Wood chunker project

I have been trying to get some kind of chunker, lined up so when I get my gasifier running I will not have to be cutting up scrap with a skilsaw, I have a pallet grinder, that will grind 8 x 8 beams 12 ft long in 18 seconds, the problem is the chips are too busted up and splintered, not good to burn in a gasifier. ?? last year I tried building a chunker that was driven by a high torque hydraulic motor, powered by a bobcat skid steer, (it operated like Wayne’s chunker except it worked off a vertical shaft instead of a horizontal shaft, I could not get enough torque to chunk anything bigger than 2 inch in diameter, so I have had to re-think my future need of a chunker. I have decided to make a third attempt at getting something to chunk wood with, they say three times is a charm >?? I do not think I will need anything big or expensive, just something simple and efficient , something that I can chunk up , 200 to 500 lbs of wood in a hr, enough to run my gasifier 8 to 12 hrs, ??? So my third attempt I started today 4-20-12. I am posting photos, we have 5 hrs in it so far, and the only things that I have bought so far is an ( I beam and an hydraulic cylinder ) the rest came out of our metal that we already had, this beast is a cross between a log splitter a hydraulic press and a guillotine , LOL.





Hi Dave,

Moved ya to the Projects forum, I think everyone want to see your chunker. It’s on my project list too - I have a hungry beast and feeding it with a hatchet is a lot of work… Interested in your ideas.

Hi Dave,

Check this thing out. I thought about a drill bit 4 diameter inch or so.

DETAILS, ?? IF ANYONE HAS ANY IDEAS TO HELP ME, FINISH THIS PROJECT LET ME KNOW, I LIKE TO HEAR AND DISCUSS IDEAS, , ALL I HAVE RIGHT NOW IS MY OWN IDEAS IN MY HEAD, NOTHING ON PAPER .AND A LOT OF THE TIME MY IDEAS DO NOT WORK OUT, BUT THAT DOES NOT STOP ME FROM TRYING AGAIN, I COMPARE THIS NEW WOOD CHUNKER TO A PERSONAL SIZE PIZZA LOL. WE ALL BUY EXTRA LARGE SUPER SIZE PIZZA,S WHEN WE HAVE FRIEND.S OF FAMILY OVER TO OWER HOUSE,. BUT WHEN I AM OUT WORKING DRIVING MY TRUCK, WHEN I STOP FOR LUNCH I JUST BUY A PERSONAL SIZE PIZZA, IT,S ALL I NEED, SO I AM BUILDING THIS CHUNKER, AS A PERSONAL SIZE, JUST FOR ME TO CHUNK WOOD FOR ONE GASIFIER, IT WILL BE WHAT I NEED UNTIL IF AND WHEN I MAY OR MAY NOT NEED SOMETHING BIGGER AND FASTER SOMEDAY ?? MAYBE. I HAVE TALKED TO TWO HYDRAULIC EXPERTS, AND THEY THINK IT WILL WORK IF I POWER IT WITH A LARGE CAPACITY HYDRAULIC PUMP, THEY SAY THE PUMP AND THE CYLINDER, ARE THE KEY , TO ( FAST AND POWERFUL ) I AM I AM STILL EXPLORING THE IDEA OF POWERING IT WITH A SKID STEER, AND MAKE IT LIKE A BOBCAT ATTACHMENT, BUT IF A BOBCAT DOES NOT HAVE THE CAPASITY, TO POWER IT I MAY HAVE TO BUY AN ELECTRICLY POWERED HYDRAULIC PUMP WITH A HIGH GPM RATING ?? WE ARE BUILDING THE FRAME LIKE A 50 TON PRESS, WITH A 30 TON RATED HYDRAULIC CYLINDER, IT WILL OPERATE LIKE A GULITINE, IT WILL HAVE A BLADE THAN IS ANGLED NOT STREIGHT ACROSS, IT WILL HAVE ADJUSTIBLE LIMIT SWITCHES, SO I CAN SET THE LENGTH OF THE STROKE, I MAY ONLY NEED A 6 INCH STROKE ?? SO WITH A 6 INCH STROSE I AM HOPING TO BE ABLE TO GET 40 TO 60 CYCLES PER MINUTE ??

If you use a blade you will have to strike the wood on an angle and not perpendicular to the grain. Think of how a wood chisel works and try some different stuff.

THANK YOU WOODY, YES I HOPE TO HAVE THE BLADE SIMULAR TO A GULITINE BLADE, WITH AN ANGLE ,AND ITS EDGE LIKE A CHISEL, ALSO I THINK FEEDING THE WOOD INTO IT SHOULD BE DONE AT A 45 DEGREE ANGLE INSTEAD OF STREIGHT IN AT A 90 TO THE BLADE ??

Waynes chunker is good for 1 inch stock from what I see. If you have larger stock, then a different strategy will be in order. A big drill bit can really chew up the wood and it is on that angle already and it’s quiet. Keep posting and keep going that’s how break throughs happen…look at Edison. Yes on the angle, but go ahead and fool around with a chisel and see what that does at different angles.

how about just building a firewood rick platform where you can lay up horizontally quite a pile of 1"-3" poles say 6’ to 16’ long (just as many of us do to use up all those hardwood tree tops for firewood that otherwise would be a pain to bother cutting up one by one. i take a chain saw and move along the platform, cutting every 16" normally to cut down through the pile, cutting through 10 to 20 poles at a time with each cut. so instead of cutting every 16" just cut every 2" (or whatever your target length is). i lay a layer of sacrificial 2x6s on the bottom to provide a floor to hold all the finished product at waist height to make it fairly easy to scoop up the wood in my arms, or in the case of 2" long chunks, sweep them into a bucket. does any of that make sense?

I visited Mr.Keith to get a first hand look at his chunker machine and check out the V-10, and I would say his axle style chunker could be classified as a cicular guillotine. It is interesting to see variations that people can come up with, but It looked to me like it would handle up to 3-4" in slab form, and he says the wood chunks better when wet. I was thinking of making something with hydraulics, but do not have anything strong enough, and think a “chopper” style movement would be slower than using a rotational cut.

Woody, I notice in the video link above that awesome industrial sized spiral cutting chunker has a couple of things going on.

  1. The cutter is more of a knife edge with a pitch similar to a very large screw (2-3" pitch and 8-10" diameter ?)
  2. the feed angle looks to be less than 45 degrees (could not tell if it is adjustable)
  3. not sure if it does a cross cut before spitting it out on the conveyer.(could have some kind of striker between the screw planes or something?)

I am really impressed with the machine, but one thing that amazes me is how the length of the log is totally unsupported once this contraption sinks its teeth into a piece. It draws the log in, pressing through the log and pulling it along at a steady pace, spitting out chunks faster than you can say “get another wheelbarrow”.

Oh, BTW. I’m planning a small rear-end style chunker, spun by a 15HP motor. Now thinking about use of an auger blade somehow, I would consider a screw type chunker for sure…

A few of you might remember my chunker project from last year. You can find out how it came to be by looking up “mobile chuncker” over at yahoo.
In summary, once I got it “dialed in” it worked for a little while untill one of my splitting claws hit the table. I believe the main driving shaft had too much flex and needs another bearing next to the sprocket. I plan on going back to it one day. Might have to step up the motor.

In the meantime, a tablesaw has been my best friend. For a 110volt wood processer, they have simillar lbs/hour. I guess you don’t get something for nothing!

http://www.advantage-drillbits.com/auger.html

I tried a 1 inch auger bit inside a piece of pipe and I liked what I saw as a demo. I have a lot of short dry 2X4 pieces of yellow pine hard as nails that need to be processed. I thought about an auger on a large electric motor with speed control, or gear it. If you have ever used a large auger bit, once it grabs the wood it pulls itself through at just about any angle. Right now I use a 14 inch band saw with 4 teeth to the inch to cut blocks. I can cut a several hundred pounds in an hour and it is fairly quiet and safe. With a larger motor on the band saw, I could double the production.

JUST THINKING, ( I DO SOME OF MY BEST THINKING WHEN I WAKE UP BEFORE I GET UP IN THE MORNINGS , OR WHILE I AM DRIVING MY TRUCK ) THERE IS A WOOD PALLET FACTORY, NEAR TO US ABOUT ONE BLOCK, THEY SET OUT STACKS OF WOOD THEY DO NOT WANT, NEXT TO THE ROAD IT IS BOARDS ALL ABOUT 4 FT. LONG A LOT OF IT IS OAK, IF MY WOOD SHEAR HAS ENOUGH POWER SAY 30 TONS +++ I THINK I WILL BE ABLE TO CUT SEVERAL PIECES AT THE SAME TIME THE WIDTH OF THE THROAT IS GOING TO BE ABOUT 16 - 18 INCHES, AND I BOUGHT A SUPER DUTY 5 INCH CYLINDER WITH A 1 1/4 INCH ROD AND A 14 INCH STROKE, SEE THE PICTURE, I THINK I MAY BE ABLE TO CUT SEVERAL BOARDS AT ONE TIME, ??? WHEN I GET IT BUILT , HOPEFULLY THIS WEEK ??. I AM GOING TO LOAD IT UP AND TAKE IT TO A HYDRAULIC SHOP AND GET THIER OPINION OF HOW BIG A PUMP I WILL NEED TO OPERATE IT, HOW MANY GALLONS PER MINUTE DO I NEED AT 3000 POUNDS PRESSURE.??? ANYONE ON DRIVE ON WOOD KNOW ???

Before I made the wood chunker I used a table saw and it did well. I had a 5 gal bucket with the bottom cut out and tied to the saw table with the sacks pulled up over the bucket. The bags would fill as I sawed.

If you are building a mechanical wood chunker a fly wheel can be used and the horse power requirement will be about half.

If you can chunk the wood while it is green it needs about half the force .

I just priced out a piece of ribbon flighting for a screw chunker. I am thinking of making one like Laimet PS-10 model. The flight I got a price on is 24in long to fit a 3.5 in od pipe or shaft. It is 7.5 in on the OD to go inside an 8in x3/16in wall pipe. The pitch on the flight is about 2in and is 3/4 in thick. They are even going to cut a 45deg bevel to the edge, all I will have to do is hard face and grind. I can get one flight for 361.00, or if I get two the price goes down to 280.00 and down from there for more pieces. My supplier told me the setup charge on the cnc equipment to make it is where most of the cost comes in. I may get two.
David S.

Hi David,
I had to do some research to learn the new terms about the screw auger, and I found a nice PDF with good drawings at http://www.drivesinc.com/auger-PDFs/augr-refrnce.pdf .

I was thinking about using a screw auger on a rear end in place of one of the axles, and make the axle housing into a large tube with that the auger would rotate inside…Is the profile you mention a conveyer auger ? How are you thinking of setting one up ?

HEY GARY, THANK YOU FOR THE INFO. I SAVED IT, I FOUND A COMPANY THAT BUILDS AUGERS AT A VERY GOOD PRICE, THEY BUILT ONE FOR ME 3 1/3 DIAMETER X FOUR FT. 33.00 . SEE THE PHOTO. I AM GOING TO INSTALL IT HORIZONTALLY TO REMOVE THE ASH FROM THE GASIFIER. THIS WILL ALLOW ME TO LOWER MY GASIFIER ABOUT 10 TO 12 INCHES SO I CAN ADD THAT TO THE HEIGHT OF THE CHIP HOPPER . THEN I AM DESIGNING MY HOPPER SO I CAN LATER ADD AN AUGER FEED IF I WANT TO ?? THAT WOULD ALLOW ME TO ADD A LARGE AULIXARY HOPPER FOR LONG RUNS , THAT IS ONE REASON I HAVE A FLAT BED TRUCK TO MOUNT MY GASIFIER TO, SO I WILL HAVE ROOM FO A LARGE CAPACITY HOPPER MOUNTED TO THE FLOOR, I KNOW THIS IS ALL IDEAS, BUT I TRY TO PUT LEGS ON MY IDEAS. LOL THE COMPANY THAT BUILT MY AUGER IS PERRY EQUIPMENT, SPECIATY AUGERS, IN CLOVERDALE, INDIANA PHONE 1 765 362- 2295

UPDATE, I AM POSTING PHOTO,S TAKEN TODAY 4-26-12



Gary,
The page you found is a good reference. So if you look at the page you see the different “pitches” of flighting as well as other specs. Well what I would get would be like a 1/4 pitch auger which is not shown, they show 1/2 pitch as closest. So I will get a auger to fit inside an 8in pipe at 1/4 pitch so about 2in center to center on the flights. Next the flight thickness will be 3/4in and have a 45deg bevel on the outside edge. I will hard surface the 45deg face and finish grind. The cutting action will take place by the wood feeding into the side of the 8in auger tube into the flighting at a 45deg angle. I guess before I do to much explaining the best bet would be to google Laimet screw chippers, and you will get there website. The have videos on there of thier units. I want to build one like the PS-10 model, pto driven. Like I said I can buy a single piece of the flight I am talking about for 361.00 for 2ft long. Then the housing needs to be made, and the center tube to weld the flight on etc. If I exclude my labor,I want to get it done for around a 1000. I of course can do all the work myself, just have to buy the materials.

Dave,
Looks beefy!!! I am not quite understanding how it will make chunks/chips that you will be able to autofeed through the auger you pictured. Looks like it would also make an awesome vertical log splitter!
Did you ever get that F350 flatbed all done where you lengthened the frame and such? Last pics I saw were over on VGW when it was up yet.
David S.

I am very interested in your project David. Do you have any estimates for chip size? That 3/4 flight sounds pretty big. It needs to be beefy though.
Terry