Monday 7 February 2022

Shredding wood

The garden here needs quite a lot of maintenance, and managing the trees and undergrowth creates heaps of discarded brushwood that need to be dealt with.   The bigger pieces of wood we dry out for the fire, but smaller branches we pass through the shredder to make wood chips.   These we put on the flower beds to help keep the weeds down.

We had an Eliet Maestro shredder, that is a fine shredder of its kind.   It had a bag to collect the shreddings, and a petrol engine (Briggs and Stratton) to power it.   It created reasonably fine shreddings that worked well as weed suppression.   But I have to say, I used to hate doing the shredding.   It would take me the best part of an afternoon to deal with a heap of about a metre cubed of unprocessed garden waste, that would create about three bags of chips.   A noisy, boring job, and very dusty during dry weather.

It was an accident, honest.   I let the engine oil run out, perhaps there was a leak that I didn't notice, and I didn't have the habit of checking the oil level before every use, like I should.   The engine seized up.   I got it turning again, having freed it, once it had cooled down, with a big spanner.  I thought I had got away with my negligence, but although the engine ran, it started leaking oil at a high rate.  Repair or replace?

I don't have the workshop facilities to repair it myself, so it would have to go out to a professional.   Probably not worth the cost (according to my local service engineer).  A replacement engine is also a possibilty but again, probably not worth the investment.   We decided to get a new one.   A new Eliet Maestro costs about twice what we paid for the old one, some 15 years ago, so we decided that this was also an opportunity to make shredding a less onerous task.   This is what we bought.

It came in a metal and plywood shipping crate and we spent half an hour or so getting it out and putting it together.  It started first pull (with oil, and petrol added)   We did some shredding, and it works well.  Compared to the Eliet, it has the advantages that it will take bigger diameter branches without stalling, the chute is lower so I don't have to lift the brushwood so high to get it in the machine, and the chute has a much bigger maw making it easier to get the bigger branches in.   In sum, it's much quicker at dealing with a pile of brushwood.

Downside is that instead of collecting the chips neatly in a sack, it fires them out of the chute that you are supposed to aim at a trailer or similar, and in practice they are spread out over an area bigger than our wheelbarrow can catch.  This, however can be dealt with.   And I'm looking forward to doing more shredding, instead of dreading it.


James Higham said...

Perhaps a workshop is your next priority, Mark?

Mark In Mayenne said...

Hi James, I've never really been interested in internal combustion engines, so a mechanical workshop isn't on my list of future projects. I did rebuild my little Honda 125, 45-odd years ago, but that's about the size of it.
Best regards

Mark Wadsworth said...

You do have some lovely garden toys. It's nice to see them new and shiny.

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