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Chippers, Part II

Posted by MikeSS San Diego (My Page) on
Fri, Jan 14, 05 at 16:54

Hello again fellow chippers,

Having decided there is no hope for my 10 HP MTD (Yard Man) machine, I decided to start looking at the alternatives.

From the feedback I've gotten on Gardenweb, a move to something better is either a McKissik or a DR Chipper. I've seen the infomercials and even ordered a tape on their Brush Mower, so I'm a little bit familiar with the DR products.

So, my search started with the DR Chipper.

I use eBay a lot for buying things, so I thought to start with eBay just to see if anything was there.

What I came back with on a search for "DR Chipper" was the following ad. It's the most unusual auction ad I've ever seen on eBay. Usually if someone is selling something they try and emphasize its positive features. Seldom is someone so angry with something they own that they describe their eBay item as you'll see below. I'm copying and pasting the text from the ad. eBay item number is 4350667048. Check out the auction itself on eBay to get the full flavor of it.

Please give me some feedback re this auction, you chipper people! I'm really looking for a good chipper to chop up my piles of deadfall and tree trimmings! I thought for sure, since their price is top of the line, that I could count on the DR Chipper! I don't want to make a second mistake . . . and I consider this 10HP MTD unit to be a definite mistake. It's a decent leaf shredder, IMHO, and that's about all.

Maybe 12 HP (this DR Chipper auction) is just too little power?

eBay ad #4350667048

Ad text:

Description
This is a 12 HP electric start. They say it will chip up to 4.5 inches. It will if its dry bamboo and you want to work at the incredible slow pace of "not working at all"

It vibrates so bad that the hopper skirt, bolts (locking bolts!) and metal strap fell off and into blade the first hour I used it. They gave me new blade and skirt etc. Never put back on. It barely goes through bone dry 3 inch limbs. You need to be very strong to feed it. Don't believe the commercials. It draws in the limbs once you feed it and start to stall so you have to jerk, pull, wrestle every couple of seconds to keep from binding the fly wheel. I've put another new blade on it and it still does not work. I called to see if I could get 9 month free trial and send it back? They said no but I could take it somewhere and have someone look at it. Screw them. For 2100 dollars they should bring me a new one and shine my shoes while they are here. Burger flipping scrubs!

Country Home Products gives you 6 months free trial knowing that you may not get to use it for 6 months. I'm had mine since May 1st and I messed up big time buying it and not running it a lot before the end of the free trial. It doesn't do anything except make me want to beat up of who ever runs Country Home Products. Their marketing dept got me. Don't let them get you. If you want this junk buy mine for less than a new one. It has about 20 hours on it. Too bad for me I didn't put hardly any hours on it during the free trial. ITS STINKS Really Really stinks. I can't imagine selling this and stealing from people like they do. If you want it great but you need to know it stinks. Really Really stinks. I can't stress that enough. It stinks. Useless. If you buy a new one that makes you as dumb as me. Please don't be as dumb as me. You will hate how you feel.

Gotta be honest even if it hurts me. Unlike Country Home Products.

Buyer will pay any shipping.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Chippers, Part II

You gotta give him credit for truth in advertising.

I'll admit that those commercials showing someone easily feeding a huge log into the chute always made me wonder. I have a small Craftsman chipper/shredder which claims to take up to 2", but it will vibrate your arm off if the stick is even slightly green. I usually opt to pile it up and burn it later.

I'm anxious to hear what the DR users have to say.


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RE: Chippers, Part II

In the photo the item looks pretty beatup....


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RE: Chippers, Part II

my friend has a dr chipper for his tractor pto loves it.

said it works great no problems green or dry.

Dont know of anyone with the engine...


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RE: Chippers, Part II

I can't comment on the 12hp. The 18hp model I have is just awesome. Owned it 3 years and have put thousands of Oak, Manzanita and Madrone branches through it. All very hard wood. I must say that the average thickness of the branches I put through it are probably 2" - 2.5". Any thicker than that and it's considered firewood by me. I have put pine trees up to 4" through it though. I must say that if I really needed something to grind 3" - 4" logs through all the time, I would want something different. You do have to be reasonable with your expectations. I can't say anything bad about mine, it's great. Also own the 15hp Brushcutter, it works great as well. Yes, that is the strangest eBay ad I have ever seen. Glad he does not live next door to me.....

Jim P


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RE: Chippers, Part II

I'm guessing the unhappy guy with the DR chipper on eBay hopes that Country Home Products will see his ad and buy the chipper back from him in order to get the bad publicity off of the Internet.

I don't know how much, if any, of the text in the eBay ad is accurate, but if the statement that "It vibrates so bad that the hopper skirt, bolts (locking bolts!) and metal strap fell off and into blade the first hour I used it" is true, that indicates to me improper assembly of the machine. My MacKissic 12PT-9 has its hopper skirt attached by locking bolts and locking bolts do just that -- lock themselves against vibrating loose. The chipper flywheel is hitting the limb several times a second with a sharp blade, so vibration is a given. I wear good gloves and hold the limb loosely for that reason. But there is no way that the vibration should have caused any lock-nut bolts to come loose. And for anything to have come loose within the first hour of operation is very strong evidence of grossly improper assembly. I think Country Home Products should buy back his machine, and count themselves lucky that a chipper that came apart during the first hour of operation didn't result in serious injury to the operator and a big lawsuit.

My MacKissic is rated for 3" limbs and, although I agree that in general that size should be used for firewood, we don't want to burn pine or cedar because they tend to gunk up the chimney, so I have crammed quite a few maximum sized limbs through my chipper. Some have even been slightly larger than 3" because some loose bark can be skinned off if you push on the limb. Just don't push so hard that you tip over the machine. I don't know about DR, but MacKissic's 3-inch rating for the 12PT-9 and 12PT-10 shredder chippers is realistic, and I am pleased to make fairly frequent use of it for limbs that are unsuitable for firewood.

Mike, am I correct that you want your new machine to be both a chipper and a shredder?

MM


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RE: Chippers, Part II

My thoughts about what I want is in a real state of flux just now, when it comes to chippers.

It seems to me that if you have a good strong chipper with a decent-sized hopper on it you should be able to feed just about anything into without having to fight it - leaves, twigs, trimmings and deadfall, etc.

All machines of all kinds have their operating limits and what I'm coming to realize is that even though I have a small property, I need to buy a chipper as if I had a large one.

I've not checked into the MacKissic at all yet. I'll get there! Meanwhile, I've been looking at the kind of chippers that hook up to an external PTO, like the kind arborists use. They don't seem to be more expensive than the self-contained units like we've been talking about - in fact, they're cheaper. But you have to have or buy a tractor or engine with a PTO that has about 40 HP or so to go with it. But they can be had used as well. I don't know about cost of all this yet. I'm on the trail.

The thing that appeals to me with one of these "real" chippers is that they are pretty much what I had in mind when I went to Home Depot to buy my MTD. I wanted something I could start up and throw everything woody into and see it chopped up into mulch. For that I need a nice wide chute with some powerful choppers at the bottom - something you can throw anything in, including the annoying neighbor if necessary, and not worry about whether it is chipping or shredding.

I was naive and such a fool when I ran off to HD and bought their little 10 HP chipper. It turned out to be a little baby chipper. It makes a lot of noise, demands constant attention, and is useless - except as a leaf shredder.

I may keep it for that, depending on what I end up getting for a chipper.

Thanks for the responses.

Mike



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RE: Chippers, Part II

Mike,

"It seems to me that if you have a good strong chipper with a decent-sized hopper on it you should be able to feed just about anything into it without having to fight it - leaves, twigs, trimmings and deadfall, etc."

I hear you. I frequently wish the shredder chute on my MacKissic 12PT-9 had a bigger throat so I didn't have to be so careful about how fast I dump the deadfall leaf mix in.

I am fine with my Mighty Mac's chipper chute, however. It is at a good angle and does a great job of folding back side limbs so I don't have to do much pruning on my limbs before feeding them.

"All machines of all kinds have their operating limits and what I'm coming to realize is that even though I have a small property, I need to buy a chipper as if I had a large one."

I think we've established that you don't want a dedicated chipper because your MTD is not particulary handy with leaves. It follows that you need a combined machine that has a separate chipper feed chute and a separate shredder chute that has a reasonably high capacity. Your requirement for a big shredder feed chute may lead you to go beyond the MacKissic 12PT-10 in favor of a much bigger machine like the MacKissic Mighty Mac SC183-16VE, if your budget extends to that price range. Mine didn't, and my MacKissic 12PT-9 was a "sweet spot" considering my budget and my performance needs.

MM


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RE: Chippers, Part II

Mike,

Incidentally, the Lawnmower Shop.com currently has a "sale" on the MacKissic Mighty Mac SC183-16VE.

MM


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RE: Chippers, Part II

I don't have experience with Dr, but based on advice in this forum I was interested in MacKissic. I wanted a shredder/chipper combination to handle a variety of materials. I rented a Bearcat 8hp unit to see if this power range is adequate. It chipped pretty good on 3" (mostly fresh willow/poplar). I really enjoyed it, so I bought a 12PT10E. The Mackissic chips better even on 3.5", mostly (I think) because it has only 1 blade so it doesn't pull down the motor as quickly. The shredder chute is a much better design than on the Bearcat IMO - it's a straight shot into the hammermill albeit thru a fairly modest opening. If you stuff old hay bales in there you have to tear off pretty small pieces or you'll need a stick to assist it thru.
My local small engine dealer, I later found, had a NOS (new old stock) SC183 in his back lot and would sell it for $2000. Couldn't resist (an SC183 and a 12PT10E with all the screens for the price of one SC183) so it's in my yard now. The Vanguard engine on the SC183 is REALLY nice compared to the little aluminum-block Intek on the 12PT10. I stuffed a few 4.5" limbs in the SC183 and it chomps them up real nice, though not a lot faster than the 12PT10 would a 3" limb. Both are quicker than the Bearcat with a moderate amount of shaking. The shredder opening is much bigger than on the 12PT10 so whole 'leafs' from an old hay bale can go in. However, there are only 2 available discharge screens for the SC183 so product particle size is limited towards the large end of the spectrum.
I could be happy with either one. Both MacKissics just sit there and purr, I'll bet the DR on Ebay is improperly assembled.


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RE: Chippers, Part II

Bob,

"My local small engine dealer, I later found, had a NOS (new old stock) SC183 in his back lot and would sell it for $2000. Couldn't resist (an SC183 and a 12PT10E with all the screens for the price of one SC183) so it's in my yard now."

Wow! That NOS deal on the SC183 was sweet!

I can't understand why MacKissic doesn't make a full set of screens for the SC183 and I think we should "lobby" MacKissic to get them to do it.

In the meantime, with the two machines, you have the best of both worlds. You can put your stuff through the SC183 for a fast-feeding rough shred, and then feed that pile to the 12PT10E to put it through a finer screen for a much finer product with a higher surface area and smoother texture.

Incidentally, have you noticed the striking similarity between the outer appearance of the MacKissic SC183-16VE and the DR Chipper Shredder? It's almost like MacKissic made that machine for DR.

"The MacKissic chips better even on 3.5", mostly (I think) because it has only 1 blade so it doesn't pull down the motor as quickly."

You noticed that. That one-blade thing is one of the smartest things MacKissic has done. Most chipper designers get seduced by the idea of two blades in order to make the flywheel appear more balanced. The flywheels have to be individually balanced anyway, so they don't really gain anything and, as you say, hitting the limb twice as fast turns out to be a bad idea for several reasons.

When you want chips for landscaping garden paths you frequently want bigger chips. In that case the MacKissic one-blade design lets me remove the screen altogether (or use the bar screen) and then that one blade chops off nice thick chips, twice as thick as a two-blade machine gives. Big thick chips have their place in landscape use.

When I want finer chips, I simply put on the appropriate sized screen. Since the chips have to exit through the shredder screen (another good MacKissic design feature), I can control my maximum chip size with my screen selection anywhere from " " " 1" or put on the 3" x 1" bar screen for essentially no size reduction of the chips. Or I can take the screen off altogether and just let the chips fly directly from the blade into the pile.

Congratulations on getting that "new old stock" MacKissic SC183 for less than half the price of a new machine. That was a piece of luck.

MM


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RE: Chippers, Part II

> I think we've established that you don't want a dedicated
> chipper because your MTD is not particulary handy with
> leaves.

Maine Man . . . what I said was that this 10 HP MTD Yard Man from Home Depot was ONLY handy with leaves. That's why I said I may keep it as a leaf shredder, depending on what I end up getting for a chipper.

This MacKissic 18HP model for $2000 sounds like I want one too, Mr. bbriggs. Would you please see if the place you bought yours has another NOS machine like yours? I'll drive up and get it.

Thanks for the great feedback everyone on chippers! I'm learnin' . . . .

Mike


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MTD as leaf shredder

I meant to say the MTD is only handy with leaves after a fashion.

You can't just mindlessly throw them in. If I do, it plugs up even without the help of a twig caught crosswise at the bottom.

A stick will solve most plugging problems when shredding leaves, but that's when you are vulnerable to chips flying back out and putting out an eye. And you are always reaching for the stick, with this machine. It is easy to get careless and not have glasses or goggles on.

It does work for leaves, depending on how much of a drawback the plugging considerations are to the user. I've got neighbors behind me who have used a Techumsa powered model otherwise just like mine and they've done so for years. And I watch them, hoping to learn something. What I've learned, watching them, is that you fight this infernal beast every minute. You constantly work your stick in the shredder chute, you constantly fight to get narrow little branches through the bottom of the chipper chute. You better have that branch clean as a whistle or it won't go through the tiny little hole at the bottom.

They wear their goggles and fight this thing to get it to work and when I point out to them that they are having to fight this machine to get it to work, the answer from them is "They're all like that!"

Mike


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MTD Walnut Chipper

I have two black walnut trees that produce huge quantities of small, hard walnuts that are only good for attracting termites. They are a problem every year.

Raking them up and throwing them in the shredder chute makes some very rich mulch, so the MTD is good for chipping walnuts.

Once in a while it kicks one back out at high velocity. It's best to keep out of the line of fire when chipping walnuts, but it does work well without plugging up.

If anyone needs a good walnut chipper, lets talk turkey.

Mike


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RE: Chippers, Part II

Holy cats, Mike, that'd be a trip out to Iowa from San Diego to pick up a 600# chipper! This dealer only had one, a leftover he purchased along with the business from the previous owner. It's a nice little lawn mower/power tool business in an established location, but they sell the same old selection of Stihl, Stihl, or Stihl handheld devices as every other dealer in Iowa. Stihl has some good stuff, sure, but there is some seriously good competition out there that I'd like to sample too.

You might coerce me out of the SC183, as I only need one, but that would be a good long trip and it wouldn't be wise to tow it anywhere near that far.

Interestingly, I called Mackissic today regarding the chipper knife - the bolt heads stand proud of the knife surface. They were very helpful, looked up the serial number. The unit was made in 1998 and has the old-style tapered knives (yes, 2 knives on the older SC183's, I noticed that when I removed a knife to compare to the my spare 12PT10 knife.) The trailing edge of the old-style knives is thinner than the leading edge, and the bolts are not countersunk as deeply. This is normal and is considered not to impede performance as the bolt heads are no taller than the leading edge of the knife. Still, I agree with MaineMan, 1 knife is better than 2. The 16 hp (not 18) Vanguard, however, muscles thru some wood so doesn't suffer as much as the 8hp Bearcat. I think one knife instead of 2 makes the 12PT10 feel more powerful, and (as MaineMan said) the chips from the 12PT are nice and thick without a screen - very comparable to those from the SC183 with the standard bar screen.

Mike, seems that if you're only looking at 1/3 acre a 12PT10 would be a nice choice. The wagon style is really manauverable and stable, it eats wood very competitively, and the shredder is versatile for output size (assuming you like to use the product.) Maineman is the guy that sold me on these machines in the first place, and his praise seems quite proper. He used the term 'sweet spot' for price/performance, but it's also a sweet spot for performance/versatility. It isn't fun to coerce material down the chute of the 12PT, but it beats the daylights out of Bearcat or (dare I mention) Troybilt's newer offerings. The SC183 eats stuff in the shredder chute like an animal voracious for whatever it can get, but the size is coarser than I like for many purposes. If you don't particularly care about manauverability or shredder product size, the SC183 is a seriously nice machine. And it makes nice chips faster. But you can get a 12PT delivered to your door for under $2000 loaded with extra knife, extra screens, and electric start. It satisfies my deep seated urge to 'putter' around the farm and garden. The SC183, however, addresses more closely the urge to do more faster while releasing slightly more male hormones.


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RE: Chippers, Part II

Man, I've been reading this forum and you guys have me sold on a 12PT10... Now I just need to find a dealer close by. Best website I found was west power tools for $1550 delivered, (just the 12pt10, no extras)... realized they are based in PA, so called them up and if I pick it up, its only $1350... Now the hardest part is trying to find out a list of local dealers in MD or DE(no sales tax!) to try and get some price quotes so I wouldn't have to drive so far.

Based on what I will do, I'm thinking I'd get an additional 1/4 and 1/2 inch screen. Do you all recommend buying an extra knife up front too?


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RE: Chippers, Part II

Maineman posted some pretty good stuff on the screens in other threads. Based on that, I got the 1/4", 1/2", and bar screen in addition to the standard 1" screen. The 3/4" screen strikes me as splitting hairs, but the bar screen is a big jump up in size to get a little more shredding on hard-to-shred stuff without eliminating the screen altogether. The screens swap easily and quickly, and the product is distinctly different from each screen. I like being able to fine-tune it. You can make some pretty good cracked corn for you chickens or pigs with the 1/4" screen! I got an extra knife so I can send one off for sharpening without being out of business. West power tools / sharpening will sharpen them for something like $0.75/inch and take off only a few thousandths of an inch (they claim).

According to Mackissic, as I understand it, the 12PT10 is made with or without I/C engines depending presumably on the price point the retailers want to hit. They shave a few dollars off the selling price by using aluminum bore engines. I'd prefer an I/C, but they all wear out eventually and an aluminum block will last for many years if the oil and filter is looked after.

The machine will include (among other things) a guage to adjust the clearance between the chipper knife and fixed anvil. The spare knives include the guage, new bolts, and locktite. Mackissic reminds me that proper clearance is important for smooth and efficient chipping. All spelled out in the manual, but good to remember.


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RE: Chippers, Part II

Me being the non-mechanical type... What does I/C stand for?

How often should the knives be sharpened?


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RE: Chippers, Part II

Any of you chipper wizards ever try the chipper that BCS makes for its little two-wheel tractors? I'm interested in the BCS850 mainly for the sickle mower, but for an additional $1,249, the chipper would have to work at least as well as the MacKissic 12PT-9 to justify the price. The BCS850 is 12hp.

Here is a link that might be useful: BCS chipper


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RE: Chippers, Part II

A number of small engines use an aluminum block with a cast-iron liner to increase resistance to cylinder wall wear and scoring. Briggs and Stratton call theirs I/C - integral cast (iron liner).

The knives should be sharpened when they are dull - basically when chipping performance decreases. They last longer than I expected, I'd check them at least every 10 hours of chipping or when chipping doesn't seem up to snuff. Performance will vary depending on what and how clean the chipper fodder is.

I've read good things about BCS, but I have no experience with them.


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RE: Chippers, Part II

Mike,

"They wear their goggles and fight this thing to get it to work... A stick will solve most plugging problems when shredding leaves, but that's when you are vulnerable to chips flying back out and putting out an eye. And you are always reaching for the stick, with this machine. It is easy to get careless and not have glasses or goggles on."

Better not "get careless" and not have eye protection while operating a shredder-chipper. I wear polycarbonate glasses and safety goggles during warmer weather.

Since it got cold I can't seem to keep my safety goggles from fogging up, so I have switched to my chainsaw helmet, which has both ear protectors and a screenwire full-face screen. The screenwire screen doesn't fog up and provides good protection in addition to my glasses. Shredder-chippers of any make or model require good eye protection and most require good ear protection as well.

I have started to chip on a few occasions with my ear protectors absent-mindedly in the "up" position, but the racket quickly reminds me to pull my ear protectors down over my ears. I have found that I can wear a knit cap over my head and ears and put the chainsaw helmet on over that and clamp the ear protectors over the knit cap to get a good seal over my ears and keep my head and ears warm at the same time. I have done a fair amount of chipping and shredding during our cold winter weather here in Maine.

I do have to carry a bucket of warm water to my "Mighty Mac" to pour over the protective cover to thaw it enough to pull it off. Otherwise it is frozen-stuck to the machine. I guess you should never stick your tongue on a cold shredder-chipper (grin).

MM


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RE: Chippers, Part II

Don't own the DR myself but a neighbor does (10HP manual start) and he swears by it, claiming that it outperforms the Troy-Bilt he previously owned hands down. He's kind of a picky guy, so it must be pretty good. I've run the DR brush mower and it's incredibly well built and performed exactly like their ads say it will. I can't imagine that they can offer a 6 month buyback gurantee and stay in business unless their stuff works like they say.

Strange e-bay listing -- that machine looks like it has a lot more than 20 hours on it.


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RE: Chippers, Part II

I've got my eye out for a chainsaw helmet. That sounds like a really great idea. Cheap insurance against losing an eye.


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RE: Chippers, Part II

Great listing, it should have a "buy it now" price! I restored a Macissik Might Mac years ago, slapped a 9 hp
Kubota gas engine on it, scary though. I bring most yard cleanup to the dump since it is overwhelming in the Spring
(nine pickup loads) last year. You can only reduce this stuff so far in a chipper. Have a great one!


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RE: Chippers, Part II

Being new to this forum, I am not fully up to speed on all the discussions, pro and con, re chipper shredders. I am, however intimately familiar with the Troy Built Super Tomahawk w\8hp Briggs. Mine just blew up today. One of the hammerknife rods detached from the non chipping side of the carrier plate resulting in two knives and two spacer sleeves destroying themselves before I could get around the machine and kill power. Although I have worked the machine for about 15 years both shredding leafy material and chipping branches, it has required constant maintenance and modification.
The chipper chute has been welded three times to repair cracks in the mounting flange and I have had to replace 3 main bearings on the drum shaft at a cost of approx $85.00 Can. each. Hammer knife sets retail through a local dealer at approx $80.00 Can. so I started manufacturing my own from Nissan pick-up leaf spring material. As chipper blades are no longer available, I'm stumped for replacements and the three I have are done. Bottom line is I have to shop for a new unit and so far it looks like the tailer model MacKissic 12PT10 is the answer. Now to find a local dealer.
Anyone want a junked troy Built for parts ?


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RE: Chippers, Part II

Ubique,

"I am, however intimately familiar with the Troy Built Super Tomahawk w\8hp Briggs. Mine just blew up today. One of the hammerknife rods detached from the non chipping side of the carrier plate resulting in two knives and two spacer sleeves destroying themselves before I could get around the machine and kill power."

It sounds to me like you were lucky the machine contained the shrapnel and you didn't get hurt.

"Although I have worked the machine for about 15 years both shredding leafy material and chipping branches, it has required constant maintenance and modification."

Well, at least you got 15 years of use out of the machine. That's pretty good. And as for the maintenance, a certain amount of that is to be expected for any piece of machinery. I certainly haven't done such creative things as you have done, like fashion hammers from Nissan leaf springs, but I have done a lot of little maintenance chores per the Owner's Manual.

"...and I have had to replace 3 main bearings on the drum shaft at a cost of approx $85.00 Can. each."

Maybe you will have better luck with the main bearings on a MacKissic 12PT-10. The MacKissic main bearing has a grease fitting and you are supposed to lubricate it after every 10 hours of operation to keep it running freely. That seems to be working well because when I shut the machine off it coasts for a nice long time.

I also use Mobile One 5w30 synthetic oil (one of the recommendations in the engine manual for cold weather operation) to keep the Briggs&Stratton engine happy and easy starting in our "brisk" Maine winters. And I dutifully check the oil level each time before starting the engine. I recently cleaned the air filter. It wasn't nearly as dirty as I expected it to be. A few weeks ago I tightened the belt tension by nearly an inch. It had stretched surprisingly. I bought a spare belt to have ready in case I need it.

This spring I will check my chipper knife. First I need to get some EV grade Loc-Tite or equivalent and so far I haven't found that grade of Loc-Tite in any of our local stores. When you re-tighten the chipper blade screws or the screws on the wear plate you definitely don't want them coming loose during operation.

You could look at the demise of your Troy-Bilt Super Tomahawk as a blessing in disguise. You were lucky enough to come through a catastrophic disintegration of your old machine without personal injury. Now you can get a newer more capable replacement, and you deserve to have a better machine.

MM


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RE: Chippers, Part II

Yes, I was fortunate that shrapnel remained inside the machine. 33 years in the Army without a shot fired at me, that I know of, then to take a shrapnel wound in my back yard would have been irony beyond compare !
I am now actively seeking a local source for a MacKissic 12PT-10. I have to check the border fees to see what the various levels of duty etc are, probably need to provide a pint or two of blood as well !


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RE: Chippers, Part II

MaineMan, MacKissic ships their knives for the PT-10 with Loc-tite 243, a removable formulation. It should be relatively easy to find. I sharpened the chipper blades for the SC-183 today, for the first time myself with a Tormek. Oh, man!!! It's chipping better than new, it sucks the limbs from my hands. Maybe they aren't supposed to be scalpel sharp, but they're still better than new after a couple of hours (a few cubic yards) on wild plum trees. I wish I had the later SC183 with only one chipper blade.


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RE: Chippers, Part II

Bob,

"MacKissic ships their knives for the PT-10 with Loc-tite 243, a removable formulation. It should be relatively easy to find."

Thanks for the tip. My 12PT Owner's Manual says on page 12, "be certain to use E.V. Grade LOC-TITE on the threads of the screws so that they will not come loose." That's why I did a Google search for the E.V. Grade LOC-TITE. But all of the suppliers I could find wanted to sell it in industrial quantities costing big bucks and none of the local stores had Loc-Tite in EV grade.

I will look for some Loc-Tite 243 locally. There is also a Loc-Tite 242, which may be non-removable. Whatever I use, I want it to hold the screws securely, but I don't want to break them off trying to unscrew them.

"I wish I had the later SC183 with only one chipper blade."

Considering the fantastic deal you got on the older model, you should count yourself lucky. You might contact MacKissic and see if you could purchase a replacement part flywheel with the one-blade design and verify that it would fit your machine or could be made to fit your machine. But that would cost money and, let's face it, your two-blade chipper is working fine. As they say, "if it ain't broke, don't fix it." (grin)

MM


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RE: Chippers, Part II

Hello Chipper Fans,
I have recently cleared a lot of what I believe to be Lonicera japonica - Japanese Honeysuckle. Now I have a mountain of these vines which would easily fill a 30 yard dumpster. I figured Id get a brush chipper and reduce the size of the pile. So now I have learned that brush chippers dont like vine-like material, they only like nice long firm 3 inch branches.

My question is: What type of machine can I use to grind, chip, or chop my mountain of vines?

Any input would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks,
ElectroJake


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RE: Chippers, Part II

Hi ElectroJake,

You'd think there'd be an easy answer to this vine problem. Buy something with a large hopper, turn the thing on and start throwing the things in to make some good mulch. Right?

From what I've experienced, learned, observed, and intuited since I've become involved with chippers, the only thing which will do the job without you having to fight the piece of crap you just paid 3 or 4 thousand dollars for (if you get a "good" one), is something made by Vermeer or a similar company.

When you drive by a scene with someone up in a tree with a chainsaw, and a crew down on the ground tossing the limbs, brush, etc. into a hopper without having to fight and wrestle with it all, the machine they are using is a Vermeer, or one like it. That's what you need.

Don't waste your money on the DR's, the McKissiks, the Troy-Built's, and the rest of these toys designed to appeal to those of us with vivid imaginations and gullible souls.

If you can justify buying a used 30-40 HP tractor with a PTO, you can buy a Chinese made chipper (Jingao? Look on the web) which can do the job. I don't have a large enough property to justify a tractor or a PTO chipper, but for what I want to do, this is what I need. A used small tractor and a new PTO chipper will cost less than, or about the same, as one of these useless little pseudo-chippers which are so popular because the people that buy them just don't know . . . until after they've bought one.

I've seen smaller model Vermeers at my local rent-a-machine place. That's what you want. You can buy one used, put new blades on it, and you've got a real chipper.

The used tractor/PTO chipper is an equally good option, better if you can use the tractor for something else.

Don't waste your money on the expensive frustrating toys which they advertise so well.

Just my 2 cents.

Mike


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RE: Chippers, Part II

ElectroJake,

"So now I have learned that brush chippers dont like vine-like material, they only like nice long firm 3 inch branches."

That's true. A chipper is only appropriate for limbs. What you need is a shredder. A good shredder is actually a hammermill, with many swinging hammers and a screen with round holes. The hammers keep bashing whatever you throw in until it is small enough to escape through the holes. A hammermill is resistant to jamming because the hammers are pivoted so when they hit something resistant, they just swing back. Centrifugal force keeps the hammers swinging outward as much as possible.

I would recommend you rent a MacKissic SC183 like bbriggs bought (see messages above) to shred your pile of honeysuckle vines. It has a large shredder hopper that feeds into a 48-hammer hammermill, and a separate chipper hopper that can chip limbs as large as 4 inches. You will probably be using just the shredder section of the machine for your vines.

If you owned a MacKissic 12PT-10 you could feed your vines through it just fine, but the smaller machine will process them significantly slower (its hammermill section has 24 free-swinging hammers), so you would have to rent the smaller machine for a longer time. I have the predecessor to the MacKissic 12PT-10, the MacKissic 12PT-9 (9hp instead of 10hp), and I fed a lot of wild grapevines to it with no problems. I had a " screen on at the time and it shredded the grapevines into a fine fluffy material that felt like you could sleep on it. The shredded grapevines made a fine addition to my compost piles. They were almost like potting soil when I added them to the piles and the high surface area of the material helps the composting process to go fast.

When feeding vines to any kind of shredder, be careful not to hold the vines tightly because the machine can jerk the vines into the machine and you don't want it to jerk your hand in. A good safety rule is to keep your elbows outside and below the rim of the feed hopper.

MM


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RE: Chippers, Part II

About 6 weeks ago, I received a comatose Craftsman chipper free from a friend who is moving and didn't want to pack it in the moving van. It's a 8 HP Tecumseh with the drop downable leaf hopper on one side and the 3" capacity chipper hopper on the other. The ignition coil was replaced, the carb cleaned out and the oil was changed. I then pulled both chipper knives and resharpened them and reinstalled.
The engine starts and runs well and the thing eats wood big time. I've reduced a brushy mulberry tree "jungle" completely to a pile of chips in about a weeks time of working off and on.
Bottom line - It's not a Vermeer but it will work longer and harder that I can. And you can't beat the price.
By the way the friend also threw in a "dead" Poulan 2300CVA chainsaw. A new gas line and a Walbro carb kit and it's producing chips now too!
I love it when folks throw away stuff.....


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RE: Chippers, Part II

All things are relative and I picked up the yeadmachine 10hp. unit at homedepot two weeks ago for $624 and for the money, it has been fine. I had a 35 foot sugar maple that needed to be taken out and after getting several quotes of $1000+, in came the yardman and my 14year old son and I cut it down and chomped it through the chipper without any problems.

Anything over 2inches, we cut for firewood, but everything else went through the chipper. I know it's not a heavy duty unit, but for the price, it more than paid for itself on the first job, and I look forward to mulching with it in the fall. So, for a homeowner with limited needs, I think it is a good choice. My lot is 125X65, and I'm a gardener, so I think this will be a good addition for my needs.

I'm just adding this so a reader may get a balanced opinion of the unit the original poster is rejecting.


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RE: Chippers, Part II

I quite disagree with MikeSS, though it probably depends upon what your objective is. The 12PT-10 or SC183 will do a nice job shredding honeysuckle, but not as fast as a commercial machine. The shredded product from the smaller units will be much better, the hammermill with discharge screen make a nice product. A factor in favor of the smaller machines is safety: Commercial machines in my price range will gobble material and human limbs quite quickly and easily. I'd rather not supplement my shredded product with fresh human material.

I'd recommend renting or buying a machine similar to the 12PT or SC183 Mackissic - they have a straight path from the shredder hopper into the shredding chamber. Many others have a turn which is quite difficult to negotiate material through. The SC183 is much faster shredding, but I enjoy the heck out of chipping and shredding with both machines. Chop those honeysuckles with a hammermill, it'll work.


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RE: Chippers, Part II

This forum gave me an impressive collection of opinions and advice!

Plus, I did some research locally and this is what I came up with...
If I buy a small machine, its about $2000.00 (probably more).
If I rent a chipper like a Vermeer BC625, its about $185.00 per day for (at least 2 days plus transportation).
If I call for a 30 yard roll-off dumpster its about $525.00.

Even if I got a chipper as a "gift", I would still have to get at least a 10 yard dumpster to cart out the resultant chips and heavy timber that I have also accumulated during my clearing operation. So it would seem I should simply get a large 30 yard dumpster and wrestle this nasty, unruly jungle into the dumpster like I have done a number of times in the past. Not very classy, but hey, this is a back-lot in New Jersey. :)

Thanks MaineMan, Bob, J, Lhead, MM, MikeSS and the entire forum crew that posts here at the Tool Shed. Your posts help many more readers than you probably realize. Ill be sure to get back here to let you all know what the final outcome of my honeysuckle dilemma was.

Regards,
ElectroJake


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RE: Chippers, Part II

ElectroJake,

"So it would seem I should simply get a large 30 yard dumpster and wrestle this nasty, unruly jungle into the dumpster like I have done a number of times in the past."

I agree. I was not aware you merely wanted to get rid of the stuff. The main reason for using a MacKissic shredder-chipper or a similar product is to convert limbs, brush, leaves, and other deadfall into useable compost, mulch, or landscaping chips for paths and such.

If you are simply trying to get rid of the stuff there isn't any motivation for processing it into a useful product, and it's probably not worth it just to reduce the volume of the stuff.

MM


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RE: Chippers, Part II

Interseting conversation regarding shredding of waste material, particularly honeysuckle vine. I am a previous user of a Troybuilt Tomahawk and now have a new McKissic Mighty Mac. A word of caution regarding the shredding of vine like material. Test run a very small amount and check to see that it actually is being cut up and not just getting shredded into a ball and remaining in the hammer mill chamber. I learned this the hard way. We have a Mulberry tree that produces whip like growth each year that we prune off during the winter (Pollardizing). I had used my Troybuilt for a short period of time and thought I was getting the hang of things then full stop. I had started feeding the prunings into the shredder at a pretty good rate but very little ,material was coming out. Then the motor started to labour and eventuallt stalled. Bad news. The inside of the hammer mill was jambed with a flax like fibre ball. I had a hard time extracting the screen pins to get at the mess and it took a great deal of "un winding" of this mass of fibre much like binder twine fibre. It urns out that Mulberry has a fir


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RE: Chippers, Part II

Seems like my last post got messed up. What I intended to say at the end was "it turns out that Mulberry has a fibre under its bark that is used for paper making in Japan and, in olden times, was used as a source of fibre for yard goods.


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RE: Chippers, Part II

Ubique,

Thanks for warning us about that jamming possibility. The only vine-like material I have fed is a bunch of wild grapevines, some of which were more than 20 feet long. For safety I cut them into shorter lengths, 2 or 3 feet long, using a pair of pruning loppers, before feeding them.

As an experiment, I fed some of them in the shredder chute, and some in the chipper chute. It did make some difference in the product that came through my screen depending on which chute I fed the grapevine pieces to. When feeding to the shredder chute, the product contained some pieces of vine a few inches long that escaped lengthwise through the hammermill screen holes.

Feeding the grapevine pieces to the chipper prevented this because grapevine "chips" entered into the hammermill chamber for subsequent size reduction to escape through my " screen holes.

As an experiment, maybe the next time you process some of those Mulberry shoots you could try feeding them to the chipper chute.

MM


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RE: Chippers, Part II

Gee, this vine problem seem wide spread.
Its like feeding rope into the machine.

Well, I was able to get my paws on a rather new Vermeer BC625 chipper (25 HP engine) without selling the family cow. I plan to feed the vine-like materials in with a mixed diet of good firm wood to see if it can "digest" the stuff. If she clogs or chokes, a co-worker of mine has a rather large, dual roller Asplundh chipper. If that "doesnt cut it" the next step is a nice fat 4 axel Tub Grinder.

If the rain ever stops and I can get back to work, Ill let the forum know if this cute little Vermeer BC625 won the battle of the honeysuckle. :-)

Ubique, thanks for your input. Its all helpful!
---Electrojake---


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RE: Chippers, Part II

"If that "doesnt cut it" the next step is a nice fat 4 axel Tub Grinder."

Now we're talking!

I don't know what it is, but I sure like the sound of it!

* * *

This Spring and all the deadfall which the winter winds and rains (yes, here in sunny San Diego!) brought down, is reminding me what a useless piece of junk this 10 HP MTD chipper/shredder is. It cost a good chuck of money $600+, and takes up space, and god knows I need a chipper/shredder with all of these limbs and branches piled up, but is there anything more frustrating than using the wrong tool for the job?

Re the posting by the fellow who, with his son's help, ran a sugar maple through it - all of it that is except for everything over 2 inches, which he cut up for firewood. This means he chopped most of the tree for firewood and spent over $600 along with days of limb prep to chop up what little was left of the tree.

Yes, this miserable machine will chop up 2 inch limbs if they are absolutely straight and with no little branch nodes left on them. If they are not straight and clean, the little 2" limb won't go through the little hole at the bottom of the chute.

If you can't feed the machine without doing all the cosmetic preperation, seems to me one might do better to buy one of the electric chippers which advertise 2 1/2 inch capacity and cost about $100. I haven't tried one, but they couldn't work any worse than this MTD.

It works okay as a leaf shredder if you wear good face/eye protection and are willing to keep a stick working to stir the clogs which constantly occur. I'll keep mine (I'd never get anywhere near what I paid for it even though it's practically new) just for its marginal leaf shredding ability. I've got lots of useless walnuts in the fall and it does a good job of making walnut mulch. That's the only good thing I can think of to say about it.

Meanwhile, I've now got my eye out for a "nice fat 4 axel Tub Grinder."

Mike


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RE: Chippers, Part II

"This means he chopped most of the tree for firewood and spent over $600 along with days of limb prep to chop up what little was left of the tree."

No, that's no accurate at all... a sugar maple has a lot of small branches. We ended up with at least 6yards of mulch which we used and gave away. The chipper could have handled larger branches, but it would have been a waste of good wood.

I'm posting this because the machine performed exactly as expected. And, I sold the chipper for $500 to a neighbor, so it ended up costing me $80 (we got a home depot 10%discount on the purchase)..

So, I saved $920 over the estimated contractor cost to take the tree out, got close to a cord of high quality wood for the fireplace, and got a store of high quality mulch. And, oh yeah, I have peas, snow peas and sugar snaps growing on teepees made from the maple branches.

Couldn't have done it without the 10 horse yardmachine!

for my needs, it was the right choice.


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RE: Chippers, Part II

Like jhart3, I recently bought a 10 hp YardMan from Home Depot. With the 10% off coupon it cost me $632 including tax. I also took advantage of the promotional 12 months - no payments, no interest.

I've used it for the last 3 week-ends making mulch from the wooded lot next to me that's being cleared for building. I'm chipping small stuff (2"-2.5") some green, some dead. The machine has very minimal vibration, nothing that is blatantly obvious and it starts on the first pull.
For my situation, a homeowner cleaning up yard debris; this machine will suit me fine.

I also have a 12.5 hp MTD 42" riding mower that's been in use since I bought it back in 1991. I changed the spark plug once, replaced the battery once, still using the same double blades ( which I sharpen every season) and the muffler hasn't started to rust yet. It's a smooth running machine that always starts.
Bottom line, for the money an MTD product can be a good investment if properly maintained and the equipment matches the situation.


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RE: Chippers, Part II

Usually hang out on Carolina Gardening but got referred by google to this thread. The info is great. I have a large property and am in the market for something "robust" that's PTO driven (have 50hp Kubota tractor). The Mackissic PTO cousin to the SC 183 looks like a good place to start. Also considering one of the chipper only Bearcat models 5" or 8". Firewood's not an issue there's no way I could use all I will cut on 20 acres of woods. My old TroyBilt Tomahawk still runs (17years) but cant get parts anymore and it was a real bear to use. I'm not sure I need a shredder as I usually just run over bagged leaves with the lawnmower with the bagger attachment on and this is a heck of a lot easier than the shredder. No one has commented on how easy it is to replace shredder hammers, etc on these models. It was always an afternoon of sledgehammer, hacksawing, etc. to do the Tomahawk. Comments on ease of maintenance and any other thoughts for those of us with larger properties would be appreciated.


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RE: Chippers, Part II

Well, the mtd yardman is not the easiest to take apart, we had a couple of jams when the machine ran out of gas while chipping.. my fault.

If you're a heavy user who needs regular/easy maintenance, this is not your machine.


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RE: Chippers, Part II

Phytomaniac,

"Also considering one of the chipper only Bearcat models 5" or 8"."

Even when I have a pile of stuff selected for chipping, I still use the shredder some because when I get done feeding a limb to the chipper chute I am left holding a handfull of tiny limbs and twigs that just aren't suitable for feeding to the chipper chute, so I just toss the little "left over" stuff into the shredder chute. Incidentally, I use a MacKissic 12PT-9.

If I had a chipper-only machine, I would have to change the way I work and trim off a lot of the little stuff from the limbs in my feed pile before starting a chipping run.

"I'm not sure I need a shredder as I usually just run over bagged leaves with the lawnmower with the bagger attachment on and this is a heck of a lot easier than the shredder."

As mentioned above, there are lots of things besides leaves that are handy to feed to a hammermill shredder.

"No one has commented on how easy it is to replace shredder hammers, etc on these models."

My hammers are still in surprisingly good shape after over a year of fairly heavy use. MacKissic has a good hammer design with a pivot hole at each end. That lets you get four "uses" out of each hammer before needing to replace it. I haven't done anything with my hammers yet, so I will withold comments about the ease of playing with them.

MM


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RE: Chippers, Part II

I have to admit my old Tomohawk withstood major abuse by me. The housing around the chipper chute cracked and I took it in for a weld but finally had to bolt a plate over the chipper hole and then used the shredder for everything, turning large limbs as I fed them into the shredder (not recommended). The hammers wore down pretty quick and the spacers got stuck to the support shafts. I had to turn the beast upside down and drive the support shafts out with a sledge and piece of rebar after removing the roll pin from the spacer holding all the others in place. Of course I would have to order new spacers every time. I guess if I get one with a shredder, I was wondering if anyone else has had to replace or rotate their hammers and how easy or difficult it is to get to them. Even if I didnt have to drain oil, gas and turn upside down that would be a big improvement. On the other hand if I used it like you're supposed to, maybe I wouldn't have had to do it once or twice a year(Ha)!


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RE: Chippers, Part II

Phytomaniac,

You can gain access to the shredder rotor assembly by simply dropping the hammermill screen, which you can do with no tools required by pulling a couple of rod/pins. You could then lay on the ground and work on the rotor assembly. When the time comes, I will probably tilt my machine back to have easier access to the rotor assembly. I'm not a big fan of lying on my back to work on things. I would rather work sitting down.

MM


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RE: Chippers, Part II

The support rods on the SC183 and 12-PT10, as MM says, are easy to access after removal of the screen. A tapered pin holds each of the 4 rods in place and must be driven out, perhaps with a little heat-assist. Once the pin is out, the support rod slides out a hole in the side of the chamber, dropping the hammers and spacers. The process appears to be straightforward, but I've not done it yet as the hammers last a good long time with the soft stuff I shred. The knives I have removed for sharpening. That's easy through an access door.

I chose MacKissic because it has an attached shredder, something I find important as I like to garden. If all you wish to do is clear trees from 20 acres, a bigger unit might be in order. It takes me about 4 hours to clean up a 3-4' tree, most of it spent with the chainsaw (and some sitting on logs pondering whatever is at hand). In my situation, the engine-powered unit is much more convenient. That allows me to leave the unit at the work site while the tractor or skidloader is used elsewhere.

Bob


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RE: Chippers, Part II

What does the smallest "real" Vermeer unit cost?
Where do you find the industrial-grade PTO units?
Thanks!


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RE: Chippers, Part II

To all you out there who are still concerned about changing over the hammers in a Troy BuiltChipper/Shredder; it's not brain surgery !
Something that eases the access problem is to elevate the machine to at least eye level when sitting. I used to use a come-along and lift the beast onto a standard Black and Decker Workmate.
Knock out the Spirol pins and slide out the hammer shafts.
One thing that helps prevent the sort of problem that
Phytomaniac had with stuck shafts is to de-burr the spacers before reassembly. It also helps to aquire some stainless steel Spirol pins to use in place of the blue steel OEM ones
One of the things I did to reduce the possibility of vibration (the killer of bearings) was to weigh and balance each set of rod, spacers and hammers before I re-installed
them. It only takes a few grams out of balance to have a lot of vibration transfer to the main shaft and the bearings that support it. I can also tell you from experience that preventing damage to the bearings is a lot less hassle than having to replace them and a lot less costly.


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RE: Chippers, Part II

MainMan, just be sure to drain the oil in the engine before you tip it back to replace the hammers. If not it will make a huge mess of things (inside the engine and on the floor)

-greenhobby


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RE: Chippers, Part II

Greenhobby,

Thanks for the tip. I will remember to drain the oil before tilting it back. And hopefully I will remember to add oil after finishing up. (grin)

MM


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RE: Chippers, Part II

I just wanted to let the folks who weren't happy with their DR chipper/shredder a little tidbit......If the guy is recommending you buy a MacKissic beware....DR IS MADE BY MACKISSIC. If your not happy with the quality of the chipper manufacture its not DR thats the problem. MacKissic make them for DR. If you aren't happy with the DR do yourself a favor and get a Bearcat. They are less expensive and run better.


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RE: Chippers, Part II

Glacier1968,

I see you just signed up on GardenWeb. Welcome to our discussions.

"I just wanted to let the folks who weren't happy with their DR chipper/shredder a little tidbit..."

I think you posted your message with good intent, but I think if you check back in this message thread, you will see that all of the people who had firsthand experience with DR chippers said that they liked them. I agree with you that at least some DR chippers were probably made by MacKissic and I said as much in my message on Mon, Jan 24, 05 at 16:06 when I said,

"Incidentally, have you noticed the striking similarity between the outer appearance of the MacKissic SC183-16VE and the DR Chipper Shredder? It's almost like MacKissic made that machine for DR."

However, among the participants in this thread who have firsthand experience with either DR chippers or MacKissic shredder-chippers, I think that everyone has liked them, and they are not unhappy with their chipper manufacturer. I doubt that you own or have owned a MacKissic shredder-chipper, or you would know better and wouldn't have posted this dire "warning."

As to the Bearcats, as far as I know they are good chippers. When I was looking at various machines prior to my decision to buy MacKissic, I did look at the Bearcats. However, they don't have a hammermill shredder section, and I decided against them for that reason. I do very little, if any, trimming on the limbs I feed to my MacKissic, so when I get down near the end of the limb I am holding a handfull of small branches, twigs, and sometimes leaves. It would be very awkward to try to push this little stuff through the chipper, and it is very handy to just drop it into the hopper of the shredder, where the hammermill shreds it to the size of the holes in the screen. You can see the screen in this X-ray view.

Since the chips from the chipper also pass through this screen, I can control the size of my chips from very small to very large by mounting a screen with the appropriate sized holes. I have ", ", ", and 1" round-holed screens and a bar screen with 1 x 3" oval holes for wet materials. For maximum-sized chips, I just remove the screen altogether and "let the chips fly". The hammermill is very versatile and can process a wide variety of materials in many ways. You could run corn cobs, oyster shells (noisy), or acorns through the hammermill. Some people have even used a small screen to grind dry corn into chicken feed. I process a lot of leaves and deadfall for my compost piles.

Big wood chips are good for some landscaping uses, and the very fine fluffy product that comes through my " screen is great for rapid composting or as a very soft mulch. I also used a lot of the fine stuff around my grandaughter's play set, because it is softer than sand in case she falls into it.

If you prefer a Bearcat, then you are welcome to it. They are good machines, but with obvious design limitations. Without a hammermill shredder section, they are unsuitable for grinding leaves, deadfall, weeds, garden waste, or for reprocessing a compost pile, etc. And, no offense intended, but your statement that Bearcats "run better" than MacKissics is groundless.

MM


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RE: Chippers, Part II

)YIKES REGARDING THE BEAR CATT WOOD CHIPPER, SHREDDER YIKES...

Well where should I start here.lol.I have a BEAR CATT Chipper shredder and I actually would not recommned it to any one who has a lot of bush and trees to be chipped..
I have the BEAR CATT 7050 -5.5 H/P..Which to me is not good enough for what I am doing on the acerage that I am clearing..

We bought the chipper in Mid June and I think I have put about sixty hours on it if that...And in them sixty hours I have replace both bearing, The Shredder shaft need replacing, shredder knives have been turned around, The Chute Door Shaft came off as it was held on with tap on caps..Also when I was chipping the ring that holds on the shaft with a little set screw came loose and thats when I notice the Rotor was loose...
It was easier for me to just remove the motor and guards then repair and tighting up the the ring that holds the shaft in place..To me the bear catt is poorly engineered as it should have two set screws on the shaft guard for safety matters..
Also The shredder knives shaft gets bent easily and should use a higher grade of steel..Onces they are bent a little bit then the shredder knives are hard to change....

I tried running straw through the shredder with some other material and As you all have mentioned you needed to push the material through with a stick which can be time consuming, Unless you work for the CITY...lol
I think it could use a higher horse power motor as it bogs down a lot when shredding and chipping.....
But to be Honest it would be a Good machine for a small city lot if any thing....

I have been researching alot and have heard a lot of good feed back on a Mighty MAC 12PTE 10...I have ordered one as I do not really need a commercial one for an acerage..Unless I plan on doing extra business which I know I won't be because of competisting..
If any one wants to know more regarding the BEAR CATT please email me for more information..

Thanks CHATTERBOX Lyle


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re: chippers, part ii dr tlc18-chp

I bought a DR Chipper a little over a year ago to clear a two acre lot with cedar so thick you could not walk through it. Now I have a lot with beautiful Live Oak trees I didn't even know existed.

I bought the trailer mounted 18HP top discharge unit and it is an exceptional piece of equipment. I did purchase the extended 2 year warranty. I must admit, I did have a few problems with the unit but Country Home Products went overboard to help me. I am my own mechanic and was able to correct problems which occured. They would send me anything I needed very quickly and were very friendly.

The only problem I had with operation of the chipper was the discharge chute stopping up frequently. I cured the chute problem by mixing some epoxy resin and pouring it inside the chute in the corners, rounding off the sharp square area that caught twigs. I suggested they should construct a round chute instead of what they have.

The chipper would cut 4 1/2 inch material as fast as I could feed it. The engine would not even slow down. You must keep the cutting knife sharp. It is imperative you have a couple of spare knives on hand if you do a lot of continuous cutting. A knife would stay sharp for about a week of continuous chipping. The knife is easily sharpened using the side of a fine grinding wheel and then using Dremel tool and minature drum sander to put keen edge on blade.

The chipper is quiet, vibration free and very durable.

I had some weird mechanical problems but they immediately sent me parts. First problem was the cutting wheel bearings got noisy. The grease fitting on the mount does not grease the bearing. The bearings are sealed and all that fitting greases is the self alligning flange. I had a piece break off the scroll weldment and they immediately
sent a new one and started welding both sides of the piece.

Now that I am finished with the equipment, I am cleaning it up to sell. I called them to buy a new rubber blow back shield on the hopper. They said they would send one free and it was a $40 item.

The price of the chipper was less than it would have cost to have it professionally cleared. I can now sell the chipper and reduce the price by $1,000 and be way ahead.

I looked at their lower HP chippers and realize they would not stand up to my project. I am sorry others have had problems with Country Home Products.


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RE: Chippers, Part II

I am afraid I have the same DR chipper with the same actually different problem. Have less than 5 hrs on the Intek 12 hps motor and it had to be taken apart and found out has excessive wear on the bearing and sleeve and the oil is black all this with less than 5 hrs but there is nothing I can prove about the hrs use to believe that Briggs & Stratton engine was the way to go.


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RE: Chippers, Part II

Ed,

There is no way your oil could have gotten black in only 5 hours of proper use. Either this was not a new machine or it got a lot of demo use at the dealer before you bought it, or something was badly wrong. Perhaps the chipper was not level when you added oil and that caused you to add way less oil than it should have had.

"Have less than 5 hrs on the Intek 12 hps motor and it had to be taken apart..."

It had to be taken apart??? What were the circumstances leading up to that? I don't think I would be taking a 5-hour engine apart. If you had that little time on the engine, surely your chipper was still in warranty and should have been taken back to the dealer.

I have had nothing but good experience with Briggs & Stratton engines and their Intek OHV engines are excellent in my experience. I have one on my MacKissic shredder-chipper, which has been purring right along for three years of heavy usage. Like any engine, they require proper lubrication. Black oil isn't that.

MM


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RE: Chippers, Part II

Folks, I have to admit that I joined as a member to this website just so I could thank you all for the info about the MacKissic 12PT10. I desperately needed a chipper to get rid of lower branches about about 400 white pines that are around the perimeter of our 5 acre lot. Researched DR, Patriot, Bearcat, but your threads about the 12PT10 Mighty MAC was what convinced me that I should go with the 12PT10. Every positive report is right on the money. I was able to find one new for $ 1523, including tax, in July 2006. It has power to spare, and I love it so much that I look forward to weekends so I can get back to using it. The only thing I am worried about is whether constantly exposing non-stop it to sappy white pine branches will harm the chipping blade, or gum it so bad that I am headed for a problem. Any one know whether this will be a problem. PS, thanks especially to MaineMan -- his detailed threads about the plusses of the 12PT10 made deciding a whole lot easier.


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new 12PT10

Yeah, MaineMan convinced me too. Not before I tried a Bearcat though.

I don't think you'll have a problem with the white pine. Mine has seen a lot of pine, though most of it has been scotch pine. There is some buildup of gum on the knife(s) which seems to cause me no problem. I knock it off with a wire brush each time I sharpen the blade(s) one my machines.


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RE: Chippers, Part II

Honeydoo,

"The only thing I am worried about is whether constantly exposing non-stop it to sappy white pine branches will harm the chipping blade, or gum it so bad that I am headed for a problem."

I'm glad you are enjoying your new 12PT10. After 3 years of heavy use, my chipper blade has become somewhat dull. Maybe very dull. It still chips, but it doesn't have the "bite" and "pull" of a new blade. And it may be chipping slower now.

I recently purchased a blade replacement kit, which includes a new blade, new mounting screws, a small tube of Loctite 243, and a Knife Gauge "tool" to set the gap between the chipper knife blade and the wear plate.

I have chipped a fair amount of gummy wood, including pine and Eastern Hemlock, but I won't be able to assess any damage the gum may have done to the blade until I remove the access plate and remove my old blade to inspect it.

My impression is that the blade gets somewhat hot during use and when you shut the machine down any residual moisture on the blade evaporates. But gum is another matter, and I don't know whether it can accumulate during use. I would think that the ongoing impact of the blade on the wood being chipped would have a "self cleaning" action, but I am just speculating.

Bbriggs has left messages in this thread and elsewhere about the advantages of more frequent sharpening of the chipper blade. A message I obviously need to heed. He uses a Tormek sharpening machine to put a razor sharp edge on his chipper blades. He has both a big SC183 and a 12PT10. The best of both worlds. He may not be "the pinball wizard", but I think he must be "the woodchipping wizard." (grin)

When I replace my dull chipper blade I intend to keep it and sharpen it later to use as an eventual replacement for my new blade. That way I can always have a sharp chipper blade in my Mighty Mac and another blade in the process of being resharpened. Bbriggs has made a good case for the Tormek sharpening system, even though it does cost several hundred dollars. I did some googling for the Tormek, and I was impressed by what I learned about it.

I am thinking the Tormek is worth the money, and with the right attachments it can sharpen a lot of things, including kitchen knives, fillet knives, pocket knives, scissors, woodworking tools, etc. And, of course, my chipper blade. Maybe I will get a Tormek sharpener for Christmas.

Well, back to your concerns about what the pine gum might be doing to your chipper blade. You raise a good question that I don't know the answer to. But the good news is that you can buy a chipper blade replacement kit for about $35 when you need to. It must be made of some pretty good steel. It's a heavy little thing, only about 4 1/8" long, 1" wide, and " thick. It looks like it has enough spare metal to accommodate many sharpenings.

However, if you don't want to go to the expense of buying a device to re-sharpen your old blades, you could always just buy new blades. You could buy over 10 new blades for the cost of the Tormek system needed to sharpen the chipper blades.

MM


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RE: Chippers, Part II

Don't throw those old blades away! They're made out of darn good stuff and have TONS of life in them after their edge is lost. WestPowerTools will sharpen your blade for you, as will many other vendors. If you take it to a local shop, might want to ask how they sharpen. One of the local shops here would have used a dry grinder. Such heating of the edge on these tool steel knives would not be good. You can sharpen a lot of times, each time takes off mere thousandths of an inch. MaineMan is correct in assuming the gum does not build up where material hits it. In my limited experience, therefore, one shouldn't worry about gum buildup. If you don't have a nice wet grinder, a spare blade to send off and sharpen is a good idea. That was my original plan, but the Tormek turned out to be a better one (for me).


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Roll pin for Super Tomahawk

I need to rotate the flails on my chipper, and I'm trying to find the correct size for the old Troy-Bilt part number 11536 for a Super Tomahawk chipper shredder. It's the 10" chassis with 8HP B&S IC engine.

I can't find a cross reference for this part number on the web, and none of the dealers I've called have old enough catalogs to find it.

I'd really appreciate any help!


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RE: Chippers, Part II

rider997,

"I need to rotate the flails on my chipper, and I'm trying to find the correct size for the old Troy-Bilt part number 11536 for a Super Tomahawk chipper shredder. It's the 10" chassis with 8HP B&S IC engine."

Could you explain your question in a little more detail? I'm not clear on what you are asking for. Rotating the flails (or the hammers on a hammermill) usually doesn't require any additional parts. You just need a wrench or two, and maybe a punch and a hammer to knock out some pins, and you just follow the procedure in the manual.

"Rotating" implies that you simply use the flails that are already mounted on the rotor, but detach each flail, "flip" it, and remount it.

Since you are talking about part numbers and old catalogs, apparently I don't understand your question.

MM


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Correct size for Roll pin

I need to get new roll pins. I am doing what you said- I'm removing the flails, rotating them, and reassembling. I would like to ascertain the size of roll pins required for this application, so that I can have them in hand, and can work on the chipper when I have the spare time.

I could drive out an existing pin, take it somewhere to match it, but this would mean I can't use the chipper until I've found a replacement pin, and I would need to do the entire job right now.

I also don't want the normal problem with finding fasteners where all that is available at the local store are Chinese pot-metal fasteners. There's no way I'm putting a junky fastener into a hammermill that I'm going to be using. Last time I got a "cheap" roll pin for a non-critical application, it sheared off immediately.

I would like to get the actual size of the roll pin for that part number (11536), then call some local stores or mail order high quality carbon steel or stainless steel roll pins of the correct size.

Thanks!


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RE: Chippers, Part II

rider997,

I'm not certain you can't reuse the existing pins. If your manual has a parts list, it might possibly tell their size, although parts lists frequently don't give dimensional details.

Otherwise, if you want to avoid driving out a pin and taking it to a hardware store to find a match, you could go to a place like Home Depot that allows returns and get several sets of pins in different sizes and after you open up your chipper and find what size you need, use those from your purchase and return all of the other sizes for a refund.

I personally think it is going to take longer to find the size of your pins on the Internet than it would take to simply open up your machine, remove a pin, and measure it.

Then, if you need to continue using your machine in the interim before you obtain the new pins, you could simply re-install that original pin. I think they have a natural "spring" action that should make them re-usable at least long enough to get new pins, provided that you use the correct size of punch to drive them out.

MM


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RE: Chippers, Part II

Just hopping on the end here to thank you guys for all the info on chippers. I just got a new 12pt9 (sitting in store 2 years for $1303) and am very pleased. It sucks brush into the hopper and easily chips branches completely under control. Of course I burn wood and wouldn't waste big branches for mulch even though I need as much mulch as I can get to add to my horrible clay soil.
MacKissic has very helpful people but one must be persistant to deal with their sub distributers who don't alwasy know who sells their products.


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RE: Chippers, Part II

Chas,

You saved some real money on that MacKissic 12PT9, which is the same model I have. I even saw an older MacKissic 12PT8 in one of our local Outdoor Power Equipment dealers. It had an 8hp engine, and was priced considerably less than $1000. Somebody got a real bargain on that, because everything but the engine was the same as our 12PT9s and the current 12PT10s.

MM


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RE: Chippers, Part II

Great thread. I'm in the market to buy a chipper/shredder but haven't really decided and don't really know the best choice. We have a 20 acre lot with 70% balsam fir tress and the remaining is alder (I call them tree-weeds). We're looking to reestablish a xmas tree growing operation. As well as help out with the in-laws operation which is 400 acres. The lot has a woods road that a truck can drive through. I would rather had a towable unit that I can pull with the quad, but either way would do.

I stumbled across this today, interesting info. Mostly geared towards resellers but it had some good points to consider. http://www.forconstructionpros.com/print/Rental-Product-News/Features/Dont-Blow-It/6FCP2888

We're mostly looking to mulch and leave the clippings where they are on the forest floor. Definitely want to get rid of the alder and the rest would be balsam fir trees and branches that don't make the grade for saleable xmas trees. I've read a bit about sap build up and it doesn't seem to be an issue but balsam firs are heavy sap trees.

I enquired locally about a troybuilt cs4310 http://www.troybilt.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/product_10001_14102_13808_17689_-1 but the more I read here, the more I realize I may have to step up to a used Vermeer. The local rental place has a Vermeer 24 Hp that they will let go for $5G's. Its got 1000 hrs on it but I don't know its age or model number. Besides it was more than what I was budgeting ($2500).

A lot of people here seem to be happy with the 12PT10 by MacKissic. I think I'd rather have a machine that self-feed. Or is that just luxury option whose money could be better spent? Any opinions on any of this?


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RE: some more info

Forgot to mention, tree size would range from 2-3 inches with some 4" that could probably be left for firewood. Smaller branches are 2" or less. Only other consideration is with the balsam fir branches they can be quite wide so I'm wondering if these smaller units might require more chainsaw work as opposed to a Vermeer 620 or somethign like that.


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about that tub grinder

seen this earlier http://www.morbark.com/Equipment/SpecSheets/1000ftg.pdf

Here is a link that might be useful: http://www.morbark.com/Equipment/Equipment.htm


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RE: Chippers, Part II

Jim,

If your budget is $2500, I am puzzled that you are considering a Morbark Model 1000 Tub Grinder. That thing would cost a small fortune.

MM


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RE: Chippers, Part II

Woodchuckcanuck,

"Smaller branches are 2" or less. Only other consideration is with the balsam fir branches they can be quite wide so I'm wondering if these smaller units might require more chainsaw work as opposed to a Vermeer 620 or something like that."

I use a pair of big 3-inch loppers to do most of my trim work. I keep a bow saw nearby to handle the few side limbs that my loppers can't. My chainsaw gets involved only with larger trees used for firewood, and not with my chipping operation. My MacKissic's chipper chute is well-designed, and "folds back" a lot of the smaller side limbs. I have fed whole 3-inch 25-foot sapling trees to it with no prep work at all.

The smaller units like the MacKissic 12PT10 series can handle your trees and limbs OK, but with 20 acres of woods to process, and then there is your in-law's 400-acre operation, you have so much stuff to process that the labor of feeding your stuff and the processing time is a factor. Your budget of $2500 is probably low, considering the magnitude of your task.

Maybe you should consider spending your $2500 for rental of a big machine like the Vermeer or a Morbark. After all, after you get your place converted to a Christmas tree farm, you won't have a need for a big machine. (I think we should let your inlaws deal with their 400 acres themselves.)

You could consider the $5000 purchase of the 1000-hour 24hp Vermeer, with the idea that after you finish your conversion to a Christmas tree farm you will re-sell the Vermeer to recover part of your investment. However, with 1000 hours on it, the Vermeer may already need some money to be spent on it to replace worn parts. So it may actually cost significantly more than $5000 to get it ready. But hopefully the Vermeer would still be worth something after you finished your conversion project. How easy is it to feed trees to the Vermeer? Would it be a lot easier than feeding trees to a MacKissic SC262?

Incidentally, pay no attention to the guy in the blue shirt with no ear protectors, eye protection, or gloves. That's not a very realistic pose. This picture should have looked more like the picture of the MacKissic SC150.

MM


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RE: Chippers, Part II

He does have eye protection on. :)


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RE: Chippers, Part II

You're right, he does. Probably has a pocket protector, too. (grin)

MM


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RE: Chippers, Part II

Looks like this "board" has been inactive for about a year; however, it steered me in the right direction. I have been considering a wood chipper for several years with 1 3/4 acres, mostly trees, brush and briars.

Finally, a few days ago, following some consumer forum recommendations, I bought a Troy-built CS 4310 for $850. the saleman was steering me towards a Mightly Mac 12PT-10, but it was twice the price.

The minute I left the store, I felt I had made a mistake; something he said about the brush feed hanging up due to the shute's sharp angle of feed into the shredder. When I got it home and set it up, it just didn't feel right. I called him up and told him exactly that, he said I could bring it back, since there was no oil or gas added yet.

I went on line that night and found this bulletin board through Google. I truly became enlightened.

The next morning I returned the Troy-Built and bought the 12PT-10 on the spot. The salesman was in shock, but it was the right decision.

I used the chipper/shredder today for the first time. It was everything I wanted it to be. I was surprized that it was not as loud as I expected, but then again, I am a little bit hard of hearing. It's so practical.

I am now recycling my brush. I owe you all a thanks.


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RE: Chippers, Part II

My thanks are due also. I purchased a 12P10 and couldnt be happier.


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RE: Chippers, Part II

I purchased a 12pt10 bases on advice from maineman as well and I couldn't be happier. Its definitely a quality machine and its the perfect size. I have 1.5 acres but my yard is surrounded by a forrest. Anything that it can't chip becomes firewood. I wish I had more free time to use it as I have an endless supply of material to chip.


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RE: Chippers, Part II

I found this forum about a week ago, while looking for info on a good gas powered chipper-shredder. After looking at other sites, to include DR, MacKissic and others, I am going to order te MacKissic 12PTE10. The folks here have discussed much of what I have to work on. My biggest problem is we have leaves and branches that have been down for years...knee deep!!!! I thought I read where the horizontal bar is best for damp leaves/material. Oh yeah, I was given the distributor in my area - sent an e-mail and have not received a reply....West Tool will take my business. Thanks for all the inputs folks put in, it made the choice easy. Wish I would have done it before reaching 66, but my "follow-up" crew will enjoy" ha.


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RE: Chippers, Part II

Well I finally ordered and received my MacKissic. I put it off after my last submission....made it a belated Xmas Gift for myself!!! I bought thru West, and it was smooth as silk; had it in 7 days. I asked for Lift Gate because I live on the side of a steep hill in the boonies. Driver put it on some hand operated forklift and brought it right on down and parked the pallet under the carport. I have been reading the manuals and plan on lighting it off Sunday. Again, thanks to all the folks here for the recommendations. Ron


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RE: Chippers, Part II

Ron,

I think you will enjoy your MacKissic. Be sure to check the oil in the engine before you start it. I think they may ship the engines "dry" (without oil) and it would possibly ruin the engine to start it without oil. Read the instructions for the engine. I think the engine has a separate manual from the shredder-chipper itself. You may be supposed to use the first oil only for a limited time before you drain it and replace it. I use Mobile One synthetic oil in my MacKissic, the weight depending on the season.

MM


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RE: Chippers, Part II

Ron, I think you'll be happy with the Mackissic. This machine is great. This thing goes through smaller branches 2.5 inches or less like a hot knife through butter. Take your time with the larger branches and wear thick gloves. You hands will thank you. Also highly recommend you wear ear and eye protection.


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RE: Chippers, Part II

I have a Mackissit too and it is great.

Recently, I put an hour/tach meter on it because when trying to figure out when to change oil and lube the bearings, I realized that it is almost impossible for me to keep track of the number of engine hours.

It may be something that you might want to add too before running it too long.


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RE: Chippers, Part II

I have put Mobil I 5W30 to start off with; my book shows I can use it regularly in my climate area. I have to tell this one - you have to turn it up on its end to get the tow handle out....and at 67 and five heart attacks - I just don't have the strength any longer. My wife said leave it go until our sons visits in about three weeks!!!! We are the only folks living here in the colder months. After stewing, I got my Come-Along out and went to work, yeah, that bad boy got it up, the handle out, and helped lower it!!
Wow, when that thing came to life and I fed the first batch of leaves and branches into its throat, I knew I made a great investment. Again, thanks for all your guidance and help...I look forward to continued reading and learning from you all. Ron


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RE: Chippers, Part II

Hum, not in the market at the moment, I purchased a reconditioned MDT from Home Depot (new, just a return with almost no time on it), but this thread caught my "eye". I always wonder why one would buy a commercial unit for home use and conclude from a brief scan of the last couple of posts you "guys" put some serious hours on your units each year, e.g., installing an hour meter to be sure to change the oil on time, for the rest of us changing it once a year is throwing away clean oil. How many hours per year are you talking about?


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RE: Chippers, Part II

Hello Jerry_ni,

I started this thread some time back, looks like over three years ago now. Hard to believe I bought my 10 HP Home Depot MTD chipper that long ago. What are you using yours for?

Mine has turned out to be not good for anything but mulching leaves. The bottom of the chute for branches is so small that you have to spend a lot of time trimming even small branches so they'll fit through the tiny hole, and forget about chipping anything bigger than about an inch.

In the three or four times I've used it since I bought it, I've used the leaf hopper for just about everything, but it jams easily and you risk your eyes and limbs from debris flying back out of the hopper while trying to dislodge a jam-up or trying to force something through. Naturally I bought a face shield with ear protection and use heavy gloves.

It was a good idea, buying a chipper, since I have lots of trees and debris that needs chipping, but this piece of crap was a waste of money. My debris accumulates in three big piles and I'll eventually haul it off instead of making the mulch I bought the chipper for.

What are they selling for these days? I need to sell mine since machinery not used just deteriorates. I've kept it sprayed with WD-40 and I run the engine every few months so it's in like new condition, but there's no point in hanging on to it. I should have bought the McKissick everyone seems to like so well. The engine always starts easily and runs strong. The engine is great. It's the rest of the design that I've found useless.

Please let me know what you paid for yours so I'll have some idea what to charge. It's the right time of year to get rid of it.

I'm in San Diego if anyone reading this is anywhere around and is interested. (619) 449-5145

Email: Laser147@Juno.com

Mike


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RE: Chippers, Part II

Mike,

Happily my experience with residential (non-commercial) equipment is much better than yours. I purchased my first Sears Chipper/Shredder in 1975, it had a 3.5 or 4 hp engine, I don't remember. I unit mostly for leaves, but as for branches up to about 2", it didn't have a separate chipper shoot, everything went in the hopper. I gave it away in about 1990, it still ran but wasn't in great shape. I purchased another Sears with 5 hp and a separate chipper shoot, and found it better. I ran it until about 2003 when I got it so jambed up I had to take it apart to get the jamb out, then (I'm normally good mechanically) I managed to put it back together wrong, something not tight and the next time I used it the chipper blade came loose and, well everything came to a stop. The housing worked, prevented any metal from flying out into my space. Looking at repair part cost I decided it didn't pay to repair. I next bought a Sears three way yard vacuum, blower, and small chipper, nothing more than about 1" in my experience. It has a 6 hp engine. So, I lived without a dedicated chipper shredder for a couple of years when I saw the local HD had a 10 hp, good to 3" I think they say, normally about $600 for sale for, best I can remember, $395. It sat there for a couple of weeks so I asked the manager if he could "knock" anything more off, he took another $50 off, making the price $345. I then talked to the HD associated who handled the unit, had to go back to get some of the accessories that were stored in a closet the manager didn't know about, and the associated said he sold and took the return on the unit, said the guy just didn't like it, and in fact hardly used it. It went back, nonetheless, to the shop for a check out and a branding stating it was "reconditioned". I have only tested it, both chipper up to about 2" and leaves, it seems to work well....looks like a good deal at almost half off.


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RE: Chippers, Part II

You sound like a well experienced chipper user, and a patient one too. If something doesn't work well, especially something spinning blades and grinder wheels at high RPM making lots of noise and spitting things out at high velocity, I just don't want any more to do with it. Any machine that doesn't do it's job well either because it is worn or just badly designed, is useless and possibly dangerous. Think of a dull ax or a stripped screwdriver. In the case of this MTD, I think something is wrong with the design.

If it works for you then it sounds like you got a deal. I vaguely remember mine on the other side somewhere of $500.

These things must be useful to someone or they wouldn't keep selling them, so I'm sure I'm just expecting too much from it.

Thanks for the report. Looks like this is an extremely early Spring this year, (at least in SD), so better than let it set any longer I need to take advantage of the time of year when people are thinking about their yards.

Mike


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RE: Chippers, Part II

Just adding my feedback here. The information here sold me on McKissic 12p and it was a good purchase. I replaced a 5 HP MTD which was a nightmare to use compared to this unit.

I have about 15 to 20 hours on the unit so far. It was not auto feeding as well anymore so I openned it up to change the blade and was disappointed that it required a torch to losen the bolts. On the positive side, I was most impressed with the quality of the blade/chipper in there. It was a very high quality steel, still quite shiny and sharp to my touch. Alas, it had a part of it chipped so I suspect it uses pretty hard steel so stones and such are liable to chip it more.

The other thing that has become annoying is the pile that builds up under it. You have to keep stopping to clear that out. I got the bagging option and that is something I do not recommend as it causes the unit to clog. A side shoot would make the machine ideal.

Other than above, the machine works exceptionally well. It is speedy (with sharp blade), and the engine rarely slows down. The locatino of the chipper shoot is nice, not requiring to bend down too far.

The handle bar is nice for hand carrying. But when I use my lawn tractor, it will not work backward because it turns to left or right at random, making it impossible to back the unit into any spot. I wish it had a lock for this mode of operation.

Overall, I give it A-.

Oh, one more thing. They have the worst distributor in Pacific NW and California. Even after I pinged MacKissic and they asked their distributor to tell me where I could buy their units here, they would not respond! And their distributor web site makes no mention of coverage for WA, nor lists any dealer. I am sure they are losing a lot of sales due to this. I had to purchase mine mail order.


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Helpful Oil Draining Tip

When I changed the oil the first time on my Might Mac, I had to make a "diverter" of sorts because the oil will drain right on the frame and make a mess. This is not a design problem, but interface, I believe.
I found a solution in a Drainzit Oil Drain System. This allows the oil to drain through a rubber hose about 6" in length. When not being used, the hose is doubled back and held with a rubber holding device. If anyone is interested, checkout Precise Engine Repair's website. He carries B&S stock, along with these Kits. FYI, the size drain plug is the 1/4" one.....yeah, I ordered the wrong one and had to return, ha!!!! Bruce, the owner is most accommodating and provides excellent service. Ron


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RE: Chippers, Part II

Ron,

Thanks for the tip about the Drainzit Oil Drain System. I have been using a couple of big pans under my Mighty Mac to catch most of the oil but, as you say, it is a mess. I tilt my machine forward and chock the wheels to get a better drain down. I'll probably change the oil before I start using it this Fall. I will definitely consider purchasing a Drainzit Oil Drain System.

MM


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Sears Chipper/Shredder

I bought a Sears 8 hp chipper. It is what it is. I bought it because it was readilly available for about half price, $350 or so.

I am using it in Hawaii in the Puna area of the Big Island. There is a weed tree called the strawberry guava that grows in incredibly thick stands, crowding out all other growth and using up all the nutrients. The one good thing about it is that in these thickets each tree is incredibly long and skinny, like a 20 footer is only 1" thick at the bottom. Of course they come lots thicker than that too. There has been a learning curve. Only feed in the skinny ones and then only so far. Up to 1" the branch feeds very easily and the engine can take it. Larger than that requires you to put your weight against it and push it through in pulses, both due to the force required and to let the engine speed back up. Above 1 1/2" it's not worth the effort.

I laugh self conciously when I read some of the descriptions of using these cheaper units because they ring true. Cramming brush into the top of the shredder is a horrible job. The shredder chute has a couple of bends to keep stuff from flying out. Where the shredder chute turns and enters the actual shredding chamber, it has necked way down in size and makes almost a 90 degree turn. Clogging is almost inevitable unless extreme care is exercised. There is definitely a technique to using the machine. There is a huge temptation to defeat some of the safety features to get stuff to feed easily into the machine. I would if I could see how. Really it is like some kind of joke, or torture. Who was the guy who had to roll a boulder to the top of a hill, only to have it roll down the other side for all eternity? Imagine making a Z-shaped chute that you are supposed to feed tree limbs into, where you can't even see the blades from the opening, and where a good sized grapefruit, if rolled in, might or might not make it to the blades. I remember thinking that they must all be this way until I looked into the top of a rental unit at home depot and was shocked to see the hammer blades right there within easy reach (you to them and them to you). This also allowed me to see the large chunk of steel bolted on to provide an adjustable chopping block against which the blade would shear the incoming limb. This rental unit had 18 hp I think but the chipper opening was only slightly larger than on the Sears unit. I have no doubt however that the commercial unit will chip whatever will fit through that opening. In contrast, on the Sears unit the chipper chute, which bolts on, serves as the anvil described above. I had the chute bolts loosen once and the machine stopped chipping, just sat there buzzing the crap out of my hands. A close tolerance is required so that the blade can shear the branch off. Too much clearance or give and the wood fibers bend without shearing. I tightened up the chute bolts and chipping improved. I have never sharpened the blades. I think I will do so before the next use.

As I said, it chips small limbs OK. It shreds leaves OK too. However, if you have anything larger than an inch thickness or anything gnarly enough that it won't go down the shredder chute that is as convoluted as your small intestine, that multiplies the work load and some jobs are beyond the capacity of the machine. At times I found myself leaning with all my weight into one or the other of the chutes trying to get stuff to go through. I know having the hammer blades exposed where you can just drop things onto them from above poses some risk but surely a design where the user is tempted to climb on top and stomp stuff in with his leg poses an even greater liability.

Never had any problem with the engine.


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RE: Chippers, Part II

Mark,

In my opinion, the layout of the MacKissic 12PT10 models is about ideal, as hopefully this "X-ray" view will show:

You have a separate chute for limbs (and vines) and, for other stuff to be shredded, like small limbs, brush, leaves, weeds, etc, you have the big shredder chute up on top. You do have a direct view of the hammers if you look in through the top (shredder) chute, but you aren't supposed to do that when the machine is running, for obvious safety reasons (and you should be wearing safety glasses or goggles anyway).

The machine handles limbs up to 3" just fine, through the chipper chute, and takes almost any kind of stuff that you toss into the shredder hopper. Its interchangeable screens let you control the texture of you product. For maximum coarseness, remove the screen altogether. For the finest texture with tremendous surface area for quick composting, I use the optional " screen.

Of course, this machine does cost considerably more than your Sears 8hp chipper. I have the MacKissic 12PT9, which was the 9hp predecessor to the current 12PT10 10hp model, and I like mine just fine.

MM


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RE: Chippers, Part II

Maineman:

I lust after your chipper. Unfortunately, due to financial constraints and the fact that I have nowhere yet that I can securely store it, I can not get one. I am building a place on undeveloped land, 1 acre of strawberry guava and uluhe ferns with a few ohia trees thrown in. I had the property partially buldozed, which was necessary in order to be able to drive onto it or build a house w/driveway. The rest is still lava covered with ferns and strawberry guava, a horribly invasive alien tree. I plan on clearing the guava by hand. Now that I have learned my lesson about what the chipper will do I will use it as best I can until I kill it. The price was right and I got what I payed for. I will feed the skinny guavas in top first, stopping when the chipping gets hard. What is left will be set aside for stakes or firewood. I don't know if there is any way I can modify the shredder chute to make it more useable.

I shredded a lot of the uluhe ferns, which grow all over between the trees. They really smother other underbrush and even climb up the trees. As such they serve a purpose in that they prevent invasive weeds from gaining a foothold. It is usually recommended that you don't buldoze until you are ready to build because that lets a lot of weeds get started. I tried composting the ferns and could not get the pile to heat up for the life of me. I threw in some horse manure and it got a little warm. Just the manure going off I suppose. Meanwhile, on a trip back to upstate NY to visit my parents, we shredded a bunch of fall rubbish from their garden and 12 hours later that pile was up to 135 degrees. The ferns must have something in them that the thermophilic bacteria don't like.


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RE: Chippers, Part II

Mark,

You have some interesting problems in Hawaii. We have a lot of ferns here in this part of Maine, and I consider them to be a renewable source of greens for my compost piles. The trees provide a bountiful source of brown leaves in the Fall, and I also process a lot of deadfall (dead limbs, brush piles, tree prunings, leaf-mold, etc.) It appears that I have an un-ending source of compost for our garden, thanks to our "Mighty Mac". Since its hammermill design can process nearly anything, including "dirt", occasionally I send a compost pile back through it before using it in the garden. I frequently feed old compost along with new material to "inoculate" the product for good composting.

MM


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RE: Chippers, Part II

When I bought my MacKissic, I bought the bagging attachment. I installed it and found it to be a pain - like someone else mentioned it causes clogging - it is coming off. We never know if something is a good idea or bad if we don't try them; just like listening to you folks -I bought the Mac over the Big Box Store offering.
My grandsons are spending the entire summer with us, and I have had them dragging branches, etc., and making piles - can't wait for cooler weather and to lite the Mac off. Maineman, I'm not talking the kind of "cool weather" you get - VA cool, ha!! Ron


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RE: Chippers, Part II

If this is the DR vac with chipper ... I agree, the chipper is a joke. It should not be sold nor advertised. The vacum part is pretty good but as a chipper, use your knife and fork instead. You will save time.


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RE: Chippers, Part II

I guess it's my turn to drag up this old thread because I have enjoyed it so much. I've actually read back through it several times.

I have been a "shredder addict" since my 25th year which was 1985. My first chipper was a Troy-Bilt Garden Way era 8 Horse Super Tomahawk which I still own up at my Ohio property. That machine has taken a beating and did suffer some of the cracks problem mentioned in this thread but I punished it without mercy and it will still crank up today and rip it!

I bought a Kemp K6 for my Florida property in 1989 and pounded on that poor thing until March of this year when the chipper shute side maine bearing went out. I did find a set of replacements but it took a while and if you are a true chipper addict as I am (I suspect that Maineman will under stand this) you fly into a panic when your pride and joy tosses the wobbler and start an immediate search for another machine because well, ... I have to have my "fix" LOL.

OK while the Kemp was a fabulous unit and would have lived forever had I replaced the cover after the weather had taken it's toll. I failed to do that and the wet Florida evironment caused the dear machine to rust a bit. With that in mind I thought about the decades of amazing service from the old Tomahawk and with this being the new ebay era I decided too take a look to see what was being sold.

Since I'm flapping along so long windedly I should offer the reason for this post to begin with. I wanted to put an option into the minds of those thinking that they could not afford a fabulous chipper / shredder like the Mackissic for their home use and would have to settle for some crappy contraption from a box store.

OK from my ebay watching, I found that the Troy-Bilts, the real ones before they went away are fairly plentiful and selling for much less the the Box store junk! I bought another Super Tomahawk and it's slightly more modern then my other one which is of the early ones. My "new" one has the forward discharge shute on it. The coolest difference was the re-inforcements that they added later in the area where the early ones had problems with cracks!!! I don't see that being a worry with this one.

The biggest concern for myself and I'm sure for others as well is support for the wear parts. I was very pleased to see that I could buy anything I needed from vendors on ebay as well. I bought a spare belt, shredding flails, chipping knife, and a new pin and spacer set as well just for the peace of mind to know that I now have all the stuff I need for this machine to last a very long time.

I gave my Tomahawk a workout today (and my Maxtra polesaw as well) trimming trees in advance of not one but two tropical storms that are aimed at Florida. The trees have a better chance of not being destroyed if I thin them out before the hurricane force winds have at them.

Sorry for such a longwinded post but thanks for reading and thanks as well to everyone that posted to this thread though the years. Mulching men rule! Be safe. Turbo.


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MacKissic 12p10

Or something like that. Brand new toy. $2000. Electric start, four wheel, with a tow bar. I hook it up to the spare lawn tractor and tow it to where the job is.

If you have an acre or more, I suggest looking for something like a Mackissic Mighty Mac 12p. They do show up on craigslist, but they get a good price.


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RE: Chippers, Part II

Hi everyone. I found this site doing a search for the Mackissic 12 PT. I have had mine for a couple of years now and have used it for approx 40 hours and am thinking it is time to sharpen the blade and rotate the hammers.

I make a pretty mean compost pile but i am not much of a mechanic. I was wondering if anyone can recommend someone in the Southern California area to do the work


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RE: Chippers, Part II

  • Posted by zenman Ottawa KS 5b (My Page) on
    Sat, Sep 8, 12 at 14:16

Hi fresh-tea,

At 40 hours you should have greased the main bearing several times and perhaps replaced the air cleaner on the engine and changed the oil. But, in my opinion, you shouldn't need to sharpen the blade or rotate the hammers after only 40 hours of use.

I purchased a blade replacement kit through my dealer at about the 400 hour point. The kit includes a new blade, mounting bolts, a clearance guide, and red Loctite. I will eventually get the old blade sharpened by a specialist, and re-install it. The blade is made of tool steel, and should be cold sharpened to avoid taking out any of the temper.

I have about 800 hours on my 12PT9 and I should rotate the hammers now because their leading corners are very rounded. However, it still works fine and the rounded corners just slow down the throughput, but don't affect the product quality.

I don't know what your dealer situation is in Southern California, but if you have a competent dealer, you might inquire with him. He should know who has the equipment to cold sharpen tool steel. He might possibly be set up to do that himself. It is quite possible that it might cost almost as much to get the blade properly sharpened as it would cost for a blade replacement kit.

Be aware that you will probably need a MAPP torch to heat the blade bolts hot enough to loosen the LocTite. The bolts screw into the heavy flywheel, which acts as a heat sink and conducts heat away from the bolts. Once the bolts are heated hot enough to melt away the LocTite, they can turn easily. Otherwise you can break a hex tool trying to break the Loctite bond. Or worse still, round the hex hole in the bolts. I learned that the hard way, after using a small propane torch in a futile attempt to break the Loctite bond. Fortunately my Craftsman hex socket bit broke before rounding the hole. And Sears replaced the hex bit. So all was well after I bought a MAPP torch. MAPP burns hotter than propane.

ZM


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RE: Chippers, Part II

Thanks for the info ZM. I agree, my blade seems fine, but I have noticed the hammers not working as well as they used to and thought I would get them done at the same time. Maybe I will wait a bit, and just do the other service you mentioned, which I can do myself.

I did talk to someone in Temecula that is familiar with the machine, and seems reasonably priced.

Thanks again for the response.


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RE: Chippers, Part II

Well, here's my experience... I have had the Mackissic 12PT10 for about 7 or 8 years or so now... I primarily bought this model hoping to shred my crazy jungle full of palm fronds and giant bird of paradise here in So. Cal.

First of all this hammermill chipper/shredder works awesome for any woody type material... it just eats em up without any problems at all.. The circular knife shredder/hopper portion of the unit works awesome for long branches also.

As for wet stuff like palm fronds the hammermill can work fairly well, but you gotta have a system down, otherwise the thing will just get clogged up with a bunch of wet mush. Another problem with palm fronds is that they can wrap around the shaft and bind it up fairly easily... Don't put the fronds in the hopper, it will bind and cause problems.

Steps to keep this thing from clogging or binding..
1. the metal screen that comes with 1 to 2 inch holes is no good for palm fronds and wet materials.. I ended up cutting out the holes so that they were about 3 inches or so with my handy grinder. Bigger holes in the screen is better, but can't just remove screen because the fronds will just shoot out and not get shredded at all, so just use a screen with giant holes. Works waaaay better.

2. It's best not to throw full length palm fronds in the hammermill, it will slow it down.. Recommend cutting them first into 12 or 16 inch lengths first before shredding them.. Same with the giant bird of paradise leaves/stems. Note: recently I have been using an electric lawnmower to shredd my giant bird paradise leaves/stems... it will shredd em so dang fast.. just tilt the lawn mower up and open the side exhaust/bag connection shoot and feed the giant leaves (stems first). Whatever is left at the end can easily be thrown into the 12PT10..

3. Also after a few years, the hammermills do get a bit dull. Just take a cheap 4" carbon fiber grinding disk and sharpen up the edges of each of those small steel hammers.. Doesn't take long. Just remove the screen and you can sharpen them up while they are still mounted on the machine.

My yard has about 50 palm trees and 20 giant birds that I need to tend too myself along with tons of other tropicals, so this 12PT10 has come in real handy for creating my super mulch pile.. Beets putting out 12 or 15 cans each week overfull of fronds and cuttings.


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RE: Chippers, Part II

  • Posted by zenman Ottawa KS 5b (My Page) on
    Wed, Nov 28, 12 at 20:05

Reeking,

"Also after a few years, the hammermills do get a bit dull."

Have you looked in your owner's manual for instructions on how to rotate or flip your hammers? The leading edge corners of your hammers can get rounded with wear, but by flipping and/or rotating your hammers you can get use out of all four corners of the rectangular hammer bars. As MacKissic's advertising says, that quadruples the useful life of the hammers.

ZM


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