hand cranked cotton gin

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Does anyone know of where I can get a hand cranked cotton gin. There's a lot of cotton grown around here, and with the machines, there's lots left on the ground. Would it be worth my while to glean from the fields and hand gin and then spin for some small weaving projects? any ideas or am I just wasting time and energy. Also would most gins do small quantities?

thanks for any thoughts on the subject.

-- Joan Murray (alandjoan@juno.com), December 18, 2001


We are in the process of building a hand or motor powered small cotton gin. We have been researching the project and have looked at a small unit built by Auburn university some time back. We have found most of the parts needed and are going to start just after the holidays. We could not find a small one already built so decided to do our own. If you are handy and have a pretty well stocked shop you probably could make your own. We have figured we would have spent about 250 dollars for parts. It takes 24 saw blades at 3 dollars each and then all the screens,brushs, shafts, bearings,collars, it gets complicated but if you are interested in building your own, or we could just as easy build two while we are building one email us. Now as for being cheap enough to justify, I don't know. We grow natural colored cotton so we have to gin our own. We grow green, brown, rust and of course white. We are currently looking for some blue cotton seed and would like to trade for it or buy it. Would like any other color if there is others. David

-- David (bluewaterfarm@mindspring.com), December 18, 2001.

Joan, you can spin the cotton fiber right off of the seed. It's been done for as long as cotton has been growing. I'm a spinner myself but don't have any experience at this. I belong to a large group of spinners and almost all of them have spun the cotton fiber straight from the seed. Takes a bit of practice I'm told, but it isn't all that hard once you get it down right.

-- Carol - in Virginia (carollm@rockbridge.net), December 19, 2001.

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