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My firewood processor build

Discussion in 'Firewood, Heating and Wood Burning Equipment' started by muddstopper, Apr 10, 2015.

  1. Jakers

    Jakers Owner - Arbor Jake's Tree Service, LLC

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    always best to "pull" with the drive system on any chain or belt
     
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  2. muddstopper

    muddstopper Addicted to ArboristSite

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    Conveyor is belt driven. I'll get a picture tomorrow.
     
  3. kevin j

    kevin j Addicted to ArboristSite

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    Drive should be on the top end if possible. If it's on the bottom the full tension is on the bottom which puts twice the bearing load on the top and also makes alignment and tension a lot more critical. Slack accumulates at the very bottom of the bottom and it can be a problem.
    One of the big advantages of hydraulic drive. It's easy to put a small compact powerful motor any place you want it
     
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  4. muddstopper

    muddstopper Addicted to ArboristSite

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    Got processor and conveyor set on trailer and put wife car in the shop for a brake job. First time I have been able to get anything of any size in the shop in over a year. Bad news is, I got the wifes car in the shop to work on. I ended up throwing my back out trying to remove the lug nuts on the tires. My impact wouldnt budge them. I ended up using a 4way lug wrench with a cheater pipe to break them loose. Now there just aint any sense in putting lugs on a car that tight. I called the tire shop that had put on the tires to complain. I wasnt ***** complaining, I just wanted him to know what the guys in the shop where doing. If I had of had a flat on the road somewhere, there is no way I would have been able to change a tire. My 4way looks like a horseshoe and my back feels like crap. My next set of new tires I will be watching when they tighten the lugs. If they put another impact on them, I am going to wait until they set the car back on the ground and then ask them to take a lug wrench and break them all loose before I leave.

    Now that car is out of shop, I think my next item is to build the knuckle boom. With the floor clean, I can lay everything out and figure where to start drilling, cutting and welding. Good news is the retirement board approved my disability claim Monday, first check due Dec 1st. I might be able to afford a few of the remaining parts I need to finish this thing.
     
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  5. Kevin in Ohio

    Kevin in Ohio Addicted to ArboristSite

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    I had that happen on a company truck where I worked out of high school. Knew the owner of the shop and when I got back from getting a new set of tires I tried to break the lugs loose. Broke a US made breaker bar with a 4ft pipe. I proceeded to get back in the truck and go to the tire shop. Called the owner out and said do you guys still require your tech to torque lugs by hand and he replied yes. I told him to get the guy who did did the truck and have him come out. He did and I asked him if he hand torqued them and he said yes in front of his boss. I then reached in the truck and gave him a standard 1/2 inch ratchet and extension and told him to break them loose. His eyes got like saucers and the owner knew what was coming. After straining his guts out and his face turning red the owner told him to pull it in the shop and that if another customer came in with the same complaint he was going to be looking for another job. After he left the owner thanked me. I now take a breaker with me when I get new tires so I don't waste a trip. Happens about 50% of the time at various shops.
     
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  6. NSMaple1

    NSMaple1 Addicted to ArboristSite

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    Have been there before - no fun.

    And this might sound weird - but check your valve stem caps too. Almost as important. I almost got stuck out once. Noticed a tire way down, and managed to find an air hose. Big whew. But then I couldn't get the damned cap off the valve stem - no way no how. I had to wait there for almost half an hour until someone came by that had a set of pliers so I could get the cap off. Looked like it had a trace of some kind of silicony stuff on it - even with the pliers it didn't come off real easy. All four wheels were like that. Something so simple.....
     
  7. muddstopper

    muddstopper Addicted to ArboristSite

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    I was very tempted to take the car back to the tire shop, but I was in a hurry to get done. Hind site, I should have stopped at the first rounded lugnut and took it back. My back would feel better for sure. Up to now, I have had good service with the tire store owners and they have been very good about fixing my little tractor tires, and they are usually cheaper than the big tire stores when it comes to my cars and trucks. When I called them, I didnt make a big scene, I just wanted him to know he needed to check up on what the guys in the shop where doing. When I need new tires again, I plan on taking my shiny new, bent up, 4way with me just for effect.

    Enough of that complaining, now I got to find the knuckle boom plans I had saved on my puter. For some reason, it aint where I thought I put it, and I cant find it again on the web.
     
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  8. muddstopper

    muddstopper Addicted to ArboristSite

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    found it, http://www.crowsnest.us/sawmill/log_boom_construction.htm
    This setup is pretty close to what I had in mind. I already bought the Valby rotator, and the grapple I will build is pretty similar to what these guys built. My boom rotation will work the same way as theirs, except I have already mocked up a 44000 truck hub assembley to mount the boom on. My boom will be 5x5 1/4in tube. I havent figured out the exact total reach, but I have 20ft of tubing to work with. I am going to be doing a cyl swap from my original plans. A few months ago I traded up some boom cyl's from a bucket truck. These cyl have built in counter balance valves and are a little bigger dia and stroke. This will probably make the boom have more lifting power so I will have to set pressures a little lower to prevent bending or breaking something. They will certainly change my geometry, so I have got to refigure all the angles.. Probably a good thing I didnt drill any of the mounting holes back when I first figured this stuff out.

    I have struggled with where I want to mount the loader on the processor. My thoughts where to mount the loader up front on the trailer, but operate the loader from the rear where I would be while splitting. I didnt like the ideal of slinging a log toward me or over my head when loading, so I decided to mount the loader in front of the operator seat where I could stay behind the log. Problems with weight distribution quickly surfaced, not to mention trying to attach a boom to the trailer around the splitting cyl and beam, saw and log clamp; and visibility trying to look over everything trying to pick a log off the ground. So I have went back to mounting on the front of the trailer. I will probably just go ahead and mount the control valves for loader up on the tongue. Having the loader on the front will also make it easier to load stuff on and off the truck. One other advantage of mounting the boom on the trailer is, if I ever set the processor off the trailer, I could use a small gas engine and pump to power the loader and have a ready made fowarder. Dont know how hard it will be to set the processor on and off trailer, probably not very easy, Tractor on one end and loader picking up the other, might not be to bad. Set processor on the ground and haul logs to it on the trailer.
     
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  9. dave_dj1

    dave_dj1 Addicted to ArboristSite

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    Can't wait to see it in action. I started a grapple a while back and kind of gave up on it. this may be the inspiration I need to pick it back up.
     
  10. Cody

    Cody ArboristSite Operative

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    The thing about getting them that tight is that the threads can get stretched enough that the required torque spec in the future might actually not be sufficient and you risk them backing off. Even worse is that it can fatigue that stud to the point of failure too, never know when it will fail though. I use a 1/4" cordless drill to run lug nuts on, it's rated max torque is in inch pounds so I know it's not going to rattle them on too tight, at the same time I've never had a lug nut turn more than half a turn when torquing either. Tight is tight people, don't get me started on drain plugs or filters either...
     
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  11. ValleyFirewood

    ValleyFirewood Addicted to ArboristSite

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    You talking about the log trough? I would drive it from the end near the saw. I also would not make it 14ft, that's really short. Figure even 1/2 of a tree length log will be 20-25ft. Better would be to handle tree length as most of the larger processors do.
     
  12. muddstopper

    muddstopper Addicted to ArboristSite

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    Valley, I understand what your saying, but I dont normally get whole trees. Also my trailer is only 18ft long. With the wedge end at the back of the trailer, then add the distance back to the pusher plate, A 14ft conveyor is about all I can set on it. At any rate, 14ft of a 20ft log will set on the conveyor with just 6ft hanging off the end, without over balancing. Not perfect,, but I think adequate for what wood I will see. I might have to fire up a saw every now and then, but it wouldnt be often enough to pose any real problems. I am also building this thing on a budget that got very tight when I had to have my knee replacement. Working with what I have and what I have accumilated once I conceived the ideal to build the processor. There are a few ideals I have changed my mind about once I started this build, and will probably change my mind on others as I move forward. So I do appreciate any and all suggestions that you and others have given.
     
  13. Yarz

    Yarz ArboristSite Lurker

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    I can't wait to see this part of your build!
    I've built a few simple things (bumpers, etc), and have plans for more, but never considered that a grapple boom would even be in the realm of a DIY project. But seeing the closeups on that website make it seem "almost" simple after you've done all the math to design reach/capacity/etc and break it down into individual sections. Very cool stuff!
     
  14. muddstopper

    muddstopper Addicted to ArboristSite

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    The math is the hard part. Geometry never was my strong suite. When I first conceived the ideal of building a loader, I tried drawing it out in autocad. I never had any learning in that stuff either. I fooled with it for days and finally got a buddy to come over and show me how to use autocad.. Only thing was, his version of autocad was about 10years older than the version I had downloaded so he couldnt make it work either. He finally did the drawing on his laptop and we imported to my autocad which did reconize the much older version of the software. Once we figured it out how to actually do the design, I found it much easier to just sweep up the shop floor and lay everything out there. A Ruler and chalkline and a piece of string and I had it laidout on the floor in just a few minutes. Now that I have decided to use different size cyl's, I have to do it all over again. I just hope I can remember how. The pic is the first time I laid it out, dont know if you can see it on screen 0509151048a.jpg
     
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  15. muddstopper

    muddstopper Addicted to ArboristSite

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    Well, after a good discussion with a good engineer, I decided not to use the belted conveyor I had planned on for advancing the log. While I still think it would work, The need to change a few things, as well as buying a new belt, just makes sense building one from scratch. I will use the gear box, but think I will go with log rollers instead of a belt. I have considered a conveyor chain, but the cost of the chain and then modifying would cost about the same as building the log rollers. Using rollers also means I can mount the gear box on either end if I need to.
     
  16. Jakers

    Jakers Owner - Arbor Jake's Tree Service, LLC

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    ive seen a few nice ones with rollers. they are usually hourglass shaped with teeth and all the driven ones are chain driven. seem to work well
     
  17. muddstopper

    muddstopper Addicted to ArboristSite

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    I have looked at quite a few too, just not in person. I think I will probably make the rollers 8-10in dia, space them 2 ft apart and make everyone chain driven. Might make a roller for the log clamp and run it off the other rollers. Make it rise and fall with an air cyl so I can keep a steady pressure on the log as it advances. Just throwing ideals around in my head, dont know, might make it over complicated
     
  18. Jakers

    Jakers Owner - Arbor Jake's Tree Service, LLC

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    Spring pressure with hydraulic assist works well on choppers but is rather cumbersome. I imagine through the use of a lever it could be made smaller so it's not a 1-1 on the moving parts
     
  19. rancher2

    rancher2 ArboristSite Operative

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    Muddstopper
    Since you are going to build the feed system from scratch might think about a overhead shuttle grapple like Multitek uses then the feed system and the clamp is covered. With a overhead shuttle big crooked wood is no problem to feed or clamp for the saw.
     
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  20. muddstopper

    muddstopper Addicted to ArboristSite

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    I went and looked at the Multitek grapple feed. I dont have a cyl anywhere near long enough to build one. Been doing a little math on the cost of building a hourglass roller feed system. Havent got a complete list yet, but it looking like its going to be $500-$700 range and I have a bunch of stuff I can use to build it. Adding a long cyl and grapple with a cyl, building the slide frame and supports, not sure what the cost would be, but I would endup buying a lot of parts I dont already have. Something to consider but not the direction I am leaning.
     
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