Processor Upgrades

The firewood processor is working out well.  As with most projects, you often find that there are changes needed that were not obvious at the start, or that became apparent after many hours of run time.

And of course, parts wear out.

sflexcouplingThe coupling driving the splitter ram pump was failing at 30 hour intervals. I suspect the rapid shock loading at either end of the splitter stroke as the likely culprit.

The larger Lovejoy S-flex holds up well, though I had to add a few lock collars to the input shaft so as to keep the drive half from walking.  I lost center section early on when that half gradually disengaged, then the hub split in half, jammed in the frame work, and almost caught some sawdust on fire before I shut off the engine.



Single lever auto-cycle.

The auto-cycle valve on the splitter works very well.  The primary drawback is ergonomic, in that the operator needs to reach up and pull both levers for each split cycle, dropping the hand to one’s side in between.  This gets old, and if the first stage kicks out prematurely, the splitter often has enough time to return all the way before the operator can reach up and re-engage the first stage lever again.

First modify the valve mount platform.


Weld in a hinge.autocycle2Secondary levers.  I should have used a rounded cam rather than a ramp…
autocycle3More or less.  Had to bend the secondary levers for adequate throw. The protective hoop to the left doubles as a hand rest.autocycle4Disengaged.autocycle5Engaged.  Added the lower stop tabs after the mechanism jammed when the cross bar got stuck under the 1st stage lever (on the left) after the detent kicked out.

That was an awkward moment.

autocycle6Blurry video of beta test.


Saw drive motor.

So there I am, chewing my way through the log pile, when the saw drive starts drooling.

No big deal, a little leak never hurt anything. Keep on keeping on…

Soon after, the main shaft seal popped out, a clear indicator that the internal sealing rings in the saw drive motor had worn to excess.

Parts were available, but the cost was enough to consider replacing the motor.

Fortunately, there’s Craigslist, and a listing for a New Old Stock Danfoss with appropriate specs.

That same motor was listed a year ago…. Hmmm.

$400 later, I have what I need.  Only drawback is the motor is euro-spec, with a metric shaft and BSP ports.

Nothing a little lathe work can’t fix.

Motor mount plate.  The new motor has a much larger mount than the old, and the new shaft is larger diameter, and longer than the original.
sawmotormount1Bore to size.


Fitup and weld.  The new motor plate is welded to the back of the original mount.

sawmotor3‘Nother view.sawmotor4Parts array.sawmotor5Top view. Had a few words with the cross brace…sawmotor6


Alignment looks ok.  Bored out the center of the drive hub, and modified the drive key to match.  This motor should hold up for awhile.


New blade.

When I put this thing together, I didn’t consider the effect of tooth count on hp requirement and the limits of the drive train.

The Bedford has enough HP, but the drive belts will slip before the engine really notices.

After consult with BH Payne (from whom I bought the original carbide tipped blade) we decided that going from 60 teeth to 40 teeth would improve cut off speed, while reducing stress on the driveling.

What did Brown do for you?BHP40t1Mounted and ready to go. Looks fierce.

BHP40t2Test run. Still figuring out how to use the GoPro.

Between the new saw motor and the tooth reduction, the operating pressure on the saw circuit has been reduced by about 1000psi. While this has not had much effect on fuel consumption, the fluid runs cooler, and the cut-off rate is more consistent regardless of stock diameter.

Score. Full speed ahead…

A better view of the works. This is with new saw blade, revised auto cycle, and re-powered conveyor.


Minor additions.

The infeed drive motor was weeping around the shaft seal. It’s an obsolete motor, so I replaced it with yet another Craigslist find.infeedmotor

This motor is much faster than the old one. Didn’t realize how much time was wasted advancing the log for the next cut. Now I need to build a solid depth stop.

The wedge lift cylinder was short, so I couldn’t center the wedge on the largest blocks, or fully raise the wedge to clean out accumulated debris. I had another cylinder salvaged from the original rebuild, but needed new mounts.

Also had to reconfigure the turnbuckle anchor.


This works much better than the previous. Unfortunately, I forgot to extend the upper wedge, and a large block with a knot spun and put a bend in the rod. At some point I’ll pull it apart and either straighten it on the press, or build a replacement.

Other upgrades included a bunch of new hoses.