Jim's Excellent Finger Puller
Everyone who has built their own Whizbang chicken plucker knows that the plucker fingers are difficult to pull into place. In fact, for some folks, pulling the fingers into the featherplate is the hardest, most discouraging part of the project. Even though the plucker fingers are durable and flexible, the rubber is hard and recalcitrant.
Solutions to the “pulling problem” abound. Some people just grab the finger and muscle it through. Teenage boys with an abundance of testosterone are useful for this particular task. Flexing the finger back & forth while pulling helps to “walk” it into place. Many people have come up with ideas to help make the process of pulling easier. Here are a few:
1. Lubricate the base of the finger with vegetable oil or liquid detergent.
2. Soak the fingers in warm soapy water for some time before installation.
3. Use big Channellock pliers to grab and lever the fingers into place (the bigger the better).
Every one of those ideas will help but none of them are as easy as pulling fingers into place with the simple, scrap wood pulling device that Jim Stachoviak of Wausau, Wisconsin has invented.
Jim e-mailed me some pictures of his plucker finger puller, along with an explanation. He told me his 11-year-old grandson can easily pull fingers into a featherplate with his finger puller invention. All you do is set it over a finger and lift the handle. He told me “you should hear and feel a pop when it seats.”
So I made one of Jim’s plucker finger pullers. And I tried it. And it worked just like Jim Stachoviak said it would. And I thought to myself... That Jim Stachoviak of Wausau Wisconsin is a chicken plucker finger pullin’ genius!
Beyond that, he’s a nice guy because he has given me permission to show you his puller. If you can build a chicken plucker, you can surely build one of these handy finger pullers which, I have decided to officially name... The Stachoviak Plucker Finger Puller.
I've added specific information for making Jim's excellent finger puller to page 63 of the current printing (the 7th printing) of the plan book, but these photographs do a great job of showing how the puller works. The picture above shows the four pieces of wood you need to make the tool. This next picture shows it all assembled...
As you can see, it’s not a fancy tool. Here (below) is a picture of the puller in place over a finger that needs to be pulled up through the featherplate. The finger is about to get pinched as the handle is lifted.
Now here is a picture showing the handle being lifted and the finger being pulled...
Once the handle is lifted, the whole contraption acts like a big lever, with the pivot point being the front of the puller. Here’s a picture of the finger pulled all the way into place. You can see the notch in the base of the finger has pulled through. And, yes, you can hear and feel a pop when the flared base of the finger emerges out of the hole.
The Stachoviak Plucker Finger Puller can really stretch those hard rubber fingers right out. I wondered if the finger might break when I stretched it that far? But you can see it the above picture, the finger will not break.
The reason it doesn't break is because it's a Kent C-25 finger and Kent makes their fingers out of natural latex. Those cheap, synthetic rubber fingers will break if you try to stretch them like shown in the picture. It is the natural-rubber composition of the Kent fingers that gives them their legendary durability and longevity. Click Here to learn more about the Kent C-25 fingers.
In the final analysis, this finger puller is the right tool for the job. Thank you Jim Stachoviak!