The approach to designing Cocosplit took note of the fact that a sharp machete (large metal knife) blow on the line of the “equator” of a fresh coconut (taking the eyes as being one of the poles of a globe) opens a crack in the shell that runs around the equator. Indigenous skill has been acquired in the coconut heartlands (stretching from India to Polynesia) so that most adults routinely split coconuts open daily in the field or the kitchen.
Where coconut is an imported item splitting skill and tools are mostly absent. Hence the need for Cocosplit, which was designed to enable splitting to be done by unskilled folk, neatly and without fuss.
There is a chisel blade in Cocosplit that is located by a vertical shaft to align readily with the equator of the nut placed centrally on the base-plate. This spot is just where the nut would have been struck with a machete by a skilled user. The chisel mechanism is spring-loaded so that the nut is held firmly between the blade and a metal base-plate beneath it, which has a polyurethane cushion in the centre to absorb energy at the bottom of the nut thus preventing random cracking of the shell.
There are four screw holes in the base-plate and screws are supplied to allow the device to be attached firmly to a larger base-board if desired. Without a base-board the splitter can conveniently be placed in a flat-bottomed plastic dish to retain the water released upon splitting. It would be more difficult to collect the water when there is a base-board although the nut could be placed within a small dish or a plastic bag resting on top of the base-plate.
The movement of the chisel mechanism is guided by a tube welded to a curved arm attached to the base-plate. A varnished wooden ply insert, which also accommodates the shock-absorbing cushion, raises the level above the base-plate for small nuts, to ensure that the chisel has sufficient downward travel to complete the splitting of small nuts (less than 330mm circumference).
All the components of Cocosplit except the cushion and the wooden insert are robust, high-quality stainless steel – easily cleaned to avoid any risk of contamination of the kernel.
The chisel head is sufficiently hard to avoid blunting or damage in operation, and it is screwed to the vertical shaft with a thread-locking compound so that it will not work loose in operation.