Stuffer Very Difficult to Crank

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Stuffer Very Difficult to Crank

Postby ericrice » Sun Jan 13, 2013 4:50 pm

Recently upgraded to a 15lb stuffer. Read reviews on the Gander Mountain and they were overwhelmingly positive. One very negative review stating it was impossible to turn the crank. I used mine last night for the first time on a batch of Chorizo and had the same experience. It really took all the strength and leverage I could get to turn the crank. Anyone have one and what is your experience like? Trying to figure out if I got a dud and need to exchange it or if I just need to send it back and spend a bit more on another brand.
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Postby yotmon » Wed Jan 16, 2013 5:57 pm

Don't have any knowledge of your stuffer, but could you be getting a vaccum preventing the piston going down ? Also was wondering what size filler tube you used. Narrow tubes would need more pressure to get the meat through. Also, recipes using beef or lamb fat need more of a push than when using pork.

When I first started butchering as a lad, the feller I worked with would sometimes throw hot water onto the beef mix to soften it, otherwise it wouldn't go through the 14lb horizontal filler.

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Postby ericrice » Wed Jan 16, 2013 9:01 pm

Hmmm - on the vacuum. Now that I think of it when I first started to crank I noticed the mix oozing out of the air relief valve (it wasn't on tight). I've not experienced or read about the vacuum effect but could that have created it?

Otherwise, was the medium stuffing tube and all pork.

I do know that no human would endure the force I needed to apply for any length of time - it was way beyond a little tough and almost to the point of impossible. I can't imaging it's made to operate that way.
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Postby yotmon » Wed Jan 16, 2013 9:16 pm

As I say - I don't know your type of stuffer, but the hand-cranked one we used to use before we went hydraulic would sometimes be a pain in the a$$ to operate ! You would start to crank the handle and could feel it getting harder and harder and if your hand slipped, the handle would wind all the way back at a fast rate of knots, catching any raised elbows in its way !
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Postby vagreys » Wed Jan 16, 2013 10:16 pm

There is a reason why the larger, more expensive, manual stuffers use reduction gearing to make them easier to crank.

Whether or not you spring a leak at the air relief valve depends on the design of the valve and how it fits against the piston. Properly seated, the valve flange should fit flush against the underside of the piston when pressed against it, and should not allow meat to pass through the hole in the piston once all the air in the headspace has been released.

If you allow the sausage mixture to sit more than 30 minutes after mixing in the salt, it will become significantly stiffer and more difficult to crank through the stuffer as time goes by. If it has a combination of rusk and salt, it will begin to setup like concrete, if you don't go ahead and stuff, promptly.

I always have the casing and stuffer ready to start stuffing immediately after grinding and mixing. No delays.
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Postby NCPaul » Wed Jan 16, 2013 10:26 pm

Could the canister be out of round? Is the piston entering the canister level? Is it hard to crank before it even gets to the meat?
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Postby ericrice » Wed Jan 16, 2013 11:37 pm

No rusk used, it was for Chorizo. I also didn't allow the meat to sit for an real length of time - maybe an hour so I could catch a smoke and beer after mixing and before stuffing :D

What I do know is that under the same conditions my wife could effortlessly crank my 5lb stuffer.

The piston does seem to sit flush and it is very easy to crank when empty. I realize without having the same stuffer there is no real way to know (I had hoped another member did). I appreciate the insight. Seems I'll use my 5lb for a few weeks and look into getting another larger one that is usable. Any suggestions on them?
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Postby yotmon » Thu Jan 17, 2013 12:14 am

One more thing. Did you completely fill the stuffer - ie use 15lb of meat ? Just wondering if you tried it with a small amount first - say the same amount that you would use in your smaller stuffer to see if there is any difference. I'm not great at physics but was thinking that there needs to be more pressure to force 15lb meat through a tiny hole than what 5lb would need, or am I talking dogs dangly bits :D
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Postby Big Guy » Thu Jan 17, 2013 12:49 am

do you have a 2 speed stuffer? the high speed is to quickly raise the piston to re-charge the stuffer, If you try to stuff in the high speed mode it will be very hard to crank.
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Postby DiggingDogFarm » Thu Jan 17, 2013 5:14 am

I have the exact same stuffer.
Mix and stuff ASAP.

Stainless steel tubes will also help....less friction.



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Postby ericrice » Thu Jan 17, 2013 1:43 pm

Thanks all and Martin.
Martin - can I ask with ASAP stuffing is it actually manageable? I did not have it full, 10lbs in but I honestly had to do a quarter turn at a time and adjust my whole body to get all my weight behind it for the next quarter turn. If the ASAP and stainless steel tubes only make a nominal difference I would rather return it and either stick with the 5lb or spend the extra money for a larger one with a better gear ratio (?). I don't mind havign to work a bit at it but as I stated previously this was just short of impossible.
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Postby johngaltsmotor » Thu Jan 17, 2013 5:08 pm

Well, having received an antique vertical stuffer and planning to use it this weekend I've been watching this thread.
As an engineer, Yotmon is partially right, more meat will take more pressure plus the larger surface area of a 3x bigger column of meat will mean more friction you are fighting - did you adequately lube the walls of the cylinder plus the o-rings on the plunger?
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Postby ericrice » Thu Jan 17, 2013 5:39 pm

I did not lube as I had never had a problem with my smaller stuffer. I do have food grade silicon spray and was thinking I would give that a try along with stuffing right after mixing. Test to come this weekend and I'll detail how I made out.
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Postby DiggingDogFarm » Thu Jan 17, 2013 6:57 pm

ericrice wrote:Thanks all and Martin.
Martin - can I ask with ASAP stuffing is it actually manageable? I did not have it full, 10lbs in but I honestly had to do a quarter turn at a time and adjust my whole body to get all my weight behind it for the next quarter turn. If the ASAP and stainless steel tubes only make a nominal difference I would rather return it and either stick with the 5lb or spend the extra money for a larger one with a better gear ratio (?). I don't mind havign to work a bit at it but as I stated previously this was just short of impossible.


Both will make a difference.
I haven't had a major problem stuffing without, though.

Edited to add:
I went back and read all the reviews, they're overwhelmingly positive.
Only one person complains about difficulty stuffing, and that was 20mm sheep casings.
Perhaps you got a bum stuffer.


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Postby Wunderdave » Thu Jan 17, 2013 8:55 pm

Are the gears in the crank properly seated?
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