Anthony Roggenbuck

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Work Experience










Firewood Processor

    This firewood processor was designed and built by my father and I. There are many firewood processors on the market, but none of them directly addressed our needs. By building it ourselves we were able to design to our specific needs while greatly reducing the cost. To that end, the machine was designed to split bigger logs than most on the market, be easy to transport, and utilize components that were either on hand or had been scrapped along with other machinery.

    To power the processor we built a hydraulic power unit. The motor was salvaged off of a scrapped John Deere combine. Combines were an ideal place to look for a good deal on a diesel engine. They are generally only used a few times a year and before the motor wears out the combines start to rust and it becomes difficult to keep all of the augers and storage bin from leaking corn, beans, or grain all over the place. So often times the combines will be scrapped with perfectly good running motors. After breaking down the combine, we were left with a 97 hp six cylinder diesel engine. The motor along with the oil tank from an old hydraulic unit were mounted on a trailer. By building  adding quick disconnect fittings a portable powerful and low cost power unit had been built.

    Many challenges were faced during the development of the actual layout of the machine. We wanted the machine to split logs up to 24 inches in diameter without compromising its ability to split smaller logs and maintain a short cycle time. To aid in this development, we relied heavily on 3-D modeling to assess the advantages and disadvantages of each layout. Two approaches were considered during the initial phases of the project. The first approach, shown below, incorporated a shear to cut the logs and a 4 or 8 way splitter. After careful consideration, it was determined that the added complexity and cost of adding support systems to accommodate the shear were not really worth the hassle. As a result of the sawmill operations, a great deal of log ends and other firewood length pieces are left as a result. We therefore decided that the shear should be built separately and that our main focus should be to tailor the machine for pre-cut pieces and what we came up with is the machine shown above. 















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Copyright 2007 Anthony Roggenbuck