Wednesday, September 3, 2008

We've decided to build it

A milking machine that is. :) I have been trying to get one because my hands hurt so badly, but they are over $700 used and $1400 new. Dh decided there must be an easier way, so I talked to my dad (the smartest guys I know) and figured that with his degree in mechanical engineering he was just the kind of expert advice we need for this project. The task seems simple enough, right? I'll get back to you on that. The goal is to spend less than $700 on this machine, we scoured the internet (the abundant source of knowledge) and found this article that talks about building the machine. The article is very helpful as it gives great information about the specifications of the vacuum pump (the most expensive part of the deal). Let me just say now, figuring out what vacuum pump will work is really a technical type thing and I'm glad that daddy has a clue because it is all Greek to me. (I've been meaning to brush up on my Greek) Anyway, here's what we've got so far:

Except for the ring (gasket) in the back left all the rest of parts came with the unit I bought ($118 including S&H). This is the first pieces. The next item was to find a vacuum pump with the following:
1) Single phase
2) minimum of 1/3 hp (this is his recommendation for milking 2 goats, the industry standard is 1/4 hp for 2 goats, since my Dexters produce much less milk than traditional dairy animals I have gone with this as opposed to the 1/2hp which is the normal recommendation for cows.)
3) 1,725 rpm

That criteria led me to many many websites, and finally I found this:

I called the company that manufactured this and got lots of great info so I bought it. ($78.95 including S&H)

The last pieces are:
1) a KF-25 fitting and clamp to connect the hose to the pump,
2) some hose,
3) a gasket for the lid,
4) a cart to bolt the vacuum pump to for easier mobility
5) belly strap

Aside we will need a few milking supplies:
1) milk strainer
2) udder wipes
3) teat dip

That seems to be all that is missing at this time, I'll go look for a more complete list and get back with you :)

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