Oh, what fun!
I got the chipper assembled, and we’ve tested it out. Here’s how it went.
This is after lifting the box off, and removing the bubble wrap around that biggest chute. It was deep in that chute, under other stuff, that I found the instruction booklet.
Which included detailed instructions on how to remove the chipper from the box. 😀
Time for assembly!
The tops of the shredder chute had to be put on first, then the handle. It wasn’t until that was on that I could grip it well enough to manhandle the chipper over the blocks holding the wheels in place, and the rest of the assembly was done outside.
Which didn’t take very long at all. 🙂
Once it was together, I had to go and get fuel and oil. We had only a few litres of fuel left for the lawnmowers, so I had to refill the 20L jerry can anyhow. This thing takes 10W30 oil, and everything else we’ve got – including our van – uses 5W30. Oh, except the new push mower. That uses 0W30.
In reading the manual, it said to put in about 1.1L of oil, no more.
The oil, however, comes in quarts, or 946ml Which meant needing 1.16 quarts to max the oil level.
I bought two and filled it with one. The level should be checked before each new use, or at least waiting until after it has had several minutes to cool down, so I’ll see if it needs to be topped up the next time we use it.
It came with its own oil funnel, which was greatly appreciated. The opening is tucked well under the engine, and the oil funnels I already have would not have reached, nor fit in the space!
The fuel tank on this thing is pretty massive! If I had not gotten more fuel, I would not have been able to fill it.
A couple of appreciated features. One is the removable gadget in the tank opening, with the red fuel level marker. The instructions made a big deal about not overfilling, and this makes a very handy visual reference. The other appreciated feature is the fuel gauge. Love it!
There was just one down side to the fuel tank, and that was with the cap itself. It takes a surprising amount of uumphf to turn the cap, and I couldn’t do it with my right hand at all, due to a combination of arthritis pain and that injured finger. My left hand has arthritis pain, but I still had enough hand strength to open the tank. Hopefully, over time, it will get easier to open.
Once it was all filled up with oil and fuel, I spent a bit more time going over the instructions before we were ready to test it out.
Ear protection is a must!
We also need to get more safety glasses. The pair I have got all scratched up somehow, to the point that I couldn’t see through them!
My daughter brought over the loppers and starting breaking down branches for me, while I set up the collector bag. It’s attached with only a drawstring. It held well enough once the chipper was started, but there were gaps that allowed chips to go shooting out over the fuel tank and around the engine. I’ll have to figure out if there is some better place to attach it. There is nothing in the instructions other than saying to put it over the diverter.
The collector bag is very durable, and I love the zippered bottom that makes it very easy to empty.
My daughter and I started on the branch pile closest to the garage to test it out. She had a bit of a surprise!
There was an old wasps nest in it. It was an active nest last year, so there were no wasps in it this year, but she didn’t know that when she uncovered it!
The chipper is also a shredder. The larger chute at the top is for leaves and small things, including branches no more than 1/2 inch in diameter. With this pile, that’s the chute we ended up using the most.
With the smaller chute, the maximum diameter is 3 inches, however that’s not just the width of the branch. If there is a bend in the branch, or any knobby bit from a smaller branch that was pruned off, it could be enough to prevent the branch from fitting.
The pile had a lot of very bent branches.
The worst of them, plus any pieces we had to cut off to allow the remaining branches to fit, got set aside. They will likely go into the burn pile.
We went through about 1/4 to 1/3 of the pile in about an hour. We did have to stop to take apart the smaller chute and remove a piece that got stuck. There was a little bit of a side branch sticking out just enough to catch on the opening under the rubber guard.
All those branches gave us this.
The larger pile is in the garden, near the high raised bed I am working on. The small pile is what built up under the chipper itself, that had blown out the top of the collection bag.
The chips are quite small. Smaller than the chips we had when the arborists came and cleared trees from the power lines and roof. I am quite happy with that. This will be used as we layer organic matter in the high raised bed, and will also be used as mulch, so the finer the better!
I’m also happy with how much less space the chips take up, compared to the branches they came from!
Another thing I really like about it; how easy it is to move around! This chipper is designed only to be moved manually; it’s not of a size that can be towed by, say, our riding mower. Which is perfect, because some of the places we will be using it in, don’t have space for a tow vehicle.
This thing is going to make such a HUGE difference in our clean up progress! It’s going to take quite a while to chip away the branch piles, but we have been adding to those piles for four years now, so that’s to be expected! Best of all, as we continue clearing away dead trees, we’ll be able to chip the branches right away, rather than dragging them over to the piles and making them even bigger.
I am just so thrilled with this thing!!!