Grinding up your own walnut shell media


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MW3840
February 13, 2012, 10:57 AM
I have buckets full of walnut shells from opening up walnuts from our tree. Always use them in the fireplace, never gave a thought to using them for media.

Has anyone here ever ground up any walnut shells for that purpose? If so, how did you do it?

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kingmt
February 13, 2012, 11:01 AM
The few bucks that the Lizard Litter cost me for a bag I will probably never use up it just isn't worth it.

I am about as cheap as they come & I still suggest to keep using them in the wood burner.

oneounceload
February 13, 2012, 11:06 AM
Agreed - the bag I bought was about $10 and will last a long time. I mix it 75/25 walnut to corn cob and add red jeweler's rouge - they come shiny and clean

hang fire
February 13, 2012, 01:06 PM
Ditto on the pet shop ground walnut shells, cheap and efficient, they also work great as a casting flux instead of saw dust.

evan price
February 14, 2012, 04:17 AM
Have you got a good industrial grinding mill? A mere few thousand dollars invested, and you'll have all the $.70/lb media you could ever want for free.

kingmt
February 14, 2012, 05:54 AM
I actually do have stones to grind it but still wouldn't.

jmorris
February 14, 2012, 08:23 AM
After you busted it up you would need to buy or build screens to get the correct size or deal with dust and big hunks sticking where you didn't want them to. In the end I be you could spend your time instead gathering change in a local gas station parking lot and come out ahead.

In reloading media price is the lowest cost of anything you use. If you want to save money time spent casting bullets would save much more money.

blarby
February 14, 2012, 10:39 AM
A corn cracking mill would get you in the right direction. Several passes would grind it to a usable state fairly quickly.

Thats a heck of a lot of work given whats currently available.

Kudos on the ingenuity/recycling though....never know what skills will come in handy one day....

rsrocket1
February 14, 2012, 10:46 AM
$14/50# from the feed store is good enough for me. If you have all those walnut shells and have another use for them (your fireplace), I think its worth it to use it for that than to go to the trouble of grinding them.

Now if I can find a use for Pistachio shells...

Hillbillyz
February 14, 2012, 11:05 AM
My thoughts would go with the group, store bought is cheap and will last a long time. As far as grinding easiest way I could think of would be to put a gunny sack in your garage where you would drive over them every day. But you would still have a variety of sized pieces.

788Ham
February 14, 2012, 12:22 PM
You've got too much time on your hands son! Buy the lizard litter and be done with it, cheaper by the pound.

SEE IT LIKE A NATIVE
February 14, 2012, 12:32 PM
If you just have to grind your own, I bet a coffee grinder would work for small quantities ! Plus it keeps the dust down . Kevin

Gadzooks Mike
February 14, 2012, 12:38 PM
I'm thinking just put it all it a bag and tell the grandkids not to break anything. Should be usable for media in a day or so.

kingmt
February 14, 2012, 02:20 PM
How much would you save buying a coffee grinder after each batch of 1lb.

SEE IT LIKE A NATIVE
February 14, 2012, 03:19 PM
I didn't think it would be cost effective to grind your own ! Maybe I could start them in the blender , it has a warranty ? Kevin

JohnM
February 14, 2012, 03:22 PM
:D:D I can not believe anyone is serious about trying to grind, size, and clean their own walnut!

jcwit
February 14, 2012, 03:28 PM
I comment on many subjects, but I think I'll let this one pass!

THe Dove
February 14, 2012, 03:32 PM
At the risk of me sounding like an idiot, I'm gonna chirp in on this post. I'm pretty sure the OP is trying to do something as a means of just that, DOING SOMETHING.....

I don't think he/she is trying to save money, just wants to do something on his/her own and was trying to see if anyone else on here has tried it.

That being said, MW 3840, I have never tried grinding my own media from walnut hulls I've had, but the walnut media I have used comes in all shapes/sizes......

Good luck amigo.

The Dove

jmorris
February 14, 2012, 04:16 PM
I'm pretty sure the OP is trying to do something as a means of just that, DOING SOMETHING.....

If that's the case I bet fingernail clippers or a good ole pocket knife would work just fine. He could really church it up and carve them into teeny tiny ducks.

NeuseRvrRat
February 14, 2012, 06:33 PM
a hammer mill like is used for grinding chicken feed might work

jim243
February 14, 2012, 08:05 PM
Best option would be if you have a flower mill around, take the sacks of shells to them and ask what they would charge to grind up the whole lot. But I too think it is cheaper to just go to the pet shop and buy "Zilla" lizard litter, still on my fist bag. (Half full).

Jim

NeuseRvrRat
February 14, 2012, 08:50 PM
or a flour mill, even

JohnM
February 14, 2012, 10:16 PM
A bag of milled petunias might just work.
Wonder what mesh (mess?)

jim243
February 14, 2012, 11:15 PM
Thanks Neuservrat and John, spelling is not one of my strong points (LOL), John I never knew that you could raise petunias in WY (LOL), how do you get all that pollen off the cases after tumbling?

LOL
Jim

irondavy
February 14, 2012, 11:35 PM
Most homebrew beer sites and stores will have mills that would work. You would have to crush the hulls enough to get the pieces small enough to pass through the rollers.
You could use a meat tenderizer, with a big square head, and pound the heck out of a bag of hulls then run the bag through the grain mill. If you can Tom Sawyer a neighbor kid into doing all this for ya then great but I would rather buy the bag from the pet store.

by the way anyone use pecan shells before? because once you add them in I could make my own too. I have the pecan shells, meat tenderizer, grain mill, and gullible/ overenthusiastic neighbor kid :D

just sayin'
ID

T Bran
February 14, 2012, 11:53 PM
Does the wife have a vitamix or maybe an old blender afterwards you could use some screen wire to size/grade the resulting dust. Any leftovers can still be burnt as fuel. Cost is not the only reason for doing something. There is a lot to be said for knowlege gained by trying new things. I myself am working on a wet tumbler with the intention of using steel BB's as tumbling media. May or may not work but no harm in trying. So go for it dont let the naysayers get you down.

JohnM
February 15, 2012, 07:53 AM
Thanks Neuservrat and John, spelling is not one of my strong points (LOL), John I never knew that you could raise petunias in WY (LOL), how do you get all that pollen off the cases after tumbling?

ROTFLMAO
I tried to keep the flower beds up around here till the last few years, now they're kinda big patches of weeds.
Pollen's no problem, just turn in a small bunch of bumble bee's; gotta work 'em easy, those half wild range bees can get pretty ring tailed!

MW3840
February 15, 2012, 10:38 AM
Thanks for all the comments folks, both positive and negative. I had no idea this would bring such an outpouring of interest.

I did take the advise of a couple of you and contacted my cousin, who runs the elevator and mill in our rural area. He told me to bring them in and he would run them through the grist mill that is used to grind corn into mash. They will then run them through the blower to eliminate the dust and then fine screen them to match the size of the commercial walnut media I took along to show him. He said he will do it in return for half, as his father-in-law also loads.

I've got several burlap bags full of walnut hulls, so that should net a goodly amount of media. Don't know why I didn't think of him before, and wouldn't have had I not posted the thread. Once again, many thanks.

Mike

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