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Author Topic: Wood Processor on the Slide  (Read 3485 times)

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Offline jmur1

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Wood Processor on the Slide
« on: August 14, 2017, 11:46:51 am »
I had been splitting and cutting my firewood by hand (and logsplitter) for many years.   I also run a hobbie Woodmizer saw (LT30).  This means there is also a large supply of slab wood at my shop.  I wanted to design my own processor and looked around at the various options available.  I had a two-fold purpose to meet with this processor design - slabs and split firewood and I wanted both solutions to work concurrently.  Extensive chainsaw and buzz saw experience led me to lean in the large blade direction based on the blade maintenance and speed differences.  So when I saw a 26-1/2" Carbide blade advertised on Ebay for $100 we were off to the races! 8).  I bought the blade and started to layout how the new machine could work. 

 

          

Pic 1

From my original layout I quickly realized that a 26-1/2" Blade would not cut a large log.  At best we could get a hub to match the holes in the saw blade.  This fact meant we were at about 6 1/4" center hub removed from the blade radius which left us with approximately 10-1/8" Log Maximum.  This would work for alot of my wood requirements but not all. 
I spent some time considering different mechanisms that could utilize the limited radius of the saw blade.  As you can see from my model above in Pic 1 I looked at the the feasibility of a reciprocating lever arm with the blade mounted on the end of the reciprocating arm.  This design brought a whole new set of questions with it including how to power the blade that moves around the log.
The model was intended to represent a 20" log that I would typically see here with lots of twists in it.  The model was started with three (3) scrap access system masts that I had on hand.  The box under the log is a 10' belt conveyor that I bought with the intention of use with this machine.

 

 
         
Pic 2

I continued on with another concept.  If we came at the log from above we could drop down on each side with two degrees of freedom movement using a sliding up and down motion and a sliding across motion.  This concept is shown in Pic 2
Again this idea is challenged by the issue of powering the blade.  I suspect at this point we will need a minimum of 15 hp to run this blade and this powerpack would be cumbersome and heavy to move around with the blade.  I had to keep in mind that I wanted to be able to slide cut quantities of slabs easily with the new design.  I  estimated a slab bunch could be 10" high by 20" wide in cross-sectional area and the best way to cut them would be much like a large sliding radial arm or swing saw.   


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Offline jmur1

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Re: Wood Processor on the Slide
« Reply #1 on: August 16, 2017, 11:30:36 am »
This concept seemed promising but would need some revision and review. :P  Some time had already been spent researching the topic.  Utube and other internet resources showed a collection of smaller processors using chainsaw technology for the cut.  (I really only saw this unit as a comparable circular blade reference - See )  I wondered if a moving circular saw would raise issues that would be a non-starter if the saws restraints became worn or out of alignment.  I liked the idea of coming at the log from above with a sliding across motion.  I started to revise and layout this concept as shown in Pic 3
This idea is still challenged by the issue of powering the blade.  I set a steel plate at the rear of the saw to represent where the motor would mount (presumably to run a belt down to the rear of the blade shaft).  You can see from the light blue line the proposed path of the center of the saw blade.   

 

  

Pic 3
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Online Crusarius

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Re: Wood Processor on the Slide
« Reply #2 on: August 16, 2017, 12:23:53 pm »
I love being the guy to come up with crazy off the wall ideas that everyone thinks are dumb. But I wonder why would you try to make a circular blade for something like this when its going to cost quite a bit more and will probably never work the way you are going to need or want it to?
I knew what I thought I meant.

Offline 47sawdust

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Re: Wood Processor on the Slide
« Reply #3 on: August 16, 2017, 12:26:11 pm »
I had a Palax combi Wood processor for about 2 years.It maxxed out at 10'' diameter wood.Sometimes the blade wood bind in the cut which made life interesting.I didn't care for the circular blade in that set up.
Mick
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Offline jmur1

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Re: Wood Processor on the Slide
« Reply #4 on: August 16, 2017, 01:12:00 pm »
I love being the guy to come up with crazy off the wall ideas that everyone thinks are dumb. But I wonder why would you try to make a circular blade for something like this when its going to cost quite a bit more and will probably never work the way you are going to need or want it to?

Hi Crusarius:
There were many considered variables for this build.  The first and most important was efficiency.  I had noted with all of the big machines the massive diesel engines were on the order of 100 hp.  This seemed like a lot of wasted power and excessive overhead for a machine of this type.  This would be especially true in my area (Ontario, Canada) where all log piles consisted of large and small diameter logs.  So if half the time the processor is only using a small fraction of its available capacity, but still running at full revs; then there may be an opportunity here for an alternative design.
I do however have to agree with you - would I do it all again at this point?  Not sure if I would.
R and D costs were huge - I tried to minimize but still took a hit.  I learned alot....and in the end it does work quite well.  I'll post more as time allows. 
All in the name of keeping busy.  Thanks for your reply!     
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Offline jmur1

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Re: Wood Processor on the Slide
« Reply #5 on: August 16, 2017, 01:20:07 pm »
I had a Palax combi Wood processor for about 2 years.It maxxed out at 10'' diameter wood.Sometimes the blade wood bind in the cut which made life interesting.I didn't care for the circular blade in that set up.

Hi 47 Sawdust:
Very good point.  Binding is a major issue that came up.  A reworked log clamp and centrifugal blade clutch made it tolerable.  An experienced hand on the operator is also required. Thanks for your reply!     
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Offline hedgerow

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Re: Wood Processor on the Slide
« Reply #6 on: August 16, 2017, 03:11:57 pm »
jmur1
I have seen that utube firewood processor you posted and it seems to work ok. I like circular blades and run a 36 inch on what I call a buzz saw. On it the blade sits still and my table the wood is on slides the wood into the blade. I saw a lot of hedge wood on my buzz saw and never have to sharpen chains. Where you are cutting slab wood I think a circular blade is perfect. Know on my homemade processor I run a hyd motor with a 36 inch 404 chain and bar but we are cutting big wood with it. You try to go circular on big wood and the cost goes threw the roof.

Offline jmur1

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Re: Wood Processor on the Slide
« Reply #7 on: August 17, 2017, 11:15:18 am »
jmur1
I have seen that utube firewood processor you posted and it seems to work ok. I like circular blades and run a 36 inch on what I call a buzz saw. On it the blade sits still and my table the wood is on slides the wood into the blade. I saw a lot of hedge wood on my buzz saw and never have to sharpen chains. Where you are cutting slab wood I think a circular blade is perfect. Know on my homemade processor I run a hyd motor with a 36 inch 404 chain and bar but we are cutting big wood with it. You try to go circular on big wood and the cost goes threw the roof.
Hi Hedgerow:
It definitely crossed my mind to move the wood into the blade; for slabs I have seen the buzz saw you mentioned; but when it came to the logs that was too much to attempt - especially the big/long logs.  It was my old buzz saw that first inspired me to make something different.  Very good saw for its time but definitely room for improvement.  It  was an old belt driven saw converted with a wheel and PTO drive.  The PTO was set up so the wood was always interfering with the tractor tire.  That was an easy enough change to make but the saw was still a very dangerous unit overall.   

 

Thanks for your reply!
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Offline Corley5

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Offline jmur1

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Re: Wood Processor on the Slide
« Reply #9 on: August 17, 2017, 12:16:07 pm »
So I got to this design point here (see Pic4) when I started to notice some major issues.  The unit was 10' - 4" tall already without any wheels under it.  I stopped this revision without considering the cylinders or drives required based on this oversize.  The height and sizing of the mount frame was set by some basic assumptions on blade size (26-1/2"), speed (1200 rpm), and expected maximum potential load (500 lbs).  These numbers could be out the window but I would leave that up to future testing to determine.  But I was pretty sure I wanted to keep a 20" center on the 2 blade frame supports (2 horizontal brown tubes on the upper frame).  I was also wondering how well the slabs would cut with this design.  My latest testing has shown me this intuition was probably correct - loose slabs will fly if the blade is coming up at them.

 

 
 
Pic4         
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Offline jmur1

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Re: Wood Processor on the Slide
« Reply #10 on: August 17, 2017, 12:57:45 pm »
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Offline jmur1

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Re: Wood Processor on the Slide
« Reply #11 on: August 18, 2017, 12:40:00 pm »
This design spot was a bit of a stall for me.  (See Pic 5)
 

 
Pic 5

Was this idea of a 2-D moving circular saw ridiculous?.  There were many benefits that could be realized if I could make it work somehow.  Power Efficiency, a possible braking option, speed of cut, maintenance intervals,  and the multi-task (slab/log) ability.  I threw around a couple more concepts.  (see Pic 6 and Pic 7  Both were a rotating barrel concept with a set of steel guides for path.  There would be load runners in the horizontal direction and a sliding tube guide in the vertical.  This would not work well for the slabs but may work for the log cut.  I was not sure if I wanted this machine to include a whole bunch of sensors and controls (that would eventually fail), or if I simply wanted it to be a basic single acting mechanism that would run the cycle automatically for each cut.

 

  

Pic 6

 

 

Pic 7   
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Offline TKehl

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Re: Wood Processor on the Slide
« Reply #12 on: August 18, 2017, 03:44:25 pm »
Not a rediculous idea.  Multitek does it.  So does Helle.

http://www.4helle.com/slabsaw.html

I'm sure there are several others.

Following this thread with interest as I went down a similar thought pattern.  Mine went from PTO cord saw to the Helle to a homebuilt circular (for the insert teeth) to a hydraulic drive chainsaw to giving up on all that and building what I'm working on now... a mounted Stihl 066 at then end of some roller conveyor mounted on the side of a flatbed trailer.  Feeds to splitter then conveyor to dump trailer.  (Splitter can be bypassed for small stuff)  Will eat crooked stuff, odd sizes, and waste slabs.  I'm concerned about branch stubs getting hung up on the feed conveyor, so I will probably end up wrapping it in baler belts.  Doing it this way as I already had most of the stuff.  Only had to buy the roller conveyor and some fabrication.

I figure anything to big to handle with this set up should probably be milled anyway.   ;)
Lucas 6-13+slabber, Mr. Sawmill bandmill, orange chainsaws, JD SSL, Case Backhoe, farm tractors, trailers, and 150ish acres of trees.  Fledgling woodshop with CNC router, laser engraver, Woodmaster 712, and a Berlin 108 moulder (project).  Oh, and a lovely (patient) wife and four offbearers.

Offline hedgerow

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Re: Wood Processor on the Slide
« Reply #13 on: August 18, 2017, 06:16:02 pm »
TKehl
I tried a heavy duty roller conveyor that came out of a factory that they rolled lumber and cabinets on them even with the roller close together seem like a piece from a cut off limb with stop the log from rolling. Belting might help but I worried how it would hold up to the larger logs. So I put shafts and sprockets and made it live to feed the logs.

Offline TKehl

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Re: Wood Processor on the Slide
« Reply #14 on: August 18, 2017, 07:46:12 pm »
Hedgerow, I appreciate your concern and it is something I've thought about.  I know it will be best suited for polewood and slabs and I am ok with that.  We have a lot of timber to thin, so I haven't cut much big stuff in the last couple years other than to hold the fire on cold nights.  I my splitter doesn't even get used much.  I've got a 12" x 12" door on my outdoor furnace and "if it fits it ships burns".   ;D

Here is my inspiration (via Lopet):


Have any pictures of your setup? 
Lucas 6-13+slabber, Mr. Sawmill bandmill, orange chainsaws, JD SSL, Case Backhoe, farm tractors, trailers, and 150ish acres of trees.  Fledgling woodshop with CNC router, laser engraver, Woodmaster 712, and a Berlin 108 moulder (project).  Oh, and a lovely (patient) wife and four offbearers.

Offline jmur1

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Re: Wood Processor on the Slide
« Reply #15 on: August 18, 2017, 09:47:12 pm »
Not a rediculous idea.  Multitek does it.  So does Helle.

http://www.4helle.com/slabsaw.html

I'm sure there are several others.

Following this thread with interest as I went down a similar thought pattern.  Mine went from PTO cord saw to the Helle to a homebuilt circular (for the insert teeth) to a hydraulic drive chainsaw to giving up on all that and building what I'm working on now... a mounted Stihl 066 at then end of some roller conveyor mounted on the side of a flatbed trailer.  Feeds to splitter then conveyor to dump trailer.  (Splitter can be bypassed for small stuff)  Will eat crooked stuff, odd sizes, and waste slabs.  I'm concerned about branch stubs getting hung up on the feed conveyor, so I will probably end up wrapping it in baler belts.  Doing it this way as I already had most of the stuff.  Only had to buy the roller conveyor and some fabrication.

I figure anything to big to handle with this set up should probably be milled anyway.   ;)

Hi TKehl:
That is a very interesting unit - the "Helle" is similar in many ways to my machine and I hadn't seen it before.  Cool thanks for the info!
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Offline jmur1

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Re: Wood Processor on the Slide
« Reply #16 on: August 20, 2017, 07:26:04 pm »
After staring at this frame for awhile (see Pic 8 ) and working over the computer model in various cut positions, I had several problems that were still present in the design. 
 

 

Pic 8

Problem 1:  The proposed unit was too tall - with trailer wheels it would not be stable or easily transportable.
Problem 2:  The cut mechanism did not have a "good" home position where the log or slabs could be indexed ahead while not interfering with the splitter or the moving wood.
Problem 3:  The cutting head unit and the engine together would be heavy, and would therefore require a very heavy guide system in return.  This would work against the efficiency concept for half the cut.  This was not mention the arrangement of connections required.

On the side I had been watching for potential bargains - (used and new) to help with the build.
In considering the available hydraulic controls and I had found a very good price on a 6-way directional control valve and picked that up.    (See Pic 9 -similar

  )

Pic 9

This purchase gave me an idea for the next important step in the evolution of this project.  I already had a moving horizontal frame (which could be easily located with a long hydraulic cylinder).  Now I had enough hydraulic control capacity to add another arm to this frame that could be assisted by gravity to lower, when in large log cutting mode.

I now expected the following requirements for control valves:

1 - run conveyor motor
2- run cross cylinder
3- run vertical cylinder
4- run splitter knife set
5- run splitter
6- run wood clamp

It was the concept of using gravity that helped me to come up with the big step.  I would lever the saw arm with a cylinder and beam and locate the engine at the pivot point.  See Pic 10.

 

 

Pic 10

Problem 1:  The proposed unit was too tall - with trailer wheels it would not be stable or easily transportableThis was still a problem - but somewhat improved
Problem 2:  The cut mechanism did not have a "good" home position where the log or slabs could be indexed ahead while not interfering with the splitter or the moving wood.  Solved
Problem 3:  The cutting head unit and the engine together would be heavy, and would therefore require a very heavy guide system in return.  This would work against the efficiency concept for half the cut.  This was not mention the arrangement of connections required.   Solved - The weight of the head with out the engine or hanging lines was greatly reduced

It was here that I start to review the design for strength and layout the preliminary design. 
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Offline jmur1

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Re: Wood Processor on the Slide
« Reply #17 on: August 22, 2017, 03:11:33 pm »
The processor main frame was the first item up for design review.  The frame was modeled with some additional bracing and run through some basic static tests. (See Pic 11)  I was able to look at the frame and determine a predicted loading based on the various cutting operations.

 

 

Pic 11

A quick review of the frame showed some further bracing was advised so that was added.  (See Pic 12 sample review results)

 

 

Pic 12
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Offline dave_dj1

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Re: Wood Processor on the Slide
« Reply #18 on: August 22, 2017, 06:23:11 pm »
You will be miles ahead if you just throw that blade out and buy a bigger blade. If you go with the blade you have, use your design that has the blade moving up around, power it with an electric motor so it can move easily.

Offline jmur1

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Re: Wood Processor on the Slide
« Reply #19 on: August 23, 2017, 12:57:37 pm »
You will be miles ahead if you just throw that blade out and buy a bigger blade. If you go with the blade you have, use your design that has the blade moving up around, power it with an electric motor so it can move easily.

Hi dave_dj1:

Appreciate your comments.  One of the big benefits of the small blade is the low power requirement.  Another one is the ability to stop it quickly when accessing the cut area.   Electric is an option but for now I will keep the gas engine for ease of remote operation.  Thanks for the reply!
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