Chipper Chipper Blade Sharpening

   #1  

Jibber

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Feb 22, 2003
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324
Location
RD-13, Putnam County, New York
Tractor
Kubota L3130HST 4WD, BX2350
I have a Bearcat 70554 PTO driven chipper/shredder (new this summer). Today I cranked it up for the second time. Both Times I have used it, I've had a fairly good pile of tree limbs, branches and such to chip. Most of the stuff I chip is blowdowns.. dead stuff. Although I'd say about 20% is green.

Bearcat says when the unit stops self feeding then the blades need sharpened. It seems that this happens pretty quickly. The first time chipping there was a noticeable drop in self feeding after about two hours. Today it was more like an hour. I did sharpen the blades after the first use.

Bearcat advises to mix green and dead stuff to keep the blades cooler. Because I'm chipping mostly dead stuff I try to keep it slow so that the blades don't get too hot. But it still seems that they dull rather quickly.

My question.. for those of you with chippers, how often do you sharpen the chipper blades? Am I expecting too much from the blades? I don't need it to rip things out of my hands, but I don't like to have to push limbs in to get them to chip either. (I had enough of that with my old sears gas powered chipper).
 
   #2  

CTyler

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Dec 20, 2002
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1,538
Location
Blair, Ne.
Tractor
L3130
I have a Jinma 6" chipper but it has a feed roller to pull stuff. The manual, if I remember correctly, said to sharpen the blades after 8 hours. Or if the chips are more like shards instead of chips they need sharpened.

I've chipped many yards and they are still ok. Really small stuff comes out kinda funky but 2-3"+ stuff is chipped up ok.

I'd think they should/would last quite a bit longer than what your getting.
 
  
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#3  
OP
Jibber

Jibber

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Feb 22, 2003
Messages
324
Location
RD-13, Putnam County, New York
Tractor
Kubota L3130HST 4WD, BX2350
It's a pain to turn or replace them too. You've got to pull an access cover (two bolts) then a swinging baffle plate (two bolts) then the screen (two hard to get at bolts) then two bolts per blade (4).

Each blade has two edges.. you can turn them once.. then sharpen both edges the next time round. Replacement blades are EXPENSIVE too. So you can't keep 3 sets lying around waiting to be used.

I live in the woods.. so every storm feeds the pile and I have to chip at least 2 or three times a year.

Even with the blades obviously dulled (some self feeding, but you have to push the big stuff) it does a pretty good job of chipping all but the little stuff.
 
   #4  

cisco

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Jul 24, 2001
Messages
508
Tractor
L3410
OK, guess I'll stop complaining. I've a DR unit (literature says it takes up to 4", but I think 3" of hardwood is the limit, and I've more pto power, 29.5hp, than it needs). The instructions say sharpen every 10 hours, and that seems about right although all that happens is a gradual transition from fine chips to shards of wood after 10-12 hours. Yup, changing out blades is a pain.
 
   #5  

escavader

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Mar 1, 2005
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Location
western maine
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bx-23 ,
With my salsco,and sharp knifes the wood will suck right in by gravity,When the knifes start getting dull it seems to want to stop at the crotchs AND I HAVE TO HELP IT,,this is when i know its time to change
ALAN
 
   #6  

Cliff_Johns

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Jan 15, 2004
Messages
2,728
Location
Northern Illinois
Tractor
JD 4110
Chipper blades should not be sharpened with a regular grinder, though you may already know that. They are higher grade high speed steel so they get sharper, but will soften if they get too hot.

They should be sharpened on a wet wheel, or by hand on a stone (diamond if you don't want to stand there too long). Don't sharpen them the way you would mower blades or something like that. If you do, they will not hold an edge and will dull quickly.

Cliff
 
   #7  

jeffinsgf

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Mar 2, 2005
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Location
Springfield, MO
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JD 4410
</font><font color="blue" class="small">( Chipper blades should not be sharpened with a regular grinder, though you may already know that. They are higher grade high speed steel so they get sharper, but will soften if they get too hot.

They should be sharpened on a wet wheel, or by hand on a stone (diamond if you don't want to stand there too long). Don't sharpen them the way you would mower blades or something like that. If you do, they will not hold an edge and will dull quickly.

Cliff )</font>

Since there are some machinery dealers here that jump in when the subject warrants, I'm going to put in a shameless plug on this thread.

Cliff is right. Heat from a dry grinder will destroy a chipper blade. Same story for bench tools (hand chisels and plane irons). My "day job" is demonstrating and selling the TORMEK Water Cooled Sharpening System The planer blade attachment does a superb job of guiding a chipper blade on the grinder.
 
   #8  

VA_Joe

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Aug 13, 2005
Messages
255
Looks nice but pricey. Tough to justify unless one was in the sharpening business. How many (or what percentage) of units do you sell to hmeowners?
 
   #9  

jeffinsgf

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Location
Springfield, MO
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JD 4410
</font><font color="blue" class="small">( ... (or what percentage) of units do you sell to hmeowners? )</font>

About 85% of our buyers are hobbyist woodworkers. 10% professional woodworkers (lots of piano and violin builders) and the rest are professional sharpening shops. It all depends on your point of view. Lots of my customers would look at tractor prices and make a comment similar to yours.
 
   #10  

VA_Joe

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Aug 13, 2005
Messages
255
Makes sense - a set of good chisels or blades is not cheap. A serious woodworker would probably have one of these.

Joe
 
 
 
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