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Author Topic: Building a DIY Homemade debarker for my Woodmizer LT35HD  (Read 4092 times)

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Offline MikeySP

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Building a DIY Homemade debarker for my Woodmizer LT35HD
« on: February 23, 2019, 12:08:28 AM »
Howdy folks. This thread will be for a couple purposes: to document my debarker build for po folk like me to be able to copy. Also, I am receiving a lot from many gentlemen helping me out on my journey. I have little to give, but I thought this might be something. Additionally, I may be walking off a cliff, so you might be able to save me from a catastrophe.

I purchased a 2011 Woodmizer LT35HD some weeks ago, I learned that they did not make a debarker for that year model. Additionally, since I squeezed my wallet very hard to get that far, I have made the decision to build a homemade Debarker. That bridge has been crossed and is burned, so talking me out of it is likely not on the menu. Believe me, I would rather be cutting, but we are in the middle of a whole latta rainfall, so the timing isn't too horrible.

Having done some industrial espionage with the help of some kind souls, and I spent some hours pondering the design and overcoming some obstacles, I am ready to get started on the making phase. However, I thought it a good idea to post before the build since very little is in concrete. Feel very welcome to chime in with recommendations. Make war in a multitude of counselors might have an application like make a debarker with many counselors.

The initial intel was a video, photos, and some measurements, from one kind gentleman. I also acquired digital debarker manuals, PDF versions, for the LT35 and the LT40. If I had money to throw at it, I would have unquestionably ordered the LT35 debarker from Woodmizer and made the necessary holes to get it mounted.

Next, I noticed a difference between the photos an angelic gentlemen sent me of his Lt35 debarker and the LT35 Debarker manual. His has a mechanical lever with a cable. Very simple design. You just pull the handle and the debarker moves in toward the log. It holds in place by a simple locking lever. To release it back to open, you just squeeze a handle and move lever out. Spring tension returns the debarker back out to the farthest away from log position.

The LT35 manual, on the other hand, has a 1/30HP geared motor that turns a small pulley that is connected via a belt to a  larger 7" pulley. To swing the debarker in and out, you toggle a reversible, momentary-on switch. the spring action that is a necessity so the debarker can adjust itself with the irregularities of the log is provided by the small motor pulley system, free-floating on a pivot point with a torsion spring of sufficient strength. Whereas the handle cable system on my friends machine has two springs and a cable around a larger D shaped pulley to provide movement and contour spring action.

The LT40 and the LT35 both have 3/4HP 12V motors to turn the debarker blade; however, it appears the shafts are different diameters. The LT35 motor D-shaft is 1/2".  The LT40 has a larger diameter 3/4 or 7/8 I think? The LT40 debarker also has a bearing that supports the arbor shaft below the debarker blade. Whereas the LT35 Debarker is shaft blade, nut, nothing. My friend has used his LT35 for years and it has worked great for him. I am sure how one treats it will contribute to mileage.

Where am I? I have the 3/4HP motor sitting next to me, but I still need to purchase some items. Hope to do so by tomorrow, but I have had some challenges to overcome; because, of my build philosophy. Free is better than spending, unless free is very costly in time. Because of this I have been leaning toward merging of the models. Additionally, since my situation in life became tighter a few years ago, I am all about spending $1 for an item from China that is $6 here; but, I do not have time for that, so I will spend the $6 and find a US source, if I can't "easily" fabricate the part.

We are in our camper (moved from Calico Rock, Arkansas a little over a year ago). This means I am not in my setup shop anymore. I miss it. I do have some shop access, but do not want to use that any more than necessary.

This image was my initial idea (12v geared motor and pulley) as I thought the cable and hand operated route meant more items to purchase.  I thought a cheap $15 gear motor would be a cheaper/easier route than my friend's LT35 with the cable design. I was wrong and did not see that clearly until I was writing this post. Sometimes when engineering something, the mind can get so married to an idea, so focused on a tree, that it takes a pause to see the forest again. Really, I can engineer that locking plate for free with my plasma cutter and/or a an angle grinder with jig. I will need only a few items such as a wire with loops and a couple of springs. Compared to geared motor, wiring, fuse, pully, springs, wire sheathing?

In photo below I am not sure what dimension D is yet??

`

 

This next image took me a little to solve the free floating small gear motor. In top left side, I finally figured I would just setup a baby sized fast winch setup. Basically using the hand lever style setup, but eliminating the hand lever for a gear motor. I must admit, this idea is still very appealing to me. Maybe I wasn't wrong  8). Then of course in the top right is where I think I am at present. I need to relax a little and come back to it in the wee hours of the morn, or late tonight. It is decision time... or past it. I need to be fabbing. Please give me your opinion. Haha, I just noticed my doodle page has some upside down images. Looks like I am trying to fab a  Lucas mill. Sorry.


 

Re-purposed Bicycle Crank. Ok, I have not mentioned this yet.... BUT, I am planning to use the crank from a bicycle and the bottom bracket shell (Tube that crank shaft passes through with bearings) for the swing arm. I have an old steel bicycle lying around, and will cut that out of the bike frame and utilize it. I also see no reason not to use the bicycle main large sprocket and chain. Order of parts: eye bolt anchor, spring#1, chain, Spring #2, cable, and on to handle or the speedy mini winch.


 


This is my friend's LT35.You can see the pivot point and the cable connected to the two springs and going back throught to the handle (Next pic)



 

Below motor (on right) is locking handle to swing debarker in/out. The other handle below is for sliding the blade guide in and out.


 

As mentioned near the top, this image shows the LT35 debarker on the left and the LT40 on the right. While it is tempting to engineer more strength into the design, considering users are getting plenty of miles out of it, I will stick to the LT35 design. I will order the arbor (connects to motor shaft and holds the blade). If I did not mention it, I have the LT35 motor - same HP rating. Smaller shaft.  BTW, turns out different debarkers have different characteristics and some are better and some worse. Notice the blades spin in different directions. Clearly the right bearing support and heavier shaft is a more robust debarker, but they both work I am told. Additionally, the LT35 has only one verticle support for the sawmill, so weight is a concern. As I understand it from reading somehwere, weight needs to be kept below 75lbs, which is no problem on my path.


 

My LT35 debarker motor appears to have the following stats. Some copied, others measured by me. May be off by a smigen.
12V DC, 1550RPM 3/4HP
Weight 15.24lbs.
Shaft D - .5" diameter at the round/.45" dia to the D
1.5" shaft length
4.2" diameter motor
7-5/8" body length
1/4" battery terminals
3ea 1/4"-20 x 1" grade 5 mounting bolts.
About 2-9/16" mounting hole center-to-center. There are three holes in a triangle pattern around the shaft.

Additional items I will need is some heavy gauge cable ( I think #6 AWG) to handle 50 AMPS of juice that this motor drinks. Additionally, I will need and on/off switch, a 200 amp continuous duty 12V solenoid, and a 60 Amp circuit breaker.

I need to find out the spring sizes. I am thinking that trampoline 5.5" trampoline springs might be a good fit... but I am making this up just like a fiction writer.
Once upon a time, there was a debarker made with trampoline springs. :)

Oh yea, the structural steel is mostly 1.5" square tubing 1/8" thick.

I think most men who can afford a woodmizer would be much wiser to pull the trigger and get a factory unit. However, I have a unique set of facts, just like everyone else has their unique facts, so ready, set, fab... here I go. My intent is to update this to the end when I have something to say or need advice, and if I forget to give a longevity performance feedback, PM me and I will do so. Assuming I stay the course. Something about starting this thread, talk won't do... do will do.

Good evening folks!

-Mike

Offline Vautour

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Re: Building a DIY Hommade debarker for my Woodmizer LT35HD
« Reply #1 on: February 23, 2019, 02:49:05 AM »
........ Nice info Mike... a debarker is in the plan for me soon also... gonna keep a eye on this tread thumbs-up
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Offline Crossroads

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Re: Building a DIY Hommade debarker for my Woodmizer LT35HD
« Reply #2 on: February 23, 2019, 11:27:01 AM »
Sounds like a fun project, keep us posted. 
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Offline charles mann

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Re: Building a DIY Hommade debarker for my Woodmizer LT35HD
« Reply #3 on: February 23, 2019, 08:53:34 PM »
will be following this thread too.
Mikey, ck out this three, unless you already came across it and the pic of the hm made debarked. 
Home made debarker ideas ? in Sawmills and Milling

once mine is built, i will more than likely be using a chalk line and skim the log with a chainsaw, something similar to a limbing saw (025 or similar from the pawn shop) until i can fab up debarker. gotta get these trees milled and start drying so i can start to turn a profit and pay myself back in the cost of this monstrosity of an under taking. 
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Offline ljohnsaw

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Re: Building a DIY Hommade debarker for my Woodmizer LT35HD
« Reply #4 on: February 23, 2019, 09:46:25 PM »
a 200 amp continuous duty 12V solenoid
 
Another option - There are solid state "relays".  The "coil" voltage can be whatever (low voltage to 120vac) and have various amp ratings.  I made a spot welder with a solid state timer that fits a relay socket.  Anyhow, the timer is low amp rating and I had some 12vdc relays.  I bought some solid state relays that had a 120vac "coil".  I used the timer to trip the relay that trips the solid state to handle the 120vac to the transformer for the welder.  IIRC, my SS "relays" are 100amp.
John Sawicky

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Offline MikeySP

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Re: Building a DIY Hommade debarker for my Woodmizer LT35HD
« Reply #5 on: February 23, 2019, 11:07:48 PM »
Thanks for the link Charles. I read through it. 

ljohnsaw, thank you for that info. I am frankly a little shocked that the debarker solenoid that WM sells for their debarker is 200Amp "Continuous" Duty. Seems like overkill when the normal draw of the motor is 46amps. I guess as it struggles, this will climb, but 200 seems much. I will look into your solution and go with the lowest reliable bidder :).


Offline Southside

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Re: Building a DIY Hommade debarker for my Woodmizer LT35HD
« Reply #6 on: February 23, 2019, 11:27:41 PM »
Just thinking here, but if you have a breaker in line to protect the motor from overload why do you need a solenoid?  Is there a reason why an alternative solution could not be to run duty rated wire from the battery, through a duty rated switch - a battery disconnect comes to mind - and then onto the breaker and the motor?  Yes you have to turn a larger switch instead of a little toggle, but that is all the solenoid is really doing at the end of the day.   
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Offline MikeySP

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Re: Building a DIY Hommade debarker for my Woodmizer LT35HD
« Reply #7 on: February 24, 2019, 12:00:52 AM »
SSL, that is a good question. I think it is using a small amperage to operate a large amperage. So, I can flip a baby toggle switch and it operates a low amp coil which connects a huge switch for the high amps required. Otherwise, I would need to flip the breaker each time to turn on. As I understand it, for small amps a relay is used. For hogher amps a contactor is used.  For a motor like this, a solenoid is used. As far as a I can tell: all of these operate on the same type of operation. A coil is energized with small amperage, and it creates a magnetic draw that moves a switches position. Of course, there is also the solid state options that accomplish this also. 

Offline MikeySP

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Re: Building a DIY Hommade debarker for my Woodmizer LT35HD
« Reply #8 on: February 24, 2019, 12:01:19 AM »
OK, I got s little done today. I scrounged some materials together in the morning and went to my buddy's shop in the afternoon for several hours. 

These are the two welded pieces. The main beam and the swing arm. 


 


The crank modified a little . Since the crank housing is about 1/16 thick, maybe a little more, I added that 1/8" tab on this side to offer some additional support. That hole was there and I am going to tap it to 1/8"NPT (National Pipe Thread) since I have a grease fitting on hand that is 1/8npt. This will make greasing the bearing easy.
 

 


I used the square for laying it out. Since I wanted a 90 degree turn, all the angles need to add up to the 90. So you can see 4ea 22.5 degree cuts. 4x22.5 = 90. I used the clamps to hold it all to the table. Four tacks near the corners are good startt point. If you get out of wack, you can often times bring out the equalizer (sledge hammer) and adjust things a little. 


 

Nifty find in morning was a fire extinguisher holder that came with a wheel chair left for a city van that someone gifted me. I cleaned it, hacked off a little here and there. When I get back to it, I will finish this. Since the motor mount for the Factory debarker is 3/16 and the plate on the swing arm that it bolts to is 1/4" I will beef this up a little. Proabablt add some weld to the spot welded assembly too. I think it will work well. 


 



This was the guts from the bicycle that I am using. Could not get the peddle out, so I just cut it with my angle grinder. 


 


Since, I may need to get inside this assembly for some reason in the future, I have come up with a sleeve that will slide over this crank arm. I will hold it in with a bolt or two. 

To be honest, if it were not for my experience riding bicycles, brutally at times, in my youth, I don't think I would have been ok with this crank assembly technique. However, we brutalized those things and I remember zero failures. I will come up with some support for transport as I see that as the most brutal time. Hitting a bump at 50MPH will put some serious weight on the main beam and the swing arm with the leverage. I predict it will work; but, If things do not work out, I will do what I recommend you do: take a steel tube with about a 1/4" wall and put it on a lathe and fit it for a set of bearings and a good size shaft. Then take the piece for the swing arm and drill a straight hole on a milling machine, or good drill press, and get some sealed bearings, etc.. 

I hope to update you again Monday evening. Thank you for your input and thank you Longboat sailing Forest Cutter Norseman... you know who you are :) . This angelic gentleman has been a great help to me. I would be well short of this point without his help.

-Mike




Offline Southside

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Re: Building a DIY Hommade debarker for my Woodmizer LT35HD
« Reply #9 on: February 24, 2019, 12:16:10 AM »
Looks good there on the fab work - my point on the switch was that a duty rated switch - like a battery disconnect - would replace the solenoid, so you would have a heavy amp break instead of a light amp break which then steps up the coil for the heavy break - I am assuming that is a pricy unit from your comment above - so was thinking of a work around, if it's cheap then no need to go this route.  
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Re: Building a DIY Hommade debarker for my Woodmizer LT35HD
« Reply #10 on: February 24, 2019, 12:58:59 AM »
OK, I see your point. Saving money is very good  8).

I forgot to mention that my friend with the debarker said his distance "B" in image is 10"; however, at his recommendation, I have extended "B" to 11.5". 10" is too short and we think that the newer models have an extra inch or two. The problem pops up when trying to debark logs at the limit of the sawmill capability.  Of course, this means "A" probably needs to be longer also. I made "A" longer than I will need. I will chop it on my next trip to fabricate this contraption.  



 

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Re: Building a DIY Hommade debarker for my Woodmizer LT35HD
« Reply #11 on: February 24, 2019, 06:19:26 AM »
The point of a solenoid in my opinion is to have a low amp switch and wire to go to the solenoid to control the motor.  The signal wire is lighter and cheaper.  This is what I did for the remote to my conveyor for my log splitter.  If this was on my timberking, the thinner 18 g wires could travel the 25 feet in the energy chain to the solenoid on the gantry.  I used trailer wire with 7 wires inside a rubber covering.  My control has forward, backward and off, as well as a voltage and amp. meter.




 




 


later version, includes shut off switch, 50 amp self resetting breaker, solenoid, amp meter bridge.  big black wires at the bottom of the pic go to the motor to the conveyor.
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Re: Building a DIY Hommade debarker for my Woodmizer LT35HD
« Reply #12 on: February 24, 2019, 12:10:38 PM »
OK, I see your point. Saving money is very good 8).
 
Always!  On the SS "relays", I got 4 off of eBay for something like $20 a number of years ago.  So I have 3 spares ;)
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Offline millwright

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Re: Building a DIY Hommade debarker for my Woodmizer LT35HD
« Reply #13 on: February 24, 2019, 07:26:49 PM »
I also have a 2011 lt35. I put the factory debarker on it after also installing a much heavier duty up- down gearbox after having a lot of problems with the original one. One problem with the debarked is that they used a nut to hold the blade onto the shaft, and being that the debarker blade and the band blade have to be on the same plane the nut was lower than the band and when the head was dropped down for the last 1 cut it would hit the deck. I fixed this by making your mount A, so that it was hinged near where it was mounted to the sawframe, and just pull it up out of the way with a simple lever. Good luck

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Re: Building a DIY Hommade debarker for my Woodmizer LT35HD
« Reply #14 on: February 25, 2019, 11:17:56 PM »
Thanks for your input gents.

I ordered my woodmizer parts this morning: arbor (attaches to motor shaft and holds debarking blade). I also ordered the rubber boor that slips over the top of the motor for weather protection.

millright, thanks for bringing up that issue. My buddy cuts sub one inch boards and doesn't have that problem. If it is not an alignment issue, maybe they have different generation arbors. He did point out how the debarker shield on his 35 is an inch below the blade. Even when an LT70 debarker is only about half inch lower than the blade. I will make my guard only a half inch lower and if I have lengthy arbor tip, I will see about modifying it. SHould be here in a couple days.

I forgot to order my electrical stuff. Will try to remember tomorrow. I will reread everyone's input tomorrow before pulling the trigger. If it is close in cost, I will spend a few extra dollars and go with the factory style of solenoid I mentioned. Why? I don't have to think. Means I can get done in an hour or two less.

Here are some pics:

The motor mount is actually two pieces. This allows height adjust and tilting of motor.


 

That appearance of a downward tilt is not really there. The swing arm is swung out to clear the work bench and vise, so it gives that appearance. It is pretty close to parrallel. Not that there is any issue with a tilt. The smaller cut down square tube that the crank pedal arm slides into was how I overcame the need to weld the swing arm to the crank. I wanted to be able to disassemble in case I needed to replace bearings. It slides in pretty snug and I have a hardened screw that goes through the end of the crank to keep it from slipping out.


 

Motor mount. I had a fire extinguisher holder I had beefed up a little, but that it was too big, so I fabbed one. I was shocked that I could not find more than a puny couple pieces of 3/16 in flat, so I cut a 3/16 square tub (that is what those full length ribs are from) and added a 3/4 or 1" wing for mounting bolts. Also, that cut off part of the round face is because of my lack of metal. I thought about adding another piece and mending it, but it will not need it, this is plenty strong. 


 


The 1/2" adjust plate has that large hole (approx 1") for the power cable to run through. The 1/4" plate welded to the end of the support beam also has a hole, but it is a little smaller 5/8"+/-. the 1/2" is fixed, but the 1/4" plate tilts left or right, so the larger hole on one ensure the cable survives Madame Guillotine.


 

Good evening.
-Mike

Offline Ga Mtn Man

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Re: Building a DIY Hommade debarker for my Woodmizer LT35HD
« Reply #15 on: February 26, 2019, 07:10:58 AM »
Nice work Mike!
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Re: Building a DIY Hommade debarker for my Woodmizer LT35HD
« Reply #16 on: February 26, 2019, 07:38:00 AM »
Mike, that looks great. Thanks for doing this. I know I will be adding a debarker to mine eventually. Or maybe on V2.0 :)

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Re: Building a DIY Hommade debarker for my Woodmizer LT35HD
« Reply #17 on: February 26, 2019, 08:10:42 AM »
A hardy thank you for the encouragement gentlemen. 

Offline millwright

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Re: Building a DIY Hommade debarker for my Woodmizer LT35HD
« Reply #18 on: February 26, 2019, 12:22:54 PM »
I think mine was one of the first installed on the 35, so it had a couple of design flaws. Worked with wm on some things and got it working good now. It sure saves on blades, as I cut a lot of rough bark wood such as white pine and butternut.

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Re: Building a DIY Hommade debarker for my Woodmizer LT35HD
« Reply #19 on: February 26, 2019, 10:52:32 PM »
I test mounted the debarker. Was interesting experience drilling holes in my sawmill. Had to make a few adjustments, but I had a good landing. Very likely not needed, but  I decided to add a short top support made of 3/8" x 1/2" solid rod.

I ordered some electrical on amazon today. I went with the Solenoid ($17) and a 60 amp breaker ($11.50). I started to explore the other options, but had already lost time in the morning when my truck broke. Yesterday morn a large angle iron ripped my truck tire sidewall. I wanted to get going.  



 



 

-Mike


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