These racks have been in
the cellar of the old farm house here at
Victory Seeds on
Dunton Farm for all of my life, and all
of my Dad's life. I am guessing that they are at least
60 years old and with the exception of a couple of screens
that I have abused for make-shift animal cages, all are in quite
The racks and
screens were used by my ancestors to dry nuts. One of
the big cash crops for the farm in past years were walnuts and filberts. The
racks were placed in the cellar of the farmhouse instead of
an outbuilding because the heating system, an old wood-fired
furnace, is located there. It provides the heat and air circulation
necessary to quickly cure the nuts.
The screen construction
(see notes below) is stout enough to handle a huge weight
load. I would say 20 to 40 pounds of wet nuts is no
They should be quite
adequate for handling any type of large seed drying
requirement, i.e. peanuts, ears of corn, bean and pea pods, etc.
Rack with screens. The rack structure is
basically four 2 X 4s that go from the cellar floor and are
nailed to the floor joists of the first floor above.
Close-up of screen guides. Basically just
strips of wood (in this racks case, 3/4" plywood) nailed to
the inside of the sides.
Screen. The outside dimensions are 2' x 3'.
Close-up detail of screen construction. The
assembly is a 2' X 3' frame was made out of 1" X 2"
heartwood Douglas Fir. Corners are mitered nailed from
ends and reinforced with corrugated fasteners*. Next
the galvanized wire mesh (a heavy, rigid wire with about
1/4" grid) was laid on top or the frame and another,
identical frame laid on top of that to trap in the screen.
These are nailed to each other.
* - A corrugated strip of
metal with one edge sharpened for driving into the joint.
The fastener is placed at a right angle to the line between
the members, half on one member and half on the other, and
driven down flush with the member. The corrugated fastener
mars the appearance of the surface into which it is driven;
therefore, it is used only on the backs of picture frames
and the like.