STATE PLANT BOARD
July 1953 ET-309
United States Department of Agriculture
Agricultural Research Administration
Bureau of Entomology and Plant Quarantine
A BUCKET SAMPLER FOR SURFACE GRAIN
IN ELEVATOR BINS
By Gailen D. White
Division of Stored Product Insect Investigations
In connection with an investigation of the insect problems of line or
country elevators, a sampling device was needed for surface grain in
bins that are partially filled, the distance to the grain sometimes being
nearly a hundred feet. Such a device was constructed and has been
termed the "bucket sampler." It is adapted for the surface sampling
of various grains or milled products that are stored in otherwise inac-
cessible places. The sampler (fig. 1) constructed according to the
following specifications will draw approximately 1 gallon of grain.
The sampler is made of No. 20-gage galvanized iron. One side is
12 inches long and 19 inches wide and the other side 11 7/8 inches long
and 18 inches wide. The ends are two semicircular pieces, one 8 5/8
inches in diameter and 5 inches wide and the other 8 1/2 inches in diam-
eter and 4 1/2 inches wide. This difference in size allows one half to
fit into the other, thus insuring a tight closure.
A small semicircle (V in B) may be cut into one of the end pieces to
provide an opening from which the sample may be poured. Two 4-inch
strap hinges are riveted to both sections to fasten them together (F in A).
The hinge placement should be made when the sampler is in closed posi-
An adjustable screen-door spring (D in C) is attached through two
small holes drilled opposite each other (J in B and C). The cut end of
the door spring is threaded through one of the holes, and the adjusting
screw is inserted through the other (J in C).
A lock-joint mechanism (H in C), which locks when flexed outward, is
attached. This mechanism is of the type used on the trunk compartments
of some of the older model automobiles. It is pin-hinged at the center
and at both ends. The size and type of joint may vary, but it should be
constructed of rigid metal and the extended length should be approximately
16 inches. A 3/16-inch hole is drilled at a point 2 inches from the center
joint for the attachment of a trigger (T in 9J. The lock joint is attached
inside the sampler, about 2 inches below the lip of the larger half and
2 1/2 to 3 inches below the lip of the smaller half. A coil-type spring
(S in C) puts a slight tension on the lock joint and automatically locks the
sampler in the open position. Other types of springs may be substituted
if desired. When the sampler is in the closed position, the apex of the
lock hinge extends outside the bucket proper. To receive this extension,
a slot is cut where the apex of the hinge touches the back side of the
bucket when approaching the closed position. This opening is loosely
covered with a leather cap (L in A), riveted in place.
The trigger, 1 1/4 by 5 inches, is cut from No. 20-gage sheet
metal. One end is bent at a right angle to form a 2-inch boot for contact
with the grain. A slot may be cut in the other end for proper adjustment.
Sturdy screen-door handles (P in A, B, and C) are attached for use in
opening the sampler. The door spring (D in C) is adjusted by tightening
or loosening the adjusting screw (J in C) so that the sampler closes firmly
and completely, but not abruptly, as it encloses the grain from the sur-
face being sampled.
To operate the sampler the handles are pulled laterally. This cocks
the trigger mechanism. The open sampler is lowered to the surface of
the grain by means of a light rope (woven clothes line) attached by a swivel
and two small chains, which are bolted on the hinged side of the sampler
(fig. 2). When the bucket sampler comes in contact with the surface grain,
pressure on the trigger unlocks the hinge joint and allows the door spring
to close the sampler, thus trapping the grain as it closes. The sampler
is then withdrawn and the sample poured from the opening (V in B) into
Figure 1. --Diagram of the bucket sampler.
B, end view; C, cut-away view.
A, side view;
UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
3 1262 09242 9298
Figure 2.--Bucket sampler lowered through a manhole at
the top of an elevator bin. The sampler rests on the
grain surface 30 feet below, ready to be sprung and to
pick up the sample.