can be laborious and time consuming.
Picking up walnuts off the ground can be laborious and time consuming. (Image: Goodshoot/Goodshoot/Getty Images)

Walnuts are grown commercially and can be found in the wild. While walnuts fall from the tree when they become ripe, picking the nuts off the ground can be tedious and time-consuming. However, an inexpensive gathering device resembling a fishing net can easily be constructed to pick up walnuts by the dozens.

Things You'll Need

  • Wire coat hanger
  • Wire cutters
  • 2 pairs of pliers
  • Nylon mesh onion bag
  • Scissors
  • Vise
  • Drill
  • 1/8-inch drill bit
  • Broom handle
  • Two-part epoxy
  • Baster

Cut the wire coat hanger off at the top ends, where the wire is wrapped together, with the wire cutters. Straighten out all the bends in the coat hanger with the pliers. Cut the hanger to 10 inches in length with the cutters.

Hold the straightened coat hanger with the one pair of pliers, 1 inch from one end of the wire. Grasp the short end of the hanger with the second pair of pliers and make a 90 degree bend at the end of the wire. Repeat the procedure making an identical 90 degree bend at the opposite end of the wire.

Bend the wire, with your hands, in the opposite direction of the 90 degree bends to create a circle with the two bent ends of the wire lining up parallel with each other.

Cut off the top of the onion bag with the scissors. Weave the openings of the first row of holes on the edge of the mesh onion bag over the coat hanger. Work the bag so the wire goes in one hole of the netting and out the next, all the way around the cut edge of the bag.

Lock the broom handle in a vise. Drill a hole in the broom handle with the 1/8-inch drill bit about 2 inches from the end.

Mix the two-part epoxy according to the product directions. Use a baster to suck up the epoxy and apply it. Fill the hole in the end of the handle with the epoxy. Insert the tips of the bent ends of the coat hanger into the epoxy-filled hole in the broom handle. There should be enough tension in the wires so that you do not need to hold them in place. Allow the epoxy to cure for at three hours or according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Place the rim of the net against the ground next to the walnut. Twist your wrist quickly toward the nut, scooping the nut into the net.

Tips & Warnings

  • While not as durable as nylon netting, a nylon stocking will work in place of an onion bag. The stocking, however, will collect more debris and develop snags, requiring it be replaced periodically.
  • If you do not want to mix your own adhesive, E6000 craft glue will work as a suitable alternative to the two-part epoxy.
  • Hang the picker-upper on a nail in the garage for easy storage.

References

  • “The Complete Book of Woodworking”; Tom Carpenter; 2009
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