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Firewood Processor Recommendations

Case1030

Case1030

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I get that.
I built some make shift log decks to cut on.
Last spring I decked one over completely to handle short pieces and larger logs, so as to noodle them without dropping the halves on the ground.
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After reviewing your other post I noticed something I didn't before. How did you half the logs? It looks like a chainsaw cut them in half.

I'v done that a few times with huge logs that didn't fit on the splitter, soon came to realize it took to long to cut and it must be hard on the power saw going with the grain takes 4x longer with throttle wide open.

I know guys use Alaskan saw mills all the time to cut lumber like that but the saws dont last long.

Anytime a log is over 20 inch diameter a make a pile off to the side for my friend with a saw mill. Makes beautiful lumber and saves alot of time/wear and tear on the saws.
 
Natster

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I'd like a self propelled, power split, with a boom on it, with an anger head, to dig post holes, and to spin a spinning wedge splitter. The kind you use on a car, or pto.
This would work good, for huge yard tree removal.
Cut monster tree down.
Cut into pieces.
Use spinning wedge with hydraulic power head to break up smaller. Put on power split, and finish splitting.
I'm really surprised that this has not yet been done.
Those monster trees have a lot of wood. And, are simply hard to move the logs.
Ahem, power split, where are you?
:)
Nate
 
Case1030

Case1030

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I'd like a self propelled, power split, with a boom on it, with an anger head, to dig post holes, and to spin a spinning wedge splitter. The kind you use on a car, or pto.
This would work good, for huge yard tree removal.
Cut monster tree down.
Cut into pieces.
Use spinning wedge with hydraulic power head to break up smaller. Put on power split, and finish splitting.
I'm really surprised that this has not yet been done.
Those monster trees have a lot of wood. And, are simply hard to move the logs.
Ahem, power split, where are you?
:)
Nate
From Manitoba Canada. Going to be clearing a some acres of farm land. It's quite common to have 30 inch oak trees and 20+ inch box elder with nice red inside (I'm 90% certain its boxelder, anyone able to verify?). Makes a perfect coffee table when stained/ epoxy.
 

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CentaurG2

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How many cord per hour?
Advertising two or three cord per hour, but how many men does it take to run a processor to hit those numbers.
The above quote leads on to believe 1.25 cord/hour. 10 cord/8 hours.
A more realistic comparison would be man hours per cord, or as the math shows, cord per man hour.
Ten cord, three men, assuming eight hours.
10/3=3.33 cord/man
3.33/8 hours = 0.41 cord per man hours.

And this is why I have not taken a loan to purchase a processor.
It takes me four hours to do a cord.
0.25 cord per man hours using a SuperSplit wood splitter.

Percent of increased production using a processor vs SuperSplit
.25/.41 = x/100 = % increase
cross multiply
.41x = 25.00
x = 25.00/41
x = 60.97 %

Say I do 100 cord with the SuperSplit (I don't but for easy numbers)
Then in the same number of hours, a processor could do 160 cord.
Suppose there is $100. profit per cord.
60 cord x $100. = $6,000 increased income using those numbers.
Which means you would probably have to increase cords produced by 2x or 3x to make a processor a financially solid purchase.

There are other factors. Using a processor may be less hands on labor intensive, making it possible to put in more hours.
However, as volume increases the labor and hours may increase more than a simply proportional, or linear 45° angle graph.
Assume you produce ten cord in ten hours, or one cord per hour, you may not be able to do one hundred cord in 100 hours, because every eight to ten cord the machine will need to be moved from the split pile.

I have found from personal experience that smaller logs take longer, and also, large logs take more effort to physically handle. Often the largest logs I get are punky butt logs, of which I cull out before it goes up the conveyor. I still cut and split into stove size pieces and toss in a separate bin for personal stove use, which is good it gets used, but doing so takes longer to do a cord if the firewood is going in a junk pile, and not up the conveyor into the customer pile.

In short, I can't make the numbers work to finance a processor, and if I did, it would most likely create a cash flow problem to keep it fed with purchased logs.
Difficult question to answer. It really depends on how uniform your logs are. The more they look like a telephone pole the better you will do.



Here is a vid on one of these machines and if you look closely you can see where you lose processor time.






Little things end up costing you time. Engine is on the wrong side of the processor and throttle control is on the engine. Walk around to stop and start or even idle down. Poor clamp design. Look how the last piece of wood fights him. Dangerous and he still does not manage to get a sellable piece out of it and the final piece lands crooked in the chamber and must be repositioned by hand. Pickaroon time. He will learn to just reverse the infeed chain and throw the end piece off the front of the machine and deal with them later to save time. He did manage to get 11 pieces cut before he had to stop, walk around the machine again and clear a jam on the conveyer. Again, time, fuel, and a great way to tear a belt. Wood is just too chunky and full of debris.

Other problems we encountered were problems with logs getting stuck on the live deck and logs getting stuck in the infeed tray. Live deck can be solved with a short cant dog to rotate the stuck log. Live deck problems get a lot worse as the machine ages. The chains run on plastic strips in the deck channels that wear down quickly. Infeed tray usually required log truck.
 
Case1030

Case1030

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Difficult question to answer. It really depends on how uniform your logs are. The more they look like a telephone pole the better you will do.



Here is a vid on one of these machines and if you look closely you can see where you lose processor time.






Little things end up costing you time. Engine is on the wrong side of the processor and throttle control is on the engine. Walk around to stop and start or even idle down. Poor clamp design. Look how the last piece of wood fights him. Dangerous and he still does not manage to get a sellable piece out of it and the final piece lands crooked in the chamber and must be repositioned by hand. Pickaroon time. He will learn to just reverse the infeed chain and throw the end piece off the front of the machine and deal with them later to save time. He did manage to get 11 pieces cut before he had to stop, walk around the machine again and clear a jam on the conveyer. Again, time, fuel, and a great way to tear a belt. Wood is just too chunky and full of debris.

Other problems we encountered were problems with logs getting stuck on the live deck and logs getting stuck in the infeed tray. Live deck can be solved with a short cant dog to rotate the stuck log. Live deck problems get a lot worse as the machine ages. The chains run on plastic strips in the deck channels that wear down quickly. Infeed tray usually required log truck.
Yeah I noticed in that video to, watched it a week ago. I was told by a guy the machine works better keeping the tongue closer to the ground and never had a log land like that since. Alot of small tricks a guy learns along the way.

I already got a nice spike I can use to reposition the logs if need be. Keeps my hands and arm out of dangers way.

Regardless even the few hiccups the guy had that's not enough to prevent 1 cord per hour. As the bugs get ironed out with wise tricks learned along the way doesnt seem all that bad.

Regardless can talk about until blue in the face... but will just have to wait and see how it goes once the machine is landed in the yard and wood through it. And like I said before I'm more concerned about having a conveyor that doesn't screw up. That's the only weak point in my eyes.
 
CentaurG2

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I don’t see how you could lower the tongue of the trailer without affecting the live deck but give it a go. It might work for you. Cordwood here is almost $400 a cord and it needs to be just about perfect or your sales will suffer.
 

york

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This the machine that i am looking at,the throttle is nothing,that can be taken care of-the guy does make the 18-20 look bad,i am still interested in the 18-20..

One thing,i see is the splitting chamber,the sides,seem to be too high,how in the heck are you going to re-split,
 
Case1030

Case1030

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I don’t see how you could lower the tongue of the trailer without affecting the live deck but give it a go. It might work for you. Cordwood here is almost $400 a cord and it needs to be just about perfect or your sales will suffer.
Also just got off the phone with the cord king dealer.

Must have sharp chain and you can't slow down near the end of the cut or else it will just twist and drop on end

When you get to the last log cut turn the feed deck very slow and log will do a complete 180 landing perfectly into the v chamber.

Edit: I have done alot of wood by hand and no way is it close to being perfect. I believe my firewood quality will go up not the other way around...
 
cantoo

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Case1030, the hay elevators work fine it's just that you have to speed it up so that you don't get too many splits on each paddle, if you do they will flip over and fall back down ( depending on how steep your elevator is of course). If you have a long elevator it's no problem though just that's a lot of weight to slide up the steel. You can also add more paddles to make it like a grain elevator too.
As for the Cord King video, the guy seems to forget how to run it at the 2:00 mark. And why did he not start up the conveyor until it was all jammed up. Every conveyor will do that is it's not running.
My Wallenstein has a roller clamping system so it works better keeping that last section of the log in the infeed tray.
A dull chain will slow you up.
Stage the logs by diameter so that you save time by not moving the wedge up and down as this sometimes causes jams and eats time up quickly. Don't have to be perfect but the time really does add up if you are constantly going up and down with the wedge.
You are right about the conveyor being the issue. I mostly do ash logs and now with the bark falling off it gets caught under the chain sprockets at the bottom and top. It's a single chain style with little wings welded on to it. Now you know why I have 5 conveyors to use on my 36" orange splitter. I cut my owb wood to 32" long and don't use a conveyor at all for it. As I split the pieces fall off the end then pile up, splitting the next piece it will actually push the splitter down the row of rounds as I go.
 
CentaurG2

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Old school trick on a conveyor that is powered by the hydraulics on the processor is to stop the conveyor when cutting. Gives a little boost to the speed of the saw and more power to the ram. However, a lot of time you forget to turn it back on.
 
nathan4104

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Lots of good info here already but I’ll chip in too! I have a Blacks Creek model 1500. (Belt driven saw bar, simple) It’s got me started into a decent side business. I got it used but still affordable new to start out with.
I see you want up to 17” capacity. How much of your supply is really that big? I don’t often get that big so the few that are over 14-15” I set aside and do by hand. To get a bigger machine to do bigger wood is a lot more expensive as I’m sure you’ve learned. If you’re dealing with lots of big wood likely ok, but for 10% of your supply an extra $30-40g may not be worth it. Something to consider.
The largest logs I run through my splitter twice. Takes more time but again, for the amount that has to be, one has to ask how much that time is worth. If all the wood was big, that would be a different story. Of course all our areas are different in what we get for logs for firewood!
On my 13hp machine, I can do a cord (128cu-ft) an hour by myself, that’s with 8’ logs, on the nice size of 8-12” and straight. Once they get real small (3-4” we get lots of) and crooked, cause what mill wants crooked wood, that will slow it up a bit. When I look to upgrade, I don’t often see any machines putting out much over 1.5-2 but for a whole lot more money than I have in my set up so it’s hard to justify.
I recently tried a Hakki pro 38. It was an awesome machine and likely would do ~2 cord an hour.
I’m doing 150 cord a year, and could easily double if I had the time. A faster machine is only 1/3 the equation though, still have to deliver it, move logs around, clean up, keep the missus happy.....
Also, the smaller machine is very portable so I go to folks places just to process their wood which is also a nice way to do it. The self loading processor saves having to take a machine to load and can be towed with a pick-up.
 
cantoo

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CentaurG2, I wondered if that was the case and that's why I said it looks like he forgot how to run the machine at the 2:00 minute mark. He looked at the conveyor and the pile of splits but kept letting it get worse. I think I would have shot a new video but I have no idea of the reason behind the video, it sure wasn't a flattering video for sales though. I've shot a couple of videos and sent them straight to the garbage pail a time or two myself.
We need to remember that these smaller machines are designed and priced to save labor and money. You can build a house with a $20 hammer or buy a $500 gas operated nail gun, it'll still be a house when you are done.
 
Case1030

Case1030

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Lots of good info here already but I’ll chip in too! I have a Blacks Creek model 1500. (Belt driven saw bar, simple) It’s got me started into a decent side business. I got it used but still affordable new to start out with.
I see you want up to 17” capacity. How much of your supply is really that big? I don’t often get that big so the few that are over 14-15” I set aside and do by hand. To get a bigger machine to do bigger wood is a lot more expensive as I’m sure you’ve learned. If you’re dealing with lots of big wood likely ok, but for 10% of your supply an extra $30-40g may not be worth it. Something to consider.
The largest logs I run through my splitter twice. Takes more time but again, for the amount that has to be, one has to ask how much that time is worth. If all the wood was big, that would be a different story. Of course all our areas are different in what we get for logs for firewood!
On my 13hp machine, I can do a cord (128cu-ft) an hour by myself, that’s with 8’ logs, on the nice size of 8-12” and straight. Once they get real small (3-4” we get lots of) and crooked, cause what mill wants crooked wood, that will slow it up a bit. When I look to upgrade, I don’t often see any machines putting out much over 1.5-2 but for a whole lot more money than I have in my set up so it’s hard to justify.
I recently tried a Hakki pro 38. It was an awesome machine and likely would do ~2 cord an hour.
I’m doing 150 cord a year, and could easily double if I had the time. A faster machine is only 1/3 the equation though, still have to deliver it, move logs around, clean up, keep the missus happy.....
Also, the smaller machine is very portable so I go to folks places just to process their wood which is also a nice way to do it. The self loading processor saves having to take a machine to load and can be towed with a pick-up.
Thanks for taking the time to answer. You make a very good point. If 90% of our trees were smaller than 15 inches I would have saved myself probably 8k. The average log will be around 16" inchs but a machine limited to 16" inch logs would need it like a telephone pole straight. I thought long and hard... the issue I kept coming back to was being disappointed that I didn't shell out the extra cash for somthing that can handle our large diameter hardwood.

I feel confident in my decision. Now I am going to be able to put most if not all my logs through the processor. Anything over 18 inch I'm going to save for mill wood anyway.

Even though the maximum diameter for the 18-20 cord king is 20", I'd rather not do respliting and I'm pumped to have some nice lumber for the sacrifice.
 
Case1030

Case1030

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Trying to make a profit on firewood is a fools errand. You seem to be dedicated to prove that fact so go on with it. Hope you or your team has the means to bail you out when you finally discover that fact. Making firewood is poor mans work.
The goal is to not waste wood from clearing agricultural land. It's a shame seeing all of it pushed up and burned.

If I wasn't clearing land at the same time it wouldn't be worth purchasing wood. So yes your correct on it being hard making a profit buying the wood from loggers.

Ps. This isn't my full time job no bail out required for me. :rolleyes:
 
chiefs584ever

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I have a Blockbuster 14-12+ with some modifications that I am very happy with. Takes up to a 20" log. I have extended the live deck to accept a longer log and the cylinder and frame are beefed up for bigger work. I work by myself and have zero issues processing a semi load of wood per day by myself. This also includes a pup trailer.

Awesome machine that is built at a location less than 30 miles from my home.

I have attached a video of my machine in action with myself at the controls.


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