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Author Topic: Wood Processor on the Slide  (Read 5101 times)

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Offline jmur1

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Wood Processor on the Slide
« on: August 14, 2017, 11:46:51 AM »
I had been splitting and cutting my firewood by hand (and logsplitter) for many years.   I also run a hobbie Woodmizer saw (LT30).  This means there is also a large supply of slab wood at my shop.  I wanted to design my own processor and looked around at the various options available.  I had a two-fold purpose to meet with this processor design - slabs and split firewood and I wanted both solutions to work concurrently.  Extensive chainsaw and buzz saw experience led me to lean in the large blade direction based on the blade maintenance and speed differences.  So when I saw a 26-1/2" Carbide blade advertised on Ebay for $100 we were off to the races! 8).  I bought the blade and started to layout how the new machine could work. 

 

          

Pic 1

From my original layout I quickly realized that a 26-1/2" Blade would not cut a large log.  At best we could get a hub to match the holes in the saw blade.  This fact meant we were at about 6 1/4" center hub removed from the blade radius which left us with approximately 10-1/8" Log Maximum.  This would work for alot of my wood requirements but not all. 
I spent some time considering different mechanisms that could utilize the limited radius of the saw blade.  As you can see from my model above in Pic 1 I looked at the the feasibility of a reciprocating lever arm with the blade mounted on the end of the reciprocating arm.  This design brought a whole new set of questions with it including how to power the blade that moves around the log.
The model was intended to represent a 20" log that I would typically see here with lots of twists in it.  The model was started with three (3) scrap access system masts that I had on hand.  The box under the log is a 10' belt conveyor that I bought with the intention of use with this machine.

 

 
         
Pic 2

I continued on with another concept.  If we came at the log from above we could drop down on each side with two degrees of freedom movement using a sliding up and down motion and a sliding across motion.  This concept is shown in Pic 2
Again this idea is challenged by the issue of powering the blade.  I suspect at this point we will need a minimum of 15 hp to run this blade and this powerpack would be cumbersome and heavy to move around with the blade.  I had to keep in mind that I wanted to be able to slide cut quantities of slabs easily with the new design.  I  estimated a slab bunch could be 10" high by 20" wide in cross-sectional area and the best way to cut them would be much like a large sliding radial arm or swing saw.   


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Offline jmur1

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Re: Wood Processor on the Slide
« Reply #1 on: August 16, 2017, 11:30:36 AM »
This concept seemed promising but would need some revision and review. :P  Some time had already been spent researching the topic.  Utube and other internet resources showed a collection of smaller processors using chainsaw technology for the cut.  (I really only saw this unit as a comparable circular blade reference - See )  I wondered if a moving circular saw would raise issues that would be a non-starter if the saws restraints became worn or out of alignment.  I liked the idea of coming at the log from above with a sliding across motion.  I started to revise and layout this concept as shown in Pic 3
This idea is still challenged by the issue of powering the blade.  I set a steel plate at the rear of the saw to represent where the motor would mount (presumably to run a belt down to the rear of the blade shaft).  You can see from the light blue line the proposed path of the center of the saw blade.   

 

  

Pic 3
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Offline Crusarius

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Re: Wood Processor on the Slide
« Reply #2 on: August 16, 2017, 12:23:53 PM »
I love being the guy to come up with crazy off the wall ideas that everyone thinks are dumb. But I wonder why would you try to make a circular blade for something like this when its going to cost quite a bit more and will probably never work the way you are going to need or want it to?
I knew what I thought I meant.

Offline 47sawdust

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Re: Wood Processor on the Slide
« Reply #3 on: August 16, 2017, 12:26:11 PM »
I had a Palax combi Wood processor for about 2 years.It maxxed out at 10'' diameter wood.Sometimes the blade wood bind in the cut which made life interesting.I didn't care for the circular blade in that set up.
Mick
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Offline jmur1

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Re: Wood Processor on the Slide
« Reply #4 on: August 16, 2017, 01:12:00 PM »
I love being the guy to come up with crazy off the wall ideas that everyone thinks are dumb. But I wonder why would you try to make a circular blade for something like this when its going to cost quite a bit more and will probably never work the way you are going to need or want it to?

Hi Crusarius:
There were many considered variables for this build.  The first and most important was efficiency.  I had noted with all of the big machines the massive diesel engines were on the order of 100 hp.  This seemed like a lot of wasted power and excessive overhead for a machine of this type.  This would be especially true in my area (Ontario, Canada) where all log piles consisted of large and small diameter logs.  So if half the time the processor is only using a small fraction of its available capacity, but still running at full revs; then there may be an opportunity here for an alternative design.
I do however have to agree with you - would I do it all again at this point?  Not sure if I would.
R and D costs were huge - I tried to minimize but still took a hit.  I learned alot....and in the end it does work quite well.  I'll post more as time allows. 
All in the name of keeping busy.  Thanks for your reply!     
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Offline jmur1

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Re: Wood Processor on the Slide
« Reply #5 on: August 16, 2017, 01:20:07 PM »
I had a Palax combi Wood processor for about 2 years.It maxxed out at 10'' diameter wood.Sometimes the blade wood bind in the cut which made life interesting.I didn't care for the circular blade in that set up.

Hi 47 Sawdust:
Very good point.  Binding is a major issue that came up.  A reworked log clamp and centrifugal blade clutch made it tolerable.  An experienced hand on the operator is also required. Thanks for your reply!     
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Offline hedgerow

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Re: Wood Processor on the Slide
« Reply #6 on: August 16, 2017, 03:11:57 PM »
jmur1
I have seen that utube firewood processor you posted and it seems to work ok. I like circular blades and run a 36 inch on what I call a buzz saw. On it the blade sits still and my table the wood is on slides the wood into the blade. I saw a lot of hedge wood on my buzz saw and never have to sharpen chains. Where you are cutting slab wood I think a circular blade is perfect. Know on my homemade processor I run a hyd motor with a 36 inch 404 chain and bar but we are cutting big wood with it. You try to go circular on big wood and the cost goes threw the roof.

Offline jmur1

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Re: Wood Processor on the Slide
« Reply #7 on: August 17, 2017, 11:15:18 AM »
jmur1
I have seen that utube firewood processor you posted and it seems to work ok. I like circular blades and run a 36 inch on what I call a buzz saw. On it the blade sits still and my table the wood is on slides the wood into the blade. I saw a lot of hedge wood on my buzz saw and never have to sharpen chains. Where you are cutting slab wood I think a circular blade is perfect. Know on my homemade processor I run a hyd motor with a 36 inch 404 chain and bar but we are cutting big wood with it. You try to go circular on big wood and the cost goes threw the roof.
Hi Hedgerow:
It definitely crossed my mind to move the wood into the blade; for slabs I have seen the buzz saw you mentioned; but when it came to the logs that was too much to attempt - especially the big/long logs.  It was my old buzz saw that first inspired me to make something different.  Very good saw for its time but definitely room for improvement.  It  was an old belt driven saw converted with a wheel and PTO drive.  The PTO was set up so the wood was always interfering with the tractor tire.  That was an easy enough change to make but the saw was still a very dangerous unit overall.   

 

Thanks for your reply!
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Offline Corley5

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Offline jmur1

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Re: Wood Processor on the Slide
« Reply #9 on: August 17, 2017, 12:16:07 PM »
So I got to this design point here (see Pic4) when I started to notice some major issues.  The unit was 10' - 4" tall already without any wheels under it.  I stopped this revision without considering the cylinders or drives required based on this oversize.  The height and sizing of the mount frame was set by some basic assumptions on blade size (26-1/2"), speed (1200 rpm), and expected maximum potential load (500 lbs).  These numbers could be out the window but I would leave that up to future testing to determine.  But I was pretty sure I wanted to keep a 20" center on the 2 blade frame supports (2 horizontal brown tubes on the upper frame).  I was also wondering how well the slabs would cut with this design.  My latest testing has shown me this intuition was probably correct - loose slabs will fly if the blade is coming up at them.

 

 
 
Pic4         
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Offline jmur1

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Re: Wood Processor on the Slide
« Reply #10 on: August 17, 2017, 12:57:45 PM »
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Offline jmur1

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Re: Wood Processor on the Slide
« Reply #11 on: August 18, 2017, 12:40:00 PM »
This design spot was a bit of a stall for me.  (See Pic 5)
 

 
Pic 5

Was this idea of a 2-D moving circular saw ridiculous?.  There were many benefits that could be realized if I could make it work somehow.  Power Efficiency, a possible braking option, speed of cut, maintenance intervals,  and the multi-task (slab/log) ability.  I threw around a couple more concepts.  (see Pic 6 and Pic 7  Both were a rotating barrel concept with a set of steel guides for path.  There would be load runners in the horizontal direction and a sliding tube guide in the vertical.  This would not work well for the slabs but may work for the log cut.  I was not sure if I wanted this machine to include a whole bunch of sensors and controls (that would eventually fail), or if I simply wanted it to be a basic single acting mechanism that would run the cycle automatically for each cut.

 

  

Pic 6

 

 

Pic 7   
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Offline TKehl

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Re: Wood Processor on the Slide
« Reply #12 on: August 18, 2017, 03:44:25 PM »
Not a rediculous idea.  Multitek does it.  So does Helle.

http://www.4helle.com/slabsaw.html

I'm sure there are several others.

Following this thread with interest as I went down a similar thought pattern.  Mine went from PTO cord saw to the Helle to a homebuilt circular (for the insert teeth) to a hydraulic drive chainsaw to giving up on all that and building what I'm working on now... a mounted Stihl 066 at then end of some roller conveyor mounted on the side of a flatbed trailer.  Feeds to splitter then conveyor to dump trailer.  (Splitter can be bypassed for small stuff)  Will eat crooked stuff, odd sizes, and waste slabs.  I'm concerned about branch stubs getting hung up on the feed conveyor, so I will probably end up wrapping it in baler belts.  Doing it this way as I already had most of the stuff.  Only had to buy the roller conveyor and some fabrication.

I figure anything to big to handle with this set up should probably be milled anyway.   ;)
Lucas 6-13+slabber, Mr. Sawmill bandmill, orange chainsaws, JD SSL, Case Backhoe, farm tractors, trailers, and 150ish acres of trees.  Fledgling woodshop with CNC router, laser engraver, Woodmaster 712, and a Berlin 108 moulder (project).  Oh, and a lovely (patient) wife and four offbearers.

Offline hedgerow

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Re: Wood Processor on the Slide
« Reply #13 on: August 18, 2017, 06:16:02 PM »
TKehl
I tried a heavy duty roller conveyor that came out of a factory that they rolled lumber and cabinets on them even with the roller close together seem like a piece from a cut off limb with stop the log from rolling. Belting might help but I worried how it would hold up to the larger logs. So I put shafts and sprockets and made it live to feed the logs.

Offline TKehl

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Re: Wood Processor on the Slide
« Reply #14 on: August 18, 2017, 07:46:12 PM »
Hedgerow, I appreciate your concern and it is something I've thought about.  I know it will be best suited for polewood and slabs and I am ok with that.  We have a lot of timber to thin, so I haven't cut much big stuff in the last couple years other than to hold the fire on cold nights.  I my splitter doesn't even get used much.  I've got a 12" x 12" door on my outdoor furnace and "if it fits it ships burns".   ;D

Here is my inspiration (via Lopet):


Have any pictures of your setup? 
Lucas 6-13+slabber, Mr. Sawmill bandmill, orange chainsaws, JD SSL, Case Backhoe, farm tractors, trailers, and 150ish acres of trees.  Fledgling woodshop with CNC router, laser engraver, Woodmaster 712, and a Berlin 108 moulder (project).  Oh, and a lovely (patient) wife and four offbearers.

Offline jmur1

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Re: Wood Processor on the Slide
« Reply #15 on: August 18, 2017, 09:47:12 PM »
Not a rediculous idea.  Multitek does it.  So does Helle.

http://www.4helle.com/slabsaw.html

I'm sure there are several others.

Following this thread with interest as I went down a similar thought pattern.  Mine went from PTO cord saw to the Helle to a homebuilt circular (for the insert teeth) to a hydraulic drive chainsaw to giving up on all that and building what I'm working on now... a mounted Stihl 066 at then end of some roller conveyor mounted on the side of a flatbed trailer.  Feeds to splitter then conveyor to dump trailer.  (Splitter can be bypassed for small stuff)  Will eat crooked stuff, odd sizes, and waste slabs.  I'm concerned about branch stubs getting hung up on the feed conveyor, so I will probably end up wrapping it in baler belts.  Doing it this way as I already had most of the stuff.  Only had to buy the roller conveyor and some fabrication.

I figure anything to big to handle with this set up should probably be milled anyway.   ;)

Hi TKehl:
That is a very interesting unit - the "Helle" is similar in many ways to my machine and I hadn't seen it before.  Cool thanks for the info!
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Offline jmur1

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Re: Wood Processor on the Slide
« Reply #16 on: August 20, 2017, 07:26:04 PM »
After staring at this frame for awhile (see Pic 8 ) and working over the computer model in various cut positions, I had several problems that were still present in the design. 
 

 

Pic 8

Problem 1:  The proposed unit was too tall - with trailer wheels it would not be stable or easily transportable.
Problem 2:  The cut mechanism did not have a "good" home position where the log or slabs could be indexed ahead while not interfering with the splitter or the moving wood.
Problem 3:  The cutting head unit and the engine together would be heavy, and would therefore require a very heavy guide system in return.  This would work against the efficiency concept for half the cut.  This was not mention the arrangement of connections required.

On the side I had been watching for potential bargains - (used and new) to help with the build.
In considering the available hydraulic controls and I had found a very good price on a 6-way directional control valve and picked that up.    (See Pic 9 -similar

  )

Pic 9

This purchase gave me an idea for the next important step in the evolution of this project.  I already had a moving horizontal frame (which could be easily located with a long hydraulic cylinder).  Now I had enough hydraulic control capacity to add another arm to this frame that could be assisted by gravity to lower, when in large log cutting mode.

I now expected the following requirements for control valves:

1 - run conveyor motor
2- run cross cylinder
3- run vertical cylinder
4- run splitter knife set
5- run splitter
6- run wood clamp

It was the concept of using gravity that helped me to come up with the big step.  I would lever the saw arm with a cylinder and beam and locate the engine at the pivot point.  See Pic 10.

 

 

Pic 10

Problem 1:  The proposed unit was too tall - with trailer wheels it would not be stable or easily transportableThis was still a problem - but somewhat improved
Problem 2:  The cut mechanism did not have a "good" home position where the log or slabs could be indexed ahead while not interfering with the splitter or the moving wood.  Solved
Problem 3:  The cutting head unit and the engine together would be heavy, and would therefore require a very heavy guide system in return.  This would work against the efficiency concept for half the cut.  This was not mention the arrangement of connections required.   Solved - The weight of the head with out the engine or hanging lines was greatly reduced

It was here that I start to review the design for strength and layout the preliminary design. 
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Offline jmur1

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Re: Wood Processor on the Slide
« Reply #17 on: August 22, 2017, 03:11:33 PM »
The processor main frame was the first item up for design review.  The frame was modeled with some additional bracing and run through some basic static tests. (See Pic 11)  I was able to look at the frame and determine a predicted loading based on the various cutting operations.

 

 

Pic 11

A quick review of the frame showed some further bracing was advised so that was added.  (See Pic 12 sample review results)

 

 

Pic 12
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Offline dave_dj1

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Re: Wood Processor on the Slide
« Reply #18 on: August 22, 2017, 06:23:11 PM »
You will be miles ahead if you just throw that blade out and buy a bigger blade. If you go with the blade you have, use your design that has the blade moving up around, power it with an electric motor so it can move easily.

Offline jmur1

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Re: Wood Processor on the Slide
« Reply #19 on: August 23, 2017, 12:57:37 PM »
You will be miles ahead if you just throw that blade out and buy a bigger blade. If you go with the blade you have, use your design that has the blade moving up around, power it with an electric motor so it can move easily.

Hi dave_dj1:

Appreciate your comments.  One of the big benefits of the small blade is the low power requirement.  Another one is the ability to stop it quickly when accessing the cut area.   Electric is an option but for now I will keep the gas engine for ease of remote operation.  Thanks for the reply!
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Offline mike_belben

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Re: Wood Processor on the Slide
« Reply #20 on: August 26, 2017, 12:57:51 AM »


Here is my inspiration (via Lopet):
(Image hidden from quote, click to view.)



Kinda like my limb trimmer.  Land clearing produces so much thin rounds ive nearly quit using my maul.



Knobs do get hung up in the rack so you gotta get tight on the trimming.  I can imaging a belt may help.  For me its being able to stand erect and not lug saw around or trip on rolling pins.  Much less bending down and fatigue overall. 
Revelation 3:20

Offline jmur1

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Re: Wood Processor on the Slide
« Reply #21 on: August 28, 2017, 04:32:03 PM »
The mainframe was laid out and structurally reviewed.  I wanted to take a look at the existing mast frame's available capacity for the purpose of splitting.  I was intending to use a 30 ton (approx.) splitting ram.  When I ran the first case I found a clear result of complete failure of the proposed arrangement.  The below case was a no "safety factored" load - only intended usage loading. (See Pic 13)  The log-splitter would rip it apart! 

 

 
Pic 13

So rather than attempting to rework or strengthen the existing (galvanized) parts,  a different splitting layout was investigated and found to be acceptable for the intended usage. (See Pic 14)

 

 

Pic 14

The case above shows near survival of a 50 ton "factored load". This should work for our purpose.     
It became clear the intense power of a 30 ton splitter ram and the required frame to support it!

This substantial design change also allowed the lowering of the whole assembly by 16" with the removal of the rear mast section.  (See Pic 15)

 

 

Pic 15

A small but significant change was made to the welded mast sections before the remainder of the build could be completed.

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Offline nativewolf

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Re: Wood Processor on the Slide
« Reply #22 on: August 28, 2017, 04:47:41 PM »


Here is my inspiration (via Lopet):
(Image hidden from quote, click to view.)









Kinda like my limb trimmer.  Land clearing produces so much thin rounds ive nearly quit using my maul.

(Image hidden from quote, click to view.)

Knobs do get hung up in the rack so you gotta get tight on the trimming.  I can imaging a belt may help.  For me its being able to stand erect and not lug saw around or trip on rolling pins.  Much less bending down and fatigue overall.

I am in the same spot guys, lots of thinnings. 
Liking Walnut

Offline jmur1

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Re: Wood Processor on the Slide
« Reply #23 on: August 28, 2017, 05:15:55 PM »


Here is my inspiration (via Lopet):
(Image hidden from quote, click to view.)





Kinda like my limb trimmer.  Land clearing produces so much thin rounds ive nearly quit using my maul.

(Image hidden from quote, click to view.)

Knobs do get hung up in the rack so you gotta get tight on the trimming.  I can imaging a belt may help.  For me its being able to stand erect and not lug saw around or trip on rolling pins.  Much less bending down and fatigue overall.

It is with large part this size of wood that got me working on this machine in the first place.  I have made several rigs in the past (not quite as fancy as that) like you have there and found them to work very well.  Cheers to the inventors.  Thanks for your pics. 
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Offline jmur1

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Re: Wood Processor on the Slide
« Reply #24 on: August 31, 2017, 02:05:20 PM »
My plan was to get a working prototype for proof of concept.  I had on hand some spare parts from a hydraulic system including a tank, fittings, hoses, and a test engine.  A set of hydraulic cylinders could be spec'd out once the details of the saw sliding frame and lever arm were created.  I now had a preliminary layout (per Pic 15 above); which included some completed engineering analysis and some theoretical design with basic rough calculations.  The mainframe was fabricated in my shop along with the saw/engine sliding frame.  I modified the mainframe per the analysis results (tube thicknesses and bracing) see pic 16.  The sliding frame concept was also analyzed and fabrication was begun (see pic 17).  There would be several changes to this design; first as the fabrications were fit; and then as operations were monitored.   

 

  

Pic 16

 

 

Pic 17

I was not too concerned with photos at this phase of fabrication.  The only ones I have are poor background pics and full prototype assembly.  Pic 18 shows the mainframe and the rear of the sliding frame.

 

 

Pic 18

Pic 19 Shows the Sliding Frame (Blade Lever Carriage) from the opposite side.

 

 

Pic 19

Note the as-built changes to the motor mount for the R and D model.  There were many made on the fly and there were more to come for the final working version.  Also note the blue centrifugal belt clutch in Pic 19.  This was added in this R and D cycle for ease of operation (sourced from Ebay: http://www.ebay.ca/usr/pgsaw  They also provided replacement clutch plates when asked for spares). 
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Offline jmur1

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Re: Wood Processor on the Slide
« Reply #25 on: September 03, 2017, 10:26:06 AM »
The final critical component that was analyzed, considered, and reconsidered was the large blade lever.  This device was an important design based on safety, operation, and maintenance. There were very important design assumptions made based on the potential risks of failure.  Shaft sizing and placement along with other mounting positions were part of this requirement.  Pic 19 and 20 show the first concept layout for the lever design.  A sample results plot is shown in Pic 21.

 

 

Pic 19

 

 

Pic 20

 

 

Pic 21
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Offline jmur1

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Re: Wood Processor on the Slide
« Reply #26 on: September 06, 2017, 12:42:00 PM »
Here comes a perfect example of how something can work on paper and be quite full of issues when put into practice (or into trials).  The fabrication was completed to match Pic 15 (above).  There was also a shield added to the blade.  (You can see in Pic 22 and 23 below).  The action of the arm and movement of the sliding frame allowed far too much movement in the blade shaft and blade itself.  It would start to wobble and was contacting the guard on one side.  This was very bad for the blade sharpness  :-\ and also appeared quite unsafe.  Very quickly the lever arm went back to the drawing board. 
The proposed design had been a "cantilevered" shaft support.  This was quickly found to be too much weight and loading on the single arm support (and shaft) and so a reworked design was fabricated to provide the blade with support on both sides.  (simply suppported).  The rework is show in Pics 22 and 23   

 

 

Pic 22

 

 

Pic 23

This way the blade movement was limited to the pivot bearing tolerance and the flexure of the main lever arm.  The change made a world of difference to the performance!
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Offline jmur1

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Re: Wood Processor on the Slide
« Reply #27 on: September 12, 2017, 05:32:07 PM »
The processor model sliding frame was updated with some of the as-built changes to the original engine support and the load runner bracing.  The model was also reviewed for the required loading.  See Pic 24 and 25.

 

 

Pic 24

 

 

Pic 25
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Offline jmur1

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Re: Wood Processor on the Slide
« Reply #28 on: September 13, 2017, 12:20:46 AM »
I have a quick very preliminary video of the processor's first test.  It was a long development process and this video is only provided as a proof of concept.  There are many more safety features that have been added to the machine since this was shot.  It is poor quality so I spruced it up abit.  I will update with better quality videos as the final components are added to the machine.  There were also a number of improvements made to the cycle time.  Keep in mind this is a 15hp machine!



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Re: Wood Processor on the Slide
« Reply #29 on: September 13, 2017, 03:09:28 PM »
jmur1
keep the pictures and videos coming. I away's enjoy homemade wood processing machines.

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Re: Wood Processor on the Slide
« Reply #30 on: September 18, 2017, 11:04:19 AM »
jmur1
keep the pictures and videos coming. I away's enjoy homemade wood processing machines.

Thanks hedgerow
I appreciate the interest.  I have read many of the posts in the forum and value the work done.

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Re: Wood Processor on the Slide
« Reply #31 on: September 18, 2017, 11:07:37 AM »
Below in Pic 25 is the completed testing assembly.  I have made major revisions since this build and will share some of these findings in the following days - so any "would-be" builders can save the cost of the same mistakes.

 

 

Pic 25

I ran somewhere around two double-trailer loads through this arrangement.  (I'm told 14 bush cord each).  Anywhere between 8" to 20".  No where near full time usage but definitely a good sample for design purposes.  See Pic 26 for some of the wood.

 

    

Pic 26

Machine Background
15 hp Gas Engine.
1:1 Ratio belted pump driver
Several different pumps were run with moderate differences in performance.
16 gpm/4 gpm (3000 psi max)
22 gpm/6 gpm (3000 psi max)
22 gpm/4.8 gpm (3000 psi max)

Splitter Knife

The most time consuming (from failure) and critical design change was made to the Splitter knife.  It is very important to allow for enough space and provide direction for the split wood.  If the design includes more than quarters (four piece split) then be prepared to design for a movement away from the center point with a free path up and out.  After multiple failed attempts I was left with two versions that have since performed well. 

The first knife used 6" x 3/4" thick plate horizontal and vertical wings and had several revisions to stiffen the wings to survive all the knots encountered.  See Pic 27

 

 

Pic 27

The second knife used 8" x 1" thick plate horizontal and 1 1/4" vertical .  See Pic 28

 

 

Pic 28

   
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Offline dave_dj1

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Re: Wood Processor on the Slide
« Reply #32 on: September 18, 2017, 07:19:30 PM »
Looks good, I can't wait to see a video of it in action.

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Re: Wood Processor on the Slide
« Reply #33 on: September 19, 2017, 08:36:09 PM »
Looks good, I can't wait to see a video of it in action.

Hi dave_dj1:
Just a couple of small items to finish off on the build.  Then I will break out the video.   
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Re: Wood Processor on the Slide
« Reply #34 on: September 19, 2017, 08:50:23 PM »
I have a quick comment on the design of the wood delivery chute.  I had originally kept it level with the surface under the splitter knives.  I soon realized that the wood split and moved in all directions.  It is advisable to provide lots of space to avoid interference with the chute body.  Both designs of knife assemblies would occasionally send the wood downward, binding with the chute floor.  This would then cause the two stage pump circuit to drop into high pressure mode.  The extra waiting time is painfull and unnecessary.  I redesigned the chute several inches lower and much of the problem was corrected.  See Pic 29.  I still need to add holes to the chute floor the remove scraps.  As you can see from the photo my splitter ram runs on two rails (not a center guide).  It has its benefits - I will cover it next.

 

        

Pic 29
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Re: Wood Processor on the Slide
« Reply #35 on: September 20, 2017, 03:40:31 PM »
Here are my comments on the design of the sliding ram plate.  I wanted this machine to be capable of 20" logs.  So far it is really only good to 19" with this two rail design.  I came up with it based on my desired machine height and the various available parts (access system masts).   It definitely works very well with non-square cuts (when a log has bends in it).  It does experience extremely high side loads when misaligned or "bad" split logs are come across.  I have progressed from a simple I-Beam trolley assembly wheel (rated at 1000 lbs), to a heavy load runner (rated at 30,000 lbs) , to basic heavy plate guides.  Only now am I comfortable with the functioning result.  See Pic 30 for the I beam roller; See Pic 31 for the load runner layout; and finally see Pic 32 for the plate guides.   

 

 

Pic 30

 

 

Pic 31

 

 

Pic 32

A nice side benefit of this layout is the log stand.  I fabricated 2 spring loaded hinged plates where the log cuts land after the cut.  This locates them 95% of the time in the center of the splitter.  It also absorbs vertical movement from bad split logs.  The sawdust and small chunks can also pass through here.  See Pic 33

 

 

Pic 33

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Re: Wood Processor on the Slide
« Reply #36 on: September 21, 2017, 11:18:30 AM »
The hydraulic circuit was another carefully reviewed topic.  In the interest of maximizing speed and efficiency some additional components were added that have a significant return on investment. 

I had chosen the larger 5" splitter cylinder with the intent of splitting large (up to 20") logs into six.  It was after some time that I had issues with this cylinder from the above-mentioned side loading of the ram plate.  The 2" cylinder ram had bent one day on a knotty log that I really should have pitched out.  (I want to make this thing bullet proof so I have a habit of excessive testing).  smiley_lit_bulb At this point I thought why not increase the size of the ram as much as possible to reduce the amount of oil moving through the cylinder.  This would improve strength and increase speed. So I went to my local hydraulic shop and asked them to look at making the ram 3" or 3 1/2".  They came back after a couple of days and said that 3" is possible but 3 1/2" would be too much off the inner supports.  So I had this done.  See Pic 34.

   

 

Pic 34

I had been following another online inventor who claimed a piloted check valve for the return-to-tank line on the splitter cylinder is a good way to improve the speed of travel and thus reduce cycle time.  I added this valve to mine and then thought why not on the split cycle as well.  (Couldn't hurt).  I did this and can confirm a notable improvement.  I currently have the 22gpm/4.8gpm pump installed and measured the unloaded and cold out stroke at 10 seconds and the return stroke at 8 seconds.  See Pic 35 and 36

 

 

Pic 35

 

 

Pic 36
   
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Re: Wood Processor on the Slide
« Reply #37 on: September 22, 2017, 12:55:09 PM »
Just recently I updated my log stop from a basic spring-hose vertical line.  Originally I had approached the log stop as an ability to fine tune the cuts length to end up with a nice final cut that would be full size.  I had been using it without issue.  When I started selling wood I soon realized that some customers are not flexible with the concept of average stick lengths.  I have also been selling different sizes down to 12" long; so usually I can get 12" piece and then the waste is reduced.  This led me to create a solid stop.  I had also noted several other machines had invested alot of effort designing and installing custom devices to remove the stop as the cut was made to allow a free fall into the splitter bay.  I decided to start with a solid stop to see if the circular machine would act any differently (although the big circular machines definitely have a retracting system).  Another chain machine on this forum was using a solid stop without issue. 
Very quickly I had major issues with the solid stop - only about 1 in 5 were falling as they did before.  I thought over a solution and after abit of tweaking it works very well.  It may very well have been already done somewhere else, but here it is.  See Pics 37,38, and 39

 

 

Pic 37

 

 

Pic 38

 

 

Pic 39

To summarize it is basically a "hoe" shaped stopper (note: the vertical limit of the stop plate must be below the horizontal centerline of the pin so that when it pivots down it moves away from the log).  It is hinged and spring supported above the lever.  The spring holds it just below horizontal as seen it the images.  This works very well overall.  Only a couple of times has it kicked out the log so far.  I have run it for several hours like this.  I have also immediately noted a big processing speed increase.  You don't even realize how much time is wasted locating the logs with the flexible line method until you change it.
     
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Re: Wood Processor on the Slide
« Reply #38 on: September 23, 2017, 06:41:44 AM »
What is the design software that you are using?
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Re: Wood Processor on the Slide
« Reply #39 on: September 23, 2017, 07:32:58 PM »
What is the design software that you are using?

Hi Tim:
The software is Pro/E which is these days called CREO.

https://www.ptc.com/en/cad/3d-design/parts-and-assembly-modeling

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Re: Wood Processor on the Slide
« Reply #40 on: September 24, 2017, 08:55:06 AM »
I ran the processor for about one year with idler rollers on the front of the infeed path.  I also used a winch mounted on the saw frame to drag in stubborn logs.  Although this method worked it was definitely cumbersome and time consuming.  I had a source of potential power at the end of the belt drive.  All I needed to do was to connect a chain to the shaft and "borrow" some its power to drive live pulleys.  This modification was a valuable change to the design overall.  It became apparent that as much of the transfer system as possible must work with powered drives in order to work seamlessly with stubborn logs.  The live rollers were custom homemade.  I cut out 10 gauge metal sheets and welded them around a 1" bar.  See Pics 40 and 41.



      

Pic 40

 

 

Pic 41

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Offline dave_dj1

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Re: Wood Processor on the Slide
« Reply #41 on: September 25, 2017, 06:35:12 AM »
That looks like an awesome upgrade  8)
I would do something similar if I ever build one.

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Re: Wood Processor on the Slide
« Reply #42 on: September 25, 2017, 12:53:58 PM »
The hydraulic circuit was originally designed based on the requirements of single draw power.  In other words; the losses of the circular saw were not considered as a draw on the engine since the pump loading and the saw loading would take place independently.  This assumption was based on the fact that gravity could drive the saw into the log. 
In general the system works as designed.  It is very fuel-efficient.  2 tanks per day (14 qts over 8hrs) It does however seem to feel a little under-powered at 15 hp especially when the blade gets dull.  :'(.  The blade has lasted quite long between sharpenings (over 6 months between changes).
The hydraulic circuit temperature has not been measured yet but so far has not suffered any damage from heat.  There is no heat exchanger installed but steel lines were used on 90% of the piping connections for heat flow purposes.  The pump gets too hot to hold a hand on and the tank gets hot to the hand.  It is definitely a potential issue.  I have a tank level indicator that also shows temperature. It will be installed soon - until then I will take care from prolonged usage in hot weather.
A filter module was included and a 7th valve line requirement (for a live deck) has been accomplished by a pair of 12V switched valves.

See Pics 42,43,44



    

Pic 42

 

        

Pic 43

 

 

Pic 44
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Re: Wood Processor on the Slide
« Reply #43 on: September 26, 2017, 12:54:32 PM »
The belt feed conveyor worked better than I had originally imagined.  In the end I would have liked it to be longer than the 10' belt length (which resulted in the live roller conversions).  There was only a single issue with the construction that was noted over time. 
Directly over the log clamp the thin material of the original belt frame was crushed under the extra load.  The belt was removed and a thicker section of 1/8" sheet was added for strength.  The circular saw requires a healthy log clamp and this extra capacity is a requirement.
The belt works well for the logs and slabs alike.  An extra horizontal surface was added at the front of the processor to allow for loose slab material and bent logs to sit on if needed.  See Pics 45 and 46.

 

        

Pic 45

 

 

Pic 46
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Re: Wood Processor on the Slide
« Reply #44 on: September 28, 2017, 11:50:13 AM »
The sliding frame is supported by 4 adjustable load runners on 1" welded bar on top and 4 standard load runners on the bottom .  It has worked well since the first tests and remains in good functioning order.  I added some redundancy to the bracing (in case the angles on the frame ever became weakened and were to let go).  In general this system is very stable and  makes for accurate cuts.  There may be a long term need to limit the loading on this assembly with pressure relief valves on the lever arm cylinder and the sliding frame cylinder.  The assembly setup is shown in Pics 47, 48, and 49.

 

 

Pic 47

 

 

Pic 48

       

 

Pic 49
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Re: Wood Processor on the Slide
« Reply #45 on: September 29, 2017, 09:15:19 AM »
Nice looking setup. I am surprised the single belt pulley set up has lasted. When I built my buzz saw I tried running one belt in the beginning and with a 15 Hp engine and a 36 inch blade it liked to eat up belts. I switched  to a double pulley belt set up and haven changed belts in years now.

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Re: Wood Processor on the Slide
« Reply #46 on: September 29, 2017, 02:52:36 PM »
Hi hedgerow:
Funny you should mention that.  I had originally started with two belts in both belt positions - but then I installed a single belt clutch on the engine and had it work fine with only one belt running there.  I then tried a single belt on the final drive for the saw and it also worked fine.  I have been running them this way for about 2 years on the same 2 belts.  They look like they need to be replaced now - but that is not too bad all things considered.  I also have no spring for slack - the belts are tensioned tight- I should install a spring lever pulley to allow for slack  On a side note - I intend to try to run a 20 hp twin to see how much difference some extra power will make to the saw performance, I may then be entering back into the double belt territory.   
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Re: Wood Processor on the Slide
« Reply #47 on: September 29, 2017, 03:42:19 PM »
Got any pictures or video of it with some real wood on it? Those little pecker poles are no challenge! LOL

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Re: Wood Processor on the Slide
« Reply #48 on: September 29, 2017, 09:11:07 PM »
Got any pictures or video of it with some real wood on it? Those little pecker poles are no challenge! LOL

Hi dave_dj1:

I have been shooting video - still need to compile some of it.  I have done some big wood.

 

 

The machine is quite slow with the big stuff - but it still cuts it.  I have a 20 hp engine sitting on the bench ready to try out to address this issue. 

I have also been adding guards and safety devices.  I want to get these figured out before I release alot of info on the machine.  So far I have a working brake that is activated by the release of a hold to run switch.  At the same time the brake is activated the throttle is electrically switched to idle.  This was a required change since accessing the splitter bay is a necessary ability based on the crooked logs I cut.  (Lots of fresh ash around here).  I also added a big guard with 1/2" bullet proof plastic.  You can see the brake and the guard in the photo.   
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Re: Wood Processor on the Slide
« Reply #49 on: September 30, 2017, 09:22:49 AM »
I love it, looking forward to the video.  8)

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Re: Wood Processor on the Slide
« Reply #50 on: September 30, 2017, 11:01:19 AM »
 :P :)
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Re: Wood Processor on the Slide
« Reply #51 on: October 02, 2017, 12:28:30 PM »
A video of the basic operation.



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Re: Wood Processor on the Slide
« Reply #52 on: October 02, 2017, 05:09:22 PM »
Awesome, you should be proud  8)
Get yourself a stool and relax while the machine is doing the work.

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Re: Wood Processor on the Slide
« Reply #53 on: October 02, 2017, 06:03:10 PM »
Interesting concept on the build and I think I see a few spots directly related to your blade where you can pick up some more efficiency.

First, change the tooth top geometry from the triple chip that it appears to have (it looks like this is a 72 or 80 tooth truss and component saw blade) to an ATB (alternating top) with a nail cutter grade.  You will dull up faster but should have less carbide damage overall resulting in longer term savings.

Second, increase the side clearance on the blade from the 0.022" (quite standard on a truss blade) to .045".  This will reduce rubbing and binding, from the both the log and the cut round, on the steel plate of the blade freeing up HP and maintaining RPMs.

Third, get the blade tensioned for the RPM the machine runs at.  It appeared that the blade had some wobble to it and I thought it sounded like it was "chopping the air" a bit.  The sound was hard to hear though as the background music masked the cutting/idling sounds.  Any chance you could post a video without the music?

And fourth, though not overly critical, drop the tooth count to about 60 teeth.  This will give you a slightly bigger gullet to handle more sawdust load.

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Re: Wood Processor on the Slide
« Reply #54 on: October 02, 2017, 08:47:55 PM »
Awesome, you should be proud  8)
Get yourself a stool and relax while the machine is doing the work.

I have been throwing around the idea of a chair - seems like a very good idea. smiley_idea 
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Re: Wood Processor on the Slide
« Reply #55 on: October 02, 2017, 09:08:14 PM »
Interesting concept on the build and I think I see a few spots directly related to your blade where you can pick up some more efficiency.

First, change the tooth top geometry from the triple chip that it appears to have (it looks like this is a 72 or 80 tooth truss and component saw blade) to an ATB (alternating top) with a nail cutter grade.  You will dull up faster but should have less carbide damage overall resulting in longer term savings.

Second, increase the side clearance on the blade from the 0.022" (quite standard on a truss blade) to .045".  This will reduce rubbing and binding, from the both the log and the cut round, on the steel plate of the blade freeing up HP and maintaining RPMs.

Third, get the blade tensioned for the RPM the machine runs at.  It appeared that the blade had some wobble to it and I thought it sounded like it was "chopping the air" a bit.  The sound was hard to hear though as the background music masked the cutting/idling sounds.  Any chance you could post a video without the music?

And fourth, though not overly critical, drop the tooth count to about 60 teeth.  This will give you a slightly bigger gullet to handle more sawdust load.

Thanks Bradm:
I appreciate your comments - I will look more into this.  The machine does need some service in general.  The load runners are hopping abit right now on the slide and the saw drive belts need replacement.  (I took them off tonight).  I believe this blade is running pretty smooth - I will look at another non-music video for you to hear the sound.  It may be running a little slow with this engine - I need to check the RPM again (I messed around with the engine speed - there is only on or idle setting) - Ill confirm that later this week.    Thanks for your write up - definitely interested in as much improvement as possible.  I have several spare blades to try out different sets on.   The blades are XL 4000 28" Panel blades.  I believe they are 60 teeth - Ill confirm.
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Re: Wood Processor on the Slide
« Reply #56 on: October 03, 2017, 10:40:33 AM »
Hi Bradm:
Here is the no music version:



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Re: Wood Processor on the Slide
« Reply #57 on: October 04, 2017, 06:04:16 PM »
Thanks for the video without the music but I think my ears were playing tricks on me.  What I thought was a chop was more from the blade bogging down than anything else.

If you don't mind sharing, where in Ontario are you?

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Re: Wood Processor on the Slide
« Reply #58 on: October 05, 2017, 11:03:52 AM »
Hi Bradm:

I am just north of Guelph.

The blade has 72 Teeth my mistake.  XL 4000 part #L52M68072-40.

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Re: Wood Processor on the Slide
« Reply #59 on: October 16, 2017, 11:37:04 AM »
I am now working on a sliding tray insert for the slab saw.  I will have an update shortly.

 

 
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Re: Wood Processor on the Slide
« Reply #60 on: February 12, 2018, 12:55:23 PM »
I was finally able to get the 20 hp twin Honda mounted on the machine.  What a world of difference!  Easily twice as fast now.  It eliminates the chugging of the saw and speeds the splitter cycle significantly as well. 

 

 

I know that the hydraulic oil will run hot now - here comes a cooler. 

I've got some minor fit reworks to perform where the exhaust interferes with the saw belt when the control arm is raised up.

I will get some videos posted soon after that rework is complete.

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Re: Wood Processor on the Slide
« Reply #61 on: February 13, 2018, 03:38:38 PM »
Jmur1
That motor has to make a huge difference on the saw staying up to speed. It will speed up your production. You will find it likes the gas. I run a 40Hp kohler on a firewood processor and it likes gas and added 20Hp Briggs to help the Kohler.  My hyd chain saw takes a lot of power.

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Re: Wood Processor on the Slide
« Reply #62 on: February 13, 2018, 10:31:24 PM »
             That's an interesting machine and somebody put a lot of study and work into it. I have learned the hard way that to really cot wood you need iron, big thick saws, horsepower, gpm and pressure. Big iron cutting small wood is the thing for production.

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Re: Wood Processor on the Slide
« Reply #63 on: February 15, 2018, 06:17:21 PM »
Jmur1
That motor has to make a huge difference on the saw staying up to speed. It will speed up your production. You will find it likes the gas. I run a 40Hp kohler on a firewood processor and it likes gas and added 20Hp Briggs to help the Kohler.  My hyd chain saw takes a lot of power.

I have seen the gas ramp up quite abit from the 15 hp.  Its a tough call.  For many of the logs I cut 15 hp was all that was needed; but then when the larger logs came along the 15 hp was VERY slow to cut them. 
The 20 hp Honda is much smoother as well.  I think I'll stick with the extra power and capacity.
 


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Re: Wood Processor on the Slide
« Reply #64 on: February 15, 2018, 06:22:24 PM »
             That's an interesting machine and somebody put a lot of study and work into it. I have learned the hard way that to really cot wood you need iron, big thick saws, horsepower, gpm and pressure. Big iron cutting small wood is the thing for production.

I definitely agree with that sentiment - When it comes to this type of equipment you can't build it too heavy or powerful if you want it to last!   
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Re: Wood Processor on the Slide
« Reply #65 on: March 13, 2018, 04:39:13 AM »
Here are some pics of the exhaust rework.





I made some video but it was not usable.  Ill make some more on the next run.
In the meantime....
I'm going to rework some of the seasons damaged parts.  More power = more damage!
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Re: Wood Processor on the Slide
« Reply #66 on: March 15, 2018, 09:41:30 AM »
That 20 looks to be at home on the processor. Looking forward seeing a video of it running. 


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Wood processor

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5 Replies
997 Views
Last post November 05, 2013, 11:10:31 AM
by ForestryEquipment
xx
wood processor

Started by ehp on Forestry and Logging

100 Replies
9180 Views
Last post February 02, 2016, 09:00:30 PM
by OH logger
xx
Power for wood processor

Started by Lazy logger on Firewood and Wood Heating

16 Replies
929 Views
Last post August 19, 2014, 09:05:30 PM
by glassman_48
xx
Wood processor chain

Started by Sawyerfortyish on Chainsaws

1 Replies
1637 Views
Last post June 11, 2006, 03:11:07 PM
by Kevin
 


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