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Small Cabin Forum / Off-Grid Living / New Tool!
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Nobadays
Member
# Posted: 15 Oct 2020 14:49 - Edited by: Nobadays
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Well, friends up here decided to start a new business doing fire mitigation work, so went out and bought a big high dollar wood chipper. We had the opportunity to buy their old one, never was used commercially but rather just to chip down dead and limbs around their place. They estimate about 200 hours on it.

It's a Gravely 210.... the same unit as the Promark 210, Gravely bought out Promark and has subsequently sold out their chipper end of the business. Understand parts are still easy to come by but not much to wear out anyway but knife blades. The engine is a Kohler so parts are readily available for it.

Around here there is only one place in town to rent a chipper... and the one the have is a 6" like this one... they get $100.00/day or $600.00/week. I have already talked to another neighbor who has an acre of old down dead limbs, plus a crap pot load of down limbs and tree tops from the two foot of snow we got in September. He has machinery... tracked skid steer and a small excavator..... I need dirt work done, we're gonna make a deal! I see this investment as very helpful to us and really good trading material for things we need done!
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IMG_5811_resize_63.j.jpg


snobdds
Member
# Posted: 15 Oct 2020 15:01
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Nice.

I too have a wood chipper that I used a lot when clearing some of my land. I haven't used it in about 5 years because I have been building the cabin, but not that the outside is done and the decks are built...it's time to get back on the trees. It's amazing how much a forest can grow back in 5 years. Be careful lending them out, I did one day and it came back with chipped blades because they just threw in piles of debri which had rocks in it.
Chipper_4.jpg
Chipper_4.jpg


Brettny
Member
# Posted: 15 Oct 2020 15:31
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Is it preferred to drag and lift every limb to load into the chipper over just burning at the right time of year?

I have cleared many trees and never felt the need for a chipper. Theres even a rental place 10min away. We burn everything, even the stumps.

snobdds
Member
# Posted: 15 Oct 2020 16:04
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Quoting: Brettny
Is it preferred to drag and lift every limb to load into the chipper over just burning at the right time of year?

I have cleared many trees and never felt the need for a chipper. Theres even a rental place 10min away. We burn everything, even the stumps.


I don't carry enough liability insurance to cover the cost of burning down the forest, and then, paying to put it out.

I like my known cost here in exchange for a little enjoyable work.

paulz
Member
# Posted: 15 Oct 2020 16:16
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Here's mine, a friend built it. It's a combo saw, chipper and generator. 20 hp 2 cylinder diesel.

It's a little scary. When you engage the clutch, the saw blade spools up and the whole thing starts shaking, bystanders head for cover. Smooths out once it gets up to speed, and it will slice through anything. Nice thing is you can buck the bigger branches for firewood and put the rest through the chipper.
wheeloofdeath.JPG
wheeloofdeath.JPG


Nobadays
Member
# Posted: 15 Oct 2020 16:49
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Snobbds... yeah I worry about chipped blades. I haven't looked at these yet but plan to before I start using it. My friend had just l ou and it out to another neighbor.... I picked it up from hy I'm, nice guy... he showed me that an adjustment bolt had broken off. Fortunately it was probably just as he finished up as he said it was laying on the deck. I looked it up and realized it was the adjustment for the bed knife (anvil knife). I'll drill it out and extract the bolt and adjust the anvil before running it again... the tolerance between the anvil and cutter knives is about the thickness of a hacksaw blade... or less. Could easily destroy blades and the anvil if that steel shifted!

Brettny... our cabin is located within an HOA that does not allow burning... I do burn in the winter but in reality we are not supposed to at all. In addition as "snobdds" mentions, I don't have that kind of insurance either. This area of CO is in extreme drought and burning has been restricted most of the year, any outside burning. Better to chip and stay good with the HOA and reduce the fire risk. Glad burning works for you though! (BTW our HOA is pretty lenient and lose... we can more or less do what we want but why poke the bear!)

Paul... you gotta be sh&ting me! Your going to end up one armed like me!! Yikes man!

ICC
Member
# Posted: 15 Oct 2020 19:51
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Quoting: Brettny
Is it preferred to drag and lift every limb to load into the chipper over just burning at the right time of year


Here in the west there may be months between safe burn days.

toyota_mdt_tech
Member
# Posted: 15 Oct 2020 21:20 - Edited by: toyota_mdt_tech
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I too bought a large chipper from DR, tow behind. I did modify the trailer, I can never leave it alone stock, lengthened the tongue, used square tube vs thin wall U channel, I widened it 4 inches on each side to give it more stability and raised it up a few inches to tow level with my Kawasaki Mule.

I got mine for fire mitigation and to just clear out thick tree stands for a healthier forest. I can do way more work with this vs burning. I dont drag trees to chipper, I drag chipper to trees, cut many, align butt ends, then load into chipper. If your burning, you drag ALL trees to the fire unless you make lots of fires everywhere. I can grind up a pretty large stack of trees in very short order and on to the next pile.

No bad days, green stuff works the best, knives need special attention, also there is a metal plate in front of the knife that determines the thickness of chips and is a consumable and is also adjustable on higher end units, I suspect t its the case with yours. Mine only have one knife, so you may have 2. Mine does up to about 5 1/2" inches, it makes the most gorgeous mulch pile of chips, extended chute, I can rotate and aim mine anywhere, back of a truck and maybe sell chips??

In second picture, that stack of saplings, gone in about 2 minutes MAX or less.

Picture doesnt show modified frame, this was pre modded frame.
DR 16.0, no electric start
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20180422_174241.jpg
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20180422_174153.jpg


Brettny
Member
# Posted: 16 Oct 2020 06:06
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I wasn't aware that you need insurance for burning brush where you are. HoAS hardly exist here unless it's a town home.

We only have about 3 months your not suposto burn here in the spring. Drive through any rural small town in the fall and you will smell wood smoke in each one.

Nobadays
Member
# Posted: 16 Oct 2020 08:46
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Toyota.... nice! We are on a hillside so no taking the chipper to the limbs/brush but that's ok. Yeah mine has 2 knives plus the Bed/Anvil knife. From what I read it too can be sharpened but it is not tapered but rather has a square edge and indeed is the sheer for the 2 main blades. Wish the chute on mine swiveled but it is fixed to blow chips into the back of the tow vehicle... works great for a pickup... your Mule probably not so well!

This one is a 6" machine and may chew up 6" green trees/limbs but for old dead stuff my friends said they never went over about 3-4" and it had no problem with those.... I saw that for myself.

snobdds
Member
# Posted: 16 Oct 2020 11:36
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Mine has 4 blades, with blades being 150 apiece, I only bought one extra set. I then bought a metal band sander with guide fence to get the right angle. I put it on a rheostat to slow the speed down. That way I don't overheat the blade and it loses its temper.

The anvil portion of the blade is adjustable on mine. If I cut green wood, the spacing can be small for a fine chip. If you have a lot of dead wood that is hard to chip, I open up the anvil spacing which gives a bigger chip, but easier on the machine.

The hydraulic feed is the best money spent. I almost sold mine a few years back, but so glad I didn't.

WILL1E
Member
# Posted: 16 Oct 2020 12:27
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I just bought a little fella a couple weeks ago for $175. Already put a couple hours on it while clearing a camper spot.

I’d much rather burn, but it’s quicker and more fun to use the chipper!!
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8AE8B2756DB348F18.jpeg


NorthRick
Member
# Posted: 16 Oct 2020 13:46
Reply 


Quoting: toyota_mdt_tech
I can do way more work with this vs burning. I dont drag trees to chipper, I drag chipper to trees, cut many, align butt ends, then load into chipper. If your burning, you drag ALL trees to the fire unless you make lots of fires everywhere.


Ha! That's been my technique. We have a lot of dead spruce trees from bark beetles and I've been working on getting rid of the ones near the cabin. During rainy weather I'll cut some down, cut them up and burn it right there. I've had 3 different fires going at once before. Again, I do this when everything is wet and those fires aren't going anywhere.

Nobadays
Member
# Posted: 16 Oct 2020 19:39
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I was just searching online and found a source for knives at $85.00 each... not too bad. I plan to take a look tomorrow and see how the blades and anvil look. Got to extract the broken anvil adjustment bolt and replace it... adjust the gap between the blades and anvil. May chip a bit if wood tomorrow if the knives are I good shape. I did buy a sanding disk for my grinder in case I need to do a bit of sharpening. Slowly with lots of breaks to look deep the heat down so as not to take the temper out of the knives.

toyota_mdt_tech
Member
# Posted: 16 Oct 2020 21:25 - Edited by: toyota_mdt_tech
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Quoting: WILL1E
I just bought a little fella a couple weeks ago for $175


WILL1E, that may say crafstman on it, but its made by MTD or modern tool and die. I have the same one here at home, its an 8HP with pneumatic tires, its a chipper and shredder. Chipper, small chute, shredder, large chute, has 4 sets of flails and a small mower looking blade for the shredder, chipper is 2 knives.

I know they made a 5 and 8HP version. I bought mine new way back in 1992, mine has the Tecumseh engine which is a company that is long out of biz, but would of had to change its name for today's woke weenies.

toyota_mdt_tech
Member
# Posted: 17 Oct 2020 12:17 - Edited by: toyota_mdt_tech
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Quoting: Nobadays
I was just searching online and found a source for knives at $85.00


no bad days, once you get the set in hand, take and record measurements and hole centers, you can probably find another source by just matching but $85 for 2 knives doesnt sound crazy.

I purchased a Makita tool sharpener and got the fine stone and the course stone with it, its a wet unit, turns pretty slow (wont heat of blades) but its a slow process. I got a "Work Sharp" grinder and it works better, you just have to watch getting it too hot. Its nice to always have a set of "exchange" blades, so while you swap a set out with fresh on hand, you sharpen the next set. I have 4 sets for mine, I'm remote and I may go through more and do not want to sharpen them out there.

Have enough blades, you can just drop off the worn ones at a powershop too. I doubt its too spendy. Nothing better then nice sharp blades, you dont have to work nearly as hard and neither does the machine, easier on everything and everyone.
Makita
Makita
Work Sharp
Work Sharp


Nobadays
Member
# Posted: 17 Oct 2020 16:08
Reply 


Toyota... I have looked online at tool sharpeners, a bit spendy. Don't think there is a place that can sharpen them near us. I will try it with the sanding disk.

I looked at the knives today and they weren't too bad, a little chipped but nothing deep. They really don't look like they have been taken off since new. The other side of the blades look great, like new. I tried to get one off but I only had one 5/16" Allen wrench and as I was tapping it with a hammer it went flying into the pucker brush... couldn't find it. I will get a 1/2" drive socket Allen so I can use my impact driver to loosen the bolts... then back on with anti sieze.

The $85 was each I think... maybe I can find another source.

toyota_mdt_tech
Member
# Posted: 17 Oct 2020 21:14
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no bad days, locktite blue, on mine, its just nylocks and of course, you dont reuse them. Well, you can, they lose their locking-ability after one shot.

All the knives I ordered comes with and new hardware, bots etc, maybe for safety reasons?

You got a nice machine there and will love it.

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