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Discussion Starter · #1 ·

Our grandfather had a blacksmith working for him up until the depression and during that time he built or repaired wagons, wagon wheels, made horse shoes and generally built or repaired anything on the farm. Now remember he was a blacksmith and not a woodworker and like our Dad he believed function over form was the rule.

This particular item is one of several kits he cut out back in the 20's or early '30's and was only assembled this past winter by my much older brother. Recognizing what he'd found in a box in the loft of the blacksmith shop, he brought all three kits to his home to his own shop while setting up for the farm auction in '82. (with Dad's blessing, of course). This one has never been used for its intended purpose, so I guess it can be called "new old stock".

It's one intended purpose is for shredding turnips into turnip kraut.

Notice the crank was beaten out of a piece of round stock, left fairly rough but pointed to penetrate a turnip but flattened to assist in holding it to rotate with the crank handle.

The knife/crank is retained by the little copper pin and the tip is gouged into the upright on the far side after the turnip is impaled out in the open.

This tapered ramp is where the shreded strings of turnip come shooting out the top as the crank is turned.

The underside shows the placement of the blades that shred the turnip as the wide knife severs them off, the force of the crank shoots them out and up the ramp out the top. Like said above, this one has never been used, just assembled recently and given to an older aunt and uncle (brother to our Dad) as a surprise. However, the one Dad had was well used and I personally turned many a dozen turnips into kraut by the crock full. As the crocks filled, we'd use 5 gallon buckets to shred into. To ferment it (or whatever you call it) he had wooden covers that fit inside the crocks and buckets and weighted them down with clean bricks until they slowly forced themselves towards the bottom completely covered by the kraut juice.

Man, I hated that smell and NEVER ate one fork full, but to Dad it was a tremendous delicacy he enjoyed to his last breath.

So, there you go, a NOS kraut cutter. Bet not too many of you all have seen one of these before. Now, there is one declaration I have to make as I truly try to make these stories as accurate as my weakened brain can make it... but when I took these pictures a while back, my much older brother told me he'd taken one of the cutters and used it as a pattern and as accurately as he could duplicate it he'd built one. I can't for the life of me remember if THIS one is one of the authentic OLD ones or if this is his accurate duplications. I apologize for the lapse in memory...at least I can guarantee it has never been used.

On a side note, my much older brother assembled and gave me one of the original three kits a number of years back and I proudly display it on a shelf in my rear entryway.
 

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Never heard of turnip kraut, but then there's most likely lots of things I've never heard of, or heard called by a different name.
Nice simple design, looks like it would definitely do the job it was intended for. Were they all made from walnut?
 

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We may kraut from cabbage. When we had turnips, they were slice and eaten raw like radishes or cooked with potatoes. Never had turnip kraut
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
4imnotright said:
We may kraut from cabbage. When we had turnips, they were slice and eaten raw like radishes or cooked with potatoes. Never had turnip kraut
I think he made cabbage kraut also Steve, but he greatly preferred turnip kraut because turnips were easier to grow without bugs getting in them. We seldon grew cabbage, but literally grew 1/2 acre of turnips.

BigDaveinKY said:
Never heard of turnip kraut, but then there's most likely lots of things I've never heard of, or heard called by a different name.
Nice simple design, looks like it would definitely do the job it was intended for. Were they all made from walnut?
Good question Dave...as a matter of fact I just went to the back room and pulled down mine and dusted it off and the pictures follow:


This is one I can verify is an original never assembled until a number of years ago when given to me by my much older brother...one of the three sets of parts. Now, back in the day, farmers and blacksmiths used whatever material was available when necessary and I cannot verify if all were walnut or not. It just may have been what was available easily at the time.

This shows it fully disassembled, the top piece (that holds the little knives) is hinged with the copper hinge pin towards the rear of the picture. You may notice a few more knives in the top, making narrower slices of the turnip.

One difference is the addition of the metal plate for the tip of the crank to spin in..maybe the first generation cutters wallowed out and this was an upgraded version??

...and also the side that holds the crank retaining pin is reinforced with a neatly filed metal plate. Again, maybe an upgrade to minimize wear on the later ones ???? You can also see in this picture the neat job of forge welding the little thrust washer onto the crank to keep it centered. Of course the thrust washer is made of round stock too.

Here's the tail end with the copper pivot pin. So here is another testimony to the resourcefulness of the old timers. When they saw a need, they didn't have the internet to search for a solution...they just built what they needed to satisfy their needs for the day.... And I STILL do not like sauerkraut or turnip kraut.
 

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The title says it right. Never seen anything like it before. That is truley a amazing piece to have and brand new to boot. I have never heard of kraut being made out of turnips before. Like Dave said we always sliced and ate them or cut them up and fried them in potatoes. The work in those cutters is something. The way the plates are cut out where the turner fits looks factory but you can tell it was done by hand. Did you ever see any more like them or were they your grandpa's and the blacksmiths design? The fact that you and your brother have something new made in your grandfather's blacksmiths shop over a lifetime ago is just something, a treasure for sure. Gordon
 
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