Chipper 101

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  • #176
How do you all check belt tension. Do you use a gauge, or just guesstimate it? The spec on mine is ¼" deflection @ 12-13#. I don't know how closely I can estimate that weight. A cheapo Chinese gauge is about $40 on amazon. Alternately, I guess I could use something like a stick, and put a saw on top. My 362 is close enough I think.
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  • #178
Good idea Burnham. I actually have a tension handle around here somewhere if I can find it. I used to have the idea of collecting antique survey equipment, and I picked one up at an antique shop. I need to remember where I last saw it ~25 years ago :^D
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  • #179
I have a project somewhere down the line, and I wonder if I should be scared to attempt it. The chipper needs a muffler. The one that's on it is a rusty disaster, and I'd want to just put in a new exhaust manifold if I did it. I haven't inspected closely, but I think it's about due for one, and it would make the muffler swap much easier for <$200 extra. How bad is it extracting rusty exhaust components? I'm guessing the studs would have to removed from the motor, and new stuff put in. Is that something I want to deal with, or is it better paying someone more experienced, and with all the proper tools to do the job? Everything is right there, but the rust and heat worry me.

Related... Would JB weld patch over rust if I wanted to try stopping some leaks in the meantime? Since both the manifold and muffler would be changed when the time came, sloppy JB Weld won't hurt anything, but if it's pointless to put it on rust, I wouldn't bother.
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  • #183
The problem I have is gaps between the manifold and muffler. I /may/ be able to bolt it up correctly, but I think it might be too rusty to do anything proper to it. I haven't looked at it really close yet. I had more pressing issues with the ignition, and didn't want to fill my head with unnecessary stuff, since the exhaust doesn't matter if it doesn't run correctly... Or at all. Mike and I had it on a job, and I was concerned we wouldn't be able to get the stuff chipped. For a bit, it seemed like we lost another cylinder.

Next thing on the list is valve adjustment. I'll order a gasket, and take care of that soon.

Kind of off topic... Do y'all have any opinion on how well typical rental companies maintain equipment? I'm wondering how sloppy they were caring for the chipper, and if that's typical. The anvil was never flipped since new. The hydraulic strainer doesn't look like it was ever removed, and I'm wondering if the valves were ever looked at. Do rental companies just do the bare minimum to keep equipment going, or was my chipper owner on the lame side, and some places take proper care of their stuff?
I've brazed them with success, and you can often find them online as well sometimes. Only use a grinder when cleaning, you don't want to spread the graphite from the cast all over the surface since it prevents stuff from sticking. I wouldn't use jbweld as my first option since it gets pretty hot, i would either weld it or braze it, and brazing is arguably better. Lots of people do the minimum, or even worse do the max incorrectly when working on stuff, you'll go insane trying to figure out why they messed it up that bad.
Run the engine up to temp, get it good and hot, then shut down and break the nuts/studs loose. That's basically the procedure in the Hanes manual for all my trucks, it's worked just fine for me on small engines when I'm worried about rust or heat cycles. I also try to give a nice, firm, square rap with a hammer on the stud, before and after I run the engine, just to try to jar things loose.
For touch ups I use this little carbide knife sharpener. It has two carbide inserts, handle, and cuts on the pull stroke. It works. Machine shop for sharpening.
I touched up my blades, yesterday. 5 minutes of work. Great results.

I don't recall how long it's been since changing blades.

I am very diligent about only chipping clean material, hauling off dirty rakings that have gravel.

I don't chip like many people, here, do. Limbs are commonly under 6" in diameter and relatively soft. Almost no dense hardwoods.

My ignition coil died two weeks ago. I grabbed a rental bc700 for a couple hours for a storm cleanup of geary oak and madrona, very hard and dense woods, locally.

What a slow, Pain in the neck.

We were both happy to have my usual chipper back.

I needed to sharpen up when brushy elm clogged my discharge chute.
My anvil gap is probably not optimal.
Brushy birch, not run through at a fast enough rpm is a clogger.

Better cutting seemed to greatly increase my discharge... not apples to oranges, as my throttle control is not marked for the range in which it can operate. Seemed to corollate, though.
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  • #187
I haven't had a clog yet(crosses fingers). That job with Mike I mentioned, I was running rpms way low so we could get the job done. I had the autofeed set to 2.5k high, 2.0k low. I was afraid it wouldn't pass the wood, but it all went through. That was maple. A different wood may have clogged with the same settings.
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  • #188
How do you grease trailer wheels like you'd find on a chipper? I'm unfamiliar with this stuff. This is what I'm looking at...


It's a rubber cap with a nipple shape in the middle. Is there a zerk under there? I had to clean grease off the cap to really see it. I want to ask before I start digging stuff apart, and breaking things. I guess I pry the cap out, add grease(how much?), recap?
Get some bearing buddy caps with a zerk, then replace the cap with the bearing buddy ones. Then you dont have to pull it apart to grease it, which is the normal way. Since those haven't been touched in years you might wanna pull them apart, clean them, then repack them.
I would wait till you have the new caps at least, and hopefully you don't need new bearings or even worse a spindle. You'll need to pull the cotter pin and unscrew the castle nut to get the bearings off, note how it comes apart so you can put it all back. Once you clean them up and get them spinning like new you can pack them, get a glob of new grease on your palm and scrape it off with the bearing, completely filling it with grease, aka packing it, even use your fingers to really work it in there, nitrite gloves are your friend obviously :lol: Clean the spindle and wheel hub, make sure the spindle isn't scored, and put it all back together. The bearing buddies replace your dust cap, and have a spring to push the grease through the bearings as they warm up. If you want to buy them locally most hardware stores should have them, as would any boating stores because they're a blessing for people with boats since the axles are submerged when launching so they need far more grease than normal trailers.
They even have auto grease feeders with springs on industrial equipment, and spring loaded oilers. Basically grease is cheap compared to repairing the equipment so it's ideally completely full of grease at all times, including on assembly. Wheel bearings normally don't take that much grease to keep healthy so its not like you're greasing an excavator or something, get them full and they're good for awhile, and they'll let you know. They will make sounds when they need attention, and I'll check on them when i park from a trip and see how warm they are, the temperature will tell you what's going on pretty quickly and you'll know when they need serviced if you don't have the grease caps. With the grease zerk caps you can see the spring and top so you can quickly see how much grease it has, and fill it when needed.
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  • #195
Ok, I pulled the caps off and found zerks. How much grease are you supposed to add? Squirt it til it oozes out? Something less? I put 8 shots in each zerk. Figured that was a compromise between the two, and certainly better than nothing.

I also found the zerk for the chute. It had a chunk of crud over it. I was wondering how you greased that. There's a couple holes in the top/bottom plates. I figured you just squirted grease in those holes, but that didn't seem right. Also tightened the chute plates so it has less play. Less bouncing around when hauling it.
They should have springs on them, the piece that has the zerk on it will move outwards as it's filled. You can't really overfill them, it'll just push grease out or shoot off the cap.