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Author Topic: Chipper vs tub grinder  (Read 667 times)

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Offline JustCutIt

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Chipper vs tub grinder
« on: September 19, 2021, 04:53:38 PM »
Hi everyone long time no post. I finally have to come up with a waste solution at my mill. I have made great progress as we have a pellet plant close to us that will take the ground up slabs and sawdust! There is a $800/hr tub grinder coming to take care of it all of it and haul it away.

The next step for me is to install a central waste conveyor leading to a chipper or tub grinder. The value of the waste will pay for the machine if the tub grinder does not have to come in.

My question have is what does everyone else run on a smaller scale? Chippers seem like alot of maintenance and you need a fairly elaborate filing room for sharpening blades. I feel like a tub grinder is less maintenance but never seen one in action. If you have one any advice would be greatly appreciated!

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Re: Chipper vs tub grinder
« Reply #1 on: September 19, 2021, 05:07:46 PM »
we have a pellet plant close to us that will take the ground up slabs and sawdust!
That is surprising to me.  The pellet plant that I toured would only take papermill quality/size chips with no bark or leaf matter.  It had to be 96% pure.

It was also 'government' subsidized.  :-X
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Offline Southside

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Re: Chipper vs tub grinder
« Reply #2 on: September 19, 2021, 05:10:21 PM »
Notice the pellet plant didn't say they would actually mail a good check for the material.

Sorry but have been around a few of these operations and in the end none actually worked. 
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Offline sawguy21

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Re: Chipper vs tub grinder
« Reply #3 on: September 19, 2021, 05:22:58 PM »
What Magicman said. With bark and leaves you will have 'hog fuel' which some mills use to fire boilers, the steam heats the kilns or drives turbines to create power. Be careful if you stockpile it, the stuff is prone to spontaneous combustion. West Fraser Timber at Chetwynd BC recently lost their log yard to fire from the chip pile.
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Offline longtime lurker

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Re: Chipper vs tub grinder
« Reply #4 on: September 19, 2021, 05:30:35 PM »
Chippers make chip.
Tub grinders make mulch.
2 different products - 2 different markets.

Chippers are higher maintenance, and require clean wood in (debarked material and no dirt or foreign material). Chip is a higher value product with more market options. Mulch is only good for gardens and maybe boiler fuel. The economics of both are going to vary.
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Offline JustCutIt

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Re: Chipper vs tub grinder
« Reply #5 on: September 19, 2021, 06:40:58 PM »
The mill taking the product produces both chips and hog themselves. So it's no difference to them what I send to them as long as the bark/ash content isn't too high. Chip market is 600km away so transport negates any profit.

Longtime lurker have you seen any small tub grinders out there? I see some 300hp units but I need small scale.


Offline 97redjeep

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Re: Chipper vs tub grinder
« Reply #6 on: September 20, 2021, 12:14:05 AM »
What Magicman said. With bark and leaves you will have 'hog fuel' which some mills use to fire boilers, the steam heats the kilns or drives turbines to create power. Be careful if you stockpile it, the stuff is prone to spontaneous combustion. West Fraser Timber at Chetwynd BC recently lost their log yard to fire from the chip pile.


 
Sure did, under 2km from our house. Iím sure glad this wasnít a month ago  :-\
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Re: Chipper vs tub grinder
« Reply #7 on: September 20, 2021, 06:05:27 AM »
Not sure where you are @JustCutIt but the mulch market is pretty deep, might vary in price dramatically but how far are you from an urban area, doesn't have to be big.  An average sawmill can barely dent demand around here (northern VA so the DC suburbs and very affluent) but even in a much poorer SW VA there are decent amounts spent on mulch.
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Online customsawyer

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Re: Chipper vs tub grinder
« Reply #8 on: September 20, 2021, 06:22:28 AM »
They used to bring in a guy to grind my slabs at the big mill back when I cut for them. It had a chain feed system instead of the tub type grinder. I asked the owner and he said that he used a tub style once and didn't like it due to the amount of things it sent up into the air and you didn't know where it would land. With his chain feed style he knew there was only one danger zone. Of course he was talking the about some of the biggest grinders that they make.
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Offline Ron Wenrich

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Re: Chipper vs tub grinder
« Reply #9 on: September 20, 2021, 06:26:55 AM »
We had a tub grinder to double grind our bark from the debarker.  We ended up selling bark off the debarker straight to a wholesaler.  But, I don't think a typical tub grinder like they use on a farm would be a good option for slabs.

A better option is a wood hog.  It'll eat just about anything, including slabs and chunks. Bark won't dull knives.  And the product is good for mulch.  They come in vertical and horizontal feeds. 

For chippers, there are guys that will sharpen your blades.  It removes the need for a filing room.  But, dirty slabs will dull knives really quick.
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Offline longtime lurker

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Re: Chipper vs tub grinder
« Reply #10 on: September 21, 2021, 05:20:28 AM »
From what I've seen around here 300 HP is a small tub grinder, but  they're not something I see much in this part of the world except after hurricane type weather. Next step down seems to be a tree service type machine.

I've always been really reluctant to do much with my waste. I'm just not big enough to bother with it, and there's still places where the money would be better invested in the sawline. We salvage a bit for firewood, sell some of the sawdust and burn the rest. Every year or so I dig out the firepit and sell the ash as fertilizer.
The quickest way to make a million dollars with a sawmill is to start with two million.

Offline tmbrcruiser

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Re: Chipper vs tub grinder
« Reply #11 on: September 23, 2021, 09:02:34 AM »
My mill is stationary and wood waste has always been a problem. Over the past few years I've tried several solutions. I work for a large mill with a 1,050 hp horizontal grinder in one of the contract logging crews. So for the past few years I load the waste on a dump trailer and haul it to the current logging job. Problem is they are all over the place, ranging from a few miles away to 75 ish. 

I have been looking at pto chippers that could be powered by my 125 hp tractor. My thought is to chip the slab into my dump trailer and stock pile until I can load it into a manure spreader. Using it as mulch on the hunting trails through the woods. Because I saw a fair bit of walnut and cherry I have been spreading the saw dust with success. 

Once you get sap in your veins, you will always have sawdust in your pockets.

Offline PoginyHill

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Re: Chipper vs tub grinder
« Reply #12 on: September 23, 2021, 03:00:13 PM »
We have two veneer mills that use exclusively chippers, both disc and drum type chippers, for veneer, slab and bark waste. Gravel and metal don't do well with them, but bark and light dirt that normally accompany the bark is fine. With large volumes (16hrs/day), knives are changed once maybe twice per week. A drum chipper with integral screen would be my vote.
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