Friday, March 14, 2008

Chipper Story for Granny J and Nancy: Part 6

I started taking these pix shortly after I answered Granny J's comment in that previous chipper post - say around 4 PM.

Now it's nearing sunset. The datura is opening its flowers...

My triple layer of latex gloves is battered to bits, left -

and right...

And that big ole pile of ficus branches is history.

I still have a bit of cleanup to do, some things that want lopping, and errant twigs scattered about. But you have to admit, it did that job pretty fast, didn't it?

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Nancy said... I REALLY have to have one'a dese...

K, could you wear a pair of garden gloves over a couple of layers of surgical gloves? That would protect you better, and the surgical gloves wouldn't get as battered.

Desert Cat said...

I'd bet that thing is about as effective as my 5 HP gas powered beastie, for practical purposes. More practical because it doesn't involve small engine maintenance headaches, and less practical because it is more limited on branch sizes.

But on balance, I bet that would get more use just because it's easier to use. I haven't fired up my beastie in years now.

Granny J said...

I'm almost persuaded, k -- that was an absolutely GREAT explication of just what the machine can do. I've got a whole bunch of dead mountain mahogany stems I'd like to turn into compost. Any data on pine needles?

k said...

I don't mind if the latex gloves get torn. I go through several pair every time I hit the yard. They're way cheap at Sam's. I reuse some when I double-up - if they're still in one piece when I take them off, I can use them on top of fresh ones when I need extras for heavy-duty work.

The biggest concern is about contact allergies and germs. The latex gloves take care of almost all that. They also do surprisingly well protecting me from cuts.

I used to work in leather gloves all the time. Now? The arthritis in my hands makes that almost impossible. They get heated up and swell very fast; and the joints are so stiff now that having leather gloves, no matter how supple, makes it hard to use my fingers.

So I make do as best I can.

I think the most important thing is to learn how to move more carefully so I don't get as many injuries. I've been working on that.

You know, DC, this tool is so dang FUN I'm looking around the yard for more stuff to chip! And the no-maintenance bit really matters to me.

Granny J, I'm working on the pine needle question. I can't see why they wouldn't work fine, since the leaves and little twigs do so well. But I'm going to see what I can surf up. Also, I have a pine tree myself, so I can probably test it for my own self.

Keep your fingers crossed that it doesn't rain here tomorrow.

k said...

The link above is a good site for consumer reviews of this chipper - the good and the bad. By far, most reviews were very good to excellent.

Most of the negative issues (besides the bad assembly directions) involved clearing jams, and trying to feed large amounts of leaves. A few mentioned shipping problems, which is not the fault of the manufacturer.

Most of the other negatives seemed to be from people who expected either a fast leaf shredder, or an industrial-strength machine. It's a yard machine, and it's not good for big bunches of leaves. There are lots of inexpensive just-plain-leaf shredders on the market, though.

Many reviewers found, like me, that if you feed larger branches slowly, AND make sure the discharge chute doesn't get clogged, it rarely jams.

Feeding leaves is a PITA. The top hopper opening is too small. I may *cheat* and take the safety opening off. Or, since I don't have all that many leaves, I may do as one reviewer suggested and just mix them in with the sticks and put it all through the side hopper.

Wet, or sometimes green stuff, can clog it. But the directions are very clear about not using wet stuff, so that one's on the user.

I couldn't find anyone who mentioned pine needles. But a few mentioned pine cones, which are apparently a yard problem for some homeowners. Everyone seemed satisfied with the pine cone chipper work.

Since I don't like the top hopper anyway, I think I'd be quite content to sit in my chair and feed pine needles into the side hopper.

Here's my favorite take from the reviews:

"It gets quite addicting after a while. It's like a pet monster you want to keep feeding...I had to stop as it was getting late but even now I can hear it calling out for more to eat."

heh! That's the same effect it has on me. many of the reviews say, it does what it's supposed to do. I'm quite pleased with it, but everyone is different that way.