I like getting Make Magazines and have a Maker mentality so it’s normal to consider DIY projects. I’ve been wanting a Chipper/Shredder for a while so last year I started wondering what it takes to build one. I started on my usual search of the Internet for inspiration but mostly found sites that warned against doing such a thing.
The best example of a DIY chipper I found is the 5″ Horizontal Wood Chipper by Steve Bedair. It is worth taking a look at this machine. His disclaimer page gives proper warning about risks involved when attempting a project like this.
I like the motto, “Safety Third”. I don’t advocate carelessness but think it is important not to shy away from a project just because there are some dangerous aspects. I put my search on hold, however, after spending a few dollars on a Craftsman Chipper/Shredder at a garage sale last year. The body of the machine had some areas with fiberglass patching so I expected it would need additional work but overall it looked intact.
Recently, I pulled it out of the garage and plugged it in. Starting with small twigs it chewed up the pieces and spit them out the other side. I tried some larger pieces and was working on a small branch about 1/2″ in diameter. Suddenly the machine’s houseing disintegrated into pieces. The fiberglass patches stayed intact but the brittle plastic couldn’t stand the abuse.
Recently I found this on Twitter by @bkmontgomery
Thinking about building a homemade leaf vacuum/chopper/bagger. Wonder if the motor from a circular saw would work…
I thought I would share some details about how this machine is built. I took it to the CCCKC Underground Lab and began taking it apart.
Removing the shroud exposes the chopping blades inside.
The top blade is made from about 3/16 inch steel.
The bottom blade has more aggresive teeth but like the top it appears to be made from a flat sheet of steel then bent to form the teeth. Notice the extra blade on the top that chips the branches fed into the side chute.
The motor size is 10 Amps at 1.5 horsepower.