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Author Topic: Processor Build, Home Made Firewood Processor  (Read 35410 times)

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Offline Higgo

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Processor Build, Home Made Firewood Processor
« on: June 19, 2014, 11:07:21 PM »
Hi everyone, I've been looking at everyone else's processor builds for a couple of years now so I thought I had better share some pics of mine! It's not finished yet... I've been working on it very slowly for around 2 years but haven't really had the time until recently to actually make some headway! Anyway I'm using a 30g Danzco saw and the rest is built around an E2700 Mazda diesel truck chassis. I think it was originally around a 4 ton truck. I ripped the cab off and the tray. I've left the motor and running gear as it was. The motor is an XA 2.5l diesel. I'm told a licensed copy of a 4 cyl. Perkins. It makes 75hp. I'm currently working out the hydraulic side of things.  I did my apprenticeship in a hydraulics shop but never had to build a system (only machine components!) so I'm new to system design... and I don't like doing things twice! Any recommendations to my machine design are welcome. I'll try and get around to taking some better pics. The saw at the front of the machine is in the basics position. I mocked it up using the drum so I could see how it sits. Should I make My machine drive-able using the original running gear? or make my own hydro-static drive wheel? Or trailer it and drag it with my excavator or truck? It will be cutting long plantations of sugargum and will need to regularly move along. I'd like to have so sort of operator cab to protect from the elements. Any suggestions are welcome.
Had to redo the photos I think I did it wrong the first time!

 

 

 


Offline beenthere

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Re: Processor Build
« Reply #1 on: June 20, 2014, 12:01:15 AM »
Welcome to the Forestry Forum.

Nice job on the pics, and right out of the box too. smiley_thumbsup

That is a healthy cutoff saw standing poised and ready to knock off a block.

Thanks for jumping in and contributing to the processor builds.

Your general location in your profile bio will be a nice addition. Also a thread about making firewood out of sugargum would be great too.
south central Wisconsin
 It may be that my sole purpose in life is simply to serve as a warning to others

Offline Higgo

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Re: Processor Build
« Reply #2 on: June 20, 2014, 02:02:26 AM »
I've got a symbolic diagram for the hydraulics but haven't joined the dots yet... if anyone has any recommendations or wants to join the dots re: hose size/valve choice please let me know! I was hoping "someone" could draw in the type of valves/hose connections in need! When I get a chance I'll try and draft my initial diagram. Port sizes for the 3 small cylinders (i'll have to check) are 3/8" NPTF, the splitter cylinder ports are about 1" diameter hole but not sure of thread size (need to double check). I just want to make sure I've got things sorted before I get the whole thing plumbed up and from what I've read on here a lot of people have trouble with the plumbing on their machines. I've got a similar thing on another forum asking for help if it looks familiar...  splitwood_smiley

 


Offline r.man

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Re: Processor Build
« Reply #3 on: June 20, 2014, 07:53:18 AM »
Welcome Higgo. I am no help with the hydraulics, at best I get by, but I have an opinion about the mobility. If the drive train can remain intact I think it would be great to have it in a plantation to help with speed and to free up the pull vehicle for something else. Good luck with the build, I know what you mean about the time thing.
Life is too short or my list is too long, not sure which. Dec 2014

Offline Higgo

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Re: Processor Build
« Reply #4 on: June 21, 2014, 05:05:16 AM »
I was thinking that too. I don't know if anyone has seen an 'island cabin' truck before but I thought that I could make a similar style cab and move the truck controls slightly to the side. The truck was originally a cab over style so I don't think this will be too difficult. Here's a picture below from google of a similar truck to the one I'm using.

 

I was planning to use a divorced transfer case from a 4wd drive truck to split the drive shaft to enable me to drive my pump. Ideally I would like to drive it from the front of the engine but I'm not sure about the crankshafts front nose's ability to handle 60hp of hydraulic load? being that it's a Perkins engine copy it might be ok... anyone have any experience with similar setups or advice to offer?

Offline North River Energy

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Re: Processor Build
« Reply #5 on: June 21, 2014, 08:06:58 AM »
Might just be my screen, but I can't read the pump specs off the diagram.
Gpm?
Single pump or stacked?
What's the rod diameter on the spitter cylinder?

So far as not doing things twice, some of that comes down to design philosophy, how you plan on using the machine, and how you plan to get there.
And then making sure you're on the 'right' path, before you spend too much or get sparky with the metal.

Which machines (homebuilt or commercial) do you like, and what of those machines appeals to you?

Given that the machine needs to produce splits more so than drive itself around, I'd probably relocate the engine to best drive the pumps, and then mount a large hydraulic motor to the front of the gearbox to move the chassis.

That is, if it rarely needs to leave your property.
If you plan on going mobile, you might be better off either towing it, or using a separate power plant for the business end of things.

I've got a Bedford 2.2(?) on my machine, (possibly a Perkins licensee), and it works very well.  Probably driving 70gpm if I run it to 1800rpm.

Post more details/specs and a few more photos.

Offline Higgo

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Re: Processor Build
« Reply #6 on: June 22, 2014, 05:13:21 AM »
I'll have to do some double checking on the splitter rod size... from memory it's 2" but it might be 2.25". The pump is a variable displacement 98cc per rev. Vickers pump. I plan on running it around 1800rpm which should give around 45gpm or 176lpm. Of course I think the efficiency will be more like 40gpm. I'm thinking that I should get a 2 stage pump purely for the splitter and let the vickers pump run the saw, conveyor and the ancillary cylinders (clamp, stop etc.). Seems to be what a lot of other people have done. I'll get some better pictures of things tomorrow. Today I spent a couple of hours drilling some holes and slots for the conveyor sprocket to clear the main 'spine' of the machine. I have to do the same for the other end of the conveyor tomorrow. Here's a couple of pics of the progress today.

 
 
 
 
 

Offline North River Energy

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Re: Processor Build
« Reply #7 on: June 25, 2014, 09:36:52 PM »
General thoughts:
Make sure you have enough flow to run more than one function at the same time. This might involve three pumps, or super-special valve stacks and/or flow dividers. Figure out which option makes more sense economically.

It's really nice to advance the log while the bar is retracting, at the same time the splitter is doing it's thing.

Autocycle is nice, in that it allows you to pay more attention to the sawing, and can make the operator more effective in squeaking more performance out of the machine.

Was talking at the pump shop today about a valve system that can be operated manual or electric, has more configuration flexibility than Cirque du Soleil, and has some nifty features regarding flow behaviour and serviceability. 
Not cheap, though. Built for the long run.
I think it was a Danfoss product?

Go large on the fittings and hose size, except for the small flow stuff. Try to set things up with common fittings (I like JIC) so that when/if you blow a hose, you don't need something exotic on one end or the other.


Probably no need to use a high/low pump for the splitter, as that tactic is more a means of running a splitter with less hp, and you have plenty on hand. (Or did you mean a second pump body stacked on the back of the Vickers?)
Look into a dump valve for fluid return on the piston side of the splitter ram.  You'll pick up a little cycle speed, save a bit of fuel, and reduce fluid temps.
Try not to make the one machine do everything.  Figure out what size/species/product size you will deal with the most and build to suit.
The processor is just one link in the chain.  Make sure it's configured to work well with the rest of the iron.
Also do some thinking on how the operator will interact.  You don't want to go walkabout every few minutes just because you put the controls in the wrong place.

Offline Higgo

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Re: Processor Build
« Reply #8 on: June 27, 2014, 08:42:14 PM »
Good points on the hydraulic setup. I did mean a stacked 2 stage pump on the back of my vickers pump but I agree it might be overkill. I had a look at some Eaton Mobile valves as suggested they look like they might be suitable for what I'm trying to do. I'm studying Mechatronic engineering at the moment so I hope to be able to eventually make it fully auto via plc control and only have the operator do 'mid auto manual' movements if something goes array... but in the meantime joystick control will do. I intend for it to eventually work similar to how a cnc bandsaw or lathe etc works (however I expect that a reasonable amount of operator intervention would still be required!). I have an excavator and loader/telehandler available to load the machine so I'll try and make a log deck to load up a few long logs in between. I like the idea of the operator being in some sort of cab or frame in view of the saw splitter so I was thinking of mounting the controls in the cab. Got a KAB seat out of our loader yesterday, retrofitted an air seat in its position nothing wrong with the old one just no suspension! Didn't have a lot of time to work on the machine this week but managed to spend around a day all up making the rear chain tensioner and sprocket mount, few pics below.
The chain tensionor is from an old header/combine front same pitch, ready made and free! You can see in the pics my first attempt of the sprocket mount... made it, then welded it up; stood back and it just looked too light! I intend to put some sort of rear pull on the machine in case it gets stuck in a muddy area so i need it to be fairly strong, not to mention its going to have big sugargum logs resting on it! So I cut the mounts off and remade them out of large pieces of 12mm plate that run the full height of my frame. Thanks for the feedback everyone. Sorry if I haven't directly responded to everyone's suggestions or questions but rest assured I'm taking it all in! If I've missed anything let me know! smiley_smash
 
 
 
 
 

Offline Higgo

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Re: Processor Build
« Reply #9 on: July 02, 2014, 07:42:10 AM »
Couple more pics of the conveyor ends, oxy cutout at the drive end to clear the sprocket boss and hole sawn and ground with the angle grinder at the driven end. I usually prefer to drill and saw rather than oxy cut but because I couldn't get the hole saw into position for one of the cuts I had to use the gas axe. The front sprocket is adjustable height and length wise to help with tracking the chain. However it is probably overkill for a simple conveyor. I had to make do with the bearing mounting positions which is another reason i went with this configuration. I'll post some more detailed pics of it once I have the hydraulic motor mounted up. I'm probably going to have to use a 'jack shaft' to reduce the conveyor chain speed to an acceptable level. I've read 65 fpm is a good conveyor chain speed to use... Anyone know or willing to measure their in-feed conveyor motor rpm or conveyor chain speed?? Just like to know before I commit to my sprocket sizes for the hydraulic motor and driven shaft.

 
 
 
 

Offline North River Energy

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Re: Processor Build
« Reply #10 on: July 03, 2014, 05:13:08 PM »
A cursory glance suggests that the drive ratio on mine is around 1:2, mechanical advantage favoring the drive motor.

My chain transport cogs are much smaller than yours, however.  Motor is some sort of elderly Char-lynn/Eaton with a 1" shaft and 3/8npt ports.

So far as fpm, just aim for something that keeps up with the saw and splitter, or just slightly faster.

Have you already purchased an infeed motor?  If not, might want to do some figuring to make sure you have enough torque and rpm for the job.
When it doubt, go big on the motor and then rearrange the toothcount to get what you want. 

Otherwise, make sure the chain can't jam at either end when reversed, or when slack, and try not to 'weld yourself into a corner' so to speak.
 Takes longer to make bolt-on sub-assemblies, but makes servicing easier.

If you do a cab, set it up so that the operator can clear any jams without difficulty or awkward contortions.  Had a look at a fairly expensive rig where the owner had torched a few bars out of the bash guard.

Offline TeaW

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Re: Processor Build
« Reply #11 on: July 04, 2014, 06:07:38 PM »
Checked the speed of infeed conveyor on my home made processor today , it is 120 ft /min. Faster than it needs but it doesn't cause any problem, 65 ft/min is probably good to shoot for.
I have the 20 gpm Danzco saw and am fairly happy with it. The oiler works well but it can put a lot of oil on in a hurry, the adjustment is very sensitive .I added aluminium side plates to help keep the oil on the chain, also made the chain adjustment screw the same head size as the studs, so one wrench will do it all when you change a chain or tighten it.
TeaW

Offline r.man

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Re: Processor Build
« Reply #12 on: July 04, 2014, 08:37:08 PM »
Unless you need to throw the split wood for some reason I think that the speed should be as low as possible to minimize component wear.
Life is too short or my list is too long, not sure which. Dec 2014

Offline Higgo

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Re: Processor Build
« Reply #13 on: July 04, 2014, 09:48:48 PM »
Thanks for the replies! 120fpm is what I thought some of the infeed conveyor speeds looked like on a few commercial videos I have have seen. Thanks heaps for checking yours TeaW! Do you have a build thread or some pics anywhere on here? I've got an old Vickers motor which I hope to use for the conveyor, however I'll have to double check the specs. I think it should work because it used to run an old grain auger about 20ft. long. I might try and do the physics calcs on the conveyor and post them up to get some opinions and maybe help some other people designing conveyors... got the saw into semi position yesterday and also the oil tank (need to get some more pictures and post them of the build) Here are a couple anyway... One of the saw and one of the conveyor motor plate I may use. Anyone have a few motor specs for their machines so I can compare size/nM/psi/gpm etc? I think my ratio may end up being 1:2.5/1:2.5 (double reduction using a jack shaft). Thanks again for the replies, it's really helpful!
 
 

Offline johndeerkiwi

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Re: Processor Build
« Reply #14 on: July 10, 2014, 07:00:46 AM »
Great what a man can do with some metal and a welder!
Hose size is a matter of keeping the velocity in the right range, too slow a velocity is fine but it can mean you could have perhaps done it cheaper by using the next size smaller hose, a too high a velocity equals high friction losses, more heat generation, and noise, as the oil is forced at high speed through lines that are too small.
In between these two extremes is the desired velocity.
You can get hose sizing charts where you draw a line across from your known  (pump) flow to the (stated)ideal velocity range, and it shows what size hydraulic  hose to use. You will find that pressure lines are calculated differently than return lines, on these charts.
Don't forget that on a ram that is retracting, there will be a much higher out-flow, so the return line should be assessed according to that higher flow.
That's because on the retraction stroke, the oil in-flow to the rod end will be pushing somewhere near double the amount out(depending on the ratio of rod size to cylinder size used in the ram), so you need to allow for the return hose to take this higher flow.
 On a typical  ram this is usually be about a 2:1 ratio, but if you get hold of a ram with an oversize rod (often used in wood splitting rams for quicker retraction) this increased flow will be even more pronounced.
 The only way to really be sure is to either use a computer flow chart on the internet, or use maths to calculate the volumes.
I recommend that if you use  "experts" to do the calculation for hose size, work it out properly yourself first as a cross check,  as I've seen instances of the experts getting it wrong when they could have simply referred to the proper chart and got it right!

In the smart ideas department....the idea of using a chain tension adjusting nut the same size as the bar mount bolts is a simple and smart idea, I'm glad you guys are on the ball, I might use that idea myself!

And in New Zealand where aerial topdressing was popular, a lot of the loaders were bedford  and ford trucks and typically they  had a great big hydraulic oil tank in the front of the truck with a direct drive off the crankshaft by way of a small universal direct drive shaft, to the tank mounted pump. They didn't use ALL the truck horsepower though, but were quite sizable all the same with good oil flow....never gave any problems that I recall.
"Many a man has failed to see what is too simple for a complicated mindset, and too inexpensive for an unlimited budget"

Offline North River Energy

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Re: Processor Build
« Reply #15 on: July 10, 2014, 09:59:56 AM »
Details on the dump valve referenced in post #7.  This particular cylinder has a 6" bore and 4" rod.

The parts.
 

 

 
This is an older part number, as the shop had a bunch left over from an OEM project.  I think the valve itself was right around $95usd.
 

 

 
3/4 line coming in from the right is cylinder extend, 1" hose at bottom is return to tank.
 

 


Side view.  I should have upsized the cylinder port from 3/4npt to SAE16 when I resealed it...
 

 

 
1/4 line picks up pressure spike at start of cylinder retract, this pilot signal unseats the dump valve allowing fluid to bypass the control spool. Again, could have resized the retract port for quicker action.  Still works as it should regardless.
 

 


Return to tank.  1/2 inch line is unused return from the second pump stage.  This particular pump ran the implements and the power steering on a backhoe.
 

 

Offline Higgo

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Re: Processor Build
« Reply #16 on: July 11, 2014, 03:00:51 AM »
"Great what a man can do with some metal and a welder!"

Very true words! I actually had a lot of metal working machinery -cnc lathe, lathe, mill etc. but sold it all because I found I didn't use it near as much as I thought I would... The welder, torch, grinders and drill press seem to be the most used now! I also recently bought a small linsher belt/disc grinder. Small and cheap but very handy for de-burring and squaring up various pieces of the machine. Thanks for the comments and suggestions everyone! The pilot operated dump valve looks like a very good thing. I think  may have to get one of those... Has anyone done a regenerative style splitter system or have any experience with the prince auto cycle valves? North River, do you have any other photos of your machine or a build thread I've missed? It looks like a well built machine.

I've done some friction and load calculations for the conveyor motor. Came out as requiring approx. 3hp and  437ft/lbs of torque! However the formulas I used were based on using a log 19ft long and 24" dia. which has a density of 1040kg/m^3 green (blue gum, an Australian native plantation timber which has similar characteristics to sugar gum) meaning the log would weigh 3,858lbs or 203lbs per ft of timber. 
Then calculating the pull required for the chain and timber (203*0.33)*19= 1,286lbs= P
HP= (P*Speed of conveyor in ft/min)/33,000
therefore (1286lbs*65ft/min)/33,000
HP= 2.5
Tq= (HP*5252)/30rpm (the speed of my conveyor sprocket to give 65ft/min)
therefore Tq= (2.5*5252)/30 = 437ft/lbs
I've left a fair chink of the calculations out and my algebraic shorthand isn't that good! I've probably made a mistake but the figures seemed about right. Obviously I will need more than 2.5hp becaue my calculations are based on approximations and not actual figures... Sorry for the mix of metric and imperial  measurements... I just can't seem to escape imperial... every now and then it still creeps back in. Lucky Australia used to be imperial so I've always worked with both.
Anyone know the rough flow/pressure figures for there conveyor motors? Might be a good way for me to check my calcs. in the real world! I think I'll still use the jack shaft principle and the vane motor I have. Thanks again everyone for the replies and the pictures... They are really helpful!
I've done a bit more on the machine... had to change one thing slightly on the front because it made a weak spot that I couldn't really design around but not too much time lost. Got the saw mounted up (although it's not finished in the photos and also the oil tank (just temporarily). I intend to finish everything and give the machine a final once over before painting it so some brackets etc are only loosely bolted. heres a couple of photos...
 
 
 
 
Keep the comments coming... It's encouraging to know someone else is interested in my work!

Offline johndeerkiwi

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Re: Processor Build
« Reply #17 on: July 11, 2014, 05:13:09 AM »
Re Prince auto return valves....I have a note in my diary somewhere that the prince auto return valves had a very modest maximum flow rating, and are not rated for higher flows. They are a good idea though, so I suggest you check the flow specs out, I think I accessed that info off the Prince site. If they prove to be too small, they are after all, only a double detent valve so it should be possible to make up a larger one.

Regeneration: Its funny that you should also mention regeneration, because it was regeneration that one so called hydraulic "expert" initially reckoned would not work, when I said I was wanting to use it to speed up my splitter cycle.
In fact he was the manager of a well known hydraulic company!!
But it does work, in fact, you just got to do it right. More commonly used in large "platen" presses where the large ram necessary to get the high pressure desired, made the approach speeds too slow. Regeneration overcome this problem.(there are several different ways of achieving the circuits)
So for any readers thinking "what the heck is regeneration?", simply put, a double acting ram is supplied with  pressure to BOTH ends at the same time (on the extension stroke), and it will still extend, in fact, it extends faster(but with less force).
 
Why does this happen?
Well, assuming a fairly normal  ram (say)with a 2:1  cylinder to rod ratio, (which means the cylinder holds twice as much oil as the rod end because of the size of the rod. (lets say 4 litres and 2 litres)
Under a regeneration system, oil is fed to both ends simultaneously. As the rod is forced to extend, the 2 litres of oil already in the rod end will flow out and into the other end, so instead of having to pump 4 litres to extend the ram, you only have to pump 2!(so twice as fast!)
However in a regeneration system, the oil in the rod end is pushing back, so this extra speed comes at a price.The speed has doubled, but because it is pushing back, the net force has halved. The extension is reliable though, because the oil able to push on the biggest area always wins.
 So how do we then achieve full power when we need the full force?
Quite simply, we open a valve allowing the rod end oil to return to tank, simultaneously closing the pump oil pressure supply to the rod end.The ram returns to "normal" and can develop full pressure.
This process can be done manually (say with a double acting valve) or automatically, by using a kick down sequence valve set to trigger at a predetermined pressure.
The result is a ram that initially extends twice as fast at half the force, but when a predetermined pressure is reached the sequence valve dumps the rod end oil to tank, allowing the ram to  reach full pressure. Who said you cant have your cake and eat it too?
"Many a man has failed to see what is too simple for a complicated mindset, and too inexpensive for an unlimited budget"

Offline North River Energy

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Re: Processor Build
« Reply #18 on: July 11, 2014, 09:26:23 AM »
Higgo,
Nice tank.  Any ports on there for case drains?

Have not yet compiled the build photos from that particular machine.  A few clips of 'proof of concept'  here:
http://www.forestryforum.com/board/index.php/topic,75787.20.html
Have a few details left to resolve, but works more or less as intended to break down the oversized that won't fit through my processor:
http://beckmannag.com/firewood-production/rebuilding-a-firewood-processor
Need to update that page, as I have done a few more upgrades since, including a larger saw drive motor, lowered tooth count on the blade, and single lever auto cycle actuation.

No experience with the Prince auto cycle valves, but the DanFoss auto cycle valves will take a little more than 25gpm without difficulty.  With a 4" bore, 2.5" rod, 27" stroke and the dump valve setup, the cycle time is more than adequate, and I'm not using maximum pump/valve flow.

Maybe I'm cursed, but the standard Prince valves seem to leak prematurely out the back of the spool for no particularly good reason.
Pump flow to the infeed drive motor is right around 10 gpm, but as mentioned previously, my chain driving cog is much smaller than what you will be using.
As to regeneration, that option seems to come up on 'economy' splitters to make up for the mismatch of a tiny pump and larger cylinder.
JDK, did you actually employ this principle, or was it mostly theoretical for your application?

Offline dave_dj1

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Re: Processor Build
« Reply #19 on: July 12, 2014, 04:30:49 PM »
Looks really good so far! Nice work.
Are you going to put flat stock on top of your infeed vee? I see lots of potential for snags if you don't.
Keep up the good work and keep us posted.
dave


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