How to make a garden twig shredder with your own hands

When you prune or trim trees and bushes, do you end up with mountains of garden debris? Why not turn those heaps of branches and twigs into useful mulch or compost for your garden instead of throwing them away? A good way to solve the problem is to construct your own garden twig shredder. It not only saves you money and gives you the satisfaction of making something useful with your own hands, but it also helps you manage garden waste more effectively.

An easy-to-use yet clever tool for shredding garden twigs into smaller pieces for easier composting or mulching is the garden twig shredder. Commercial shredders are available for purchase, but creating your own lets you tailor it to your own requirements and price range. It’s also a rewarding and enjoyable do-it-yourself project that doesn’t require complex engineering knowledge.

It’s crucial to comprehend how a garden twig shredder operates before you start building one. The shredder basically consists of one or more revolving blades that cut the branches and twigs into smaller pieces. Once gathered, you can use these fragments in your garden by placing them in a bag or container. The housing that holds the shredded material, the cutting mechanism, and the power source are the main parts that you should pay attention to.

Depending on your needs and preferences, there are a number of options available when it comes to the cutting mechanism. A basic rotary blade system driven by an electric motor is preferred by some do-it-yourselfers, while others recycle already-existing equipment like lawnmower blades or even modify kitchen appliances like food processors. Regardless of the approach you take, make sure the blades are sturdy and sharp enough to cut through wood without jamming.

Varieties of garden shredders

There are several names for the chippers that are used to crush wood waste. Not a comprehensive list of names: chip crusher, brush cutter, branch shredder, shredder, shredder. Even with so many different terms, the device of different units is essentially the same. Any crusher is made up of these components:

  • steel frame, where all the parts and mechanisms are attached;
  • main drive – an electric motor or gasoline (diesel) motor with a power take-off shaft;
  • cutting mechanism;
  • main transmission (as a rule, belt drive);
  • protective cover;
  • 2 hoppers – for feeding wooden sticks and discharging wood chips.

The cutting mechanism is actually the only thing that separates homemade branch shredders into varieties; the other components vary solely in size. If you look closely at the crushing part drawings that are available online, you can identify the following common solutions:

  1. In the middle of the shaft is attached 2-3 dozen circular saws equipped with hard alloy teeth.
  2. A design that repeats the device of a jointer on a circular machine. Longitudinal grooves are made on the shaft (from 2 to 6 pcs.). Depending on the engine power), where carbon steel chopping blades are attached. Branches are fed to shredding at an angle of 90° to the knives.
  3. Disc crusher for wood, where the knives are attached to the plane of a steel circle, mounted on the shaft. Here the branches need to be fed at an angle of 30-45° to the disk surface, which is ensured by the design of the feed hopper.
  4. A chipper with two shafts that rotate synchronously. The cutting edges of the knives mounted on the shafts, when rotating, converge at one point. This results in not only crushing, but also self-tightening of the branches after pick-up. The wood feed is perpendicular to the rotating knives.

Note: Garden chippers use a flywheel, which is mounted on the free end of the shaft, to increase torque and cutting force. A disk chipper for branches is an exception; it has a heavy metal flywheel with knives attached.

We’ll then talk about how to build the first three kinds of garden shredders by hand. A two-shaft wood chip shredder is an intricate machine that requires labor and investment costs that aren’t always warranted. In the video, Hammer and other handcrafted original wood shredders are displayed:

Make an automated cleaver to process thick twigs and branches for firewood. Our other handbook contains the drawings and machine variations.

Sure, here"s the main thesis for the "Heating and insulation of the house" article:"Increasing energy efficiency through proper heating and insulation techniques is crucial for maintaining a comfortable and sustainable home environment. By implementing effective insulation methods and optimizing heating systems, homeowners can reduce energy consumption, lower utility bills, and minimize environmental impact."And here"s the main thesis for the "How to make a garden twig shredder with your own hands" article:"Creating your own garden twig shredder can be a cost-effective and eco-friendly solution for managing organic waste in your backyard. With simple materials and DIY techniques, anyone can construct a functional shredder to efficiently break down branches and twigs into mulch or compost material, promoting healthier soil and a tidier garden space."

Fabrication guide

The first thing you should realize is that you cannot construct even a basic branch shredder out of disk saws without the necessary welding and locksmithing skills and equipment. Additionally, unless you can locate a ready-made unit from an old machine tool, you will need to turn to a lathe shop for the manufacture of shafts and bearing housings. The following stages conditionally divide the entire process:

  1. Selection of the shredder design.
  2. Selection of the motor for the drive and calculation of the main gear.
  3. Blank metal and parts to be turned on the lathe.
  4. Frame assembly.
  5. Installation of the drive, cutting mechanism and belt transmission.
  6. Mounting of the protective cover and hopper.

Recall that the belt transmission is the most straightforward to assemble and the safest to use. The belt will slide or come off in the event of an accident or overload without causing any harm. There is nothing to be said about the inflexible chain connection (gearbox).

Regarding the design selection for a do-it-yourself branch shredder, the guidelines are straightforward:

  • a unit of circular saws – the best option when you need to get fine wood chips with minimal costs;
  • If you plan to chop small-diameter branches into a larger fraction, then a cutting mechanism like a fugank is suitable;
  • when you need to chop branches up to 5 cm in size in large quantities, it is better to make a disk chipper.

For your knowledge. Gardeners frequently use small chips and shavings to create mulch and compost. Additionally, it can be used to create fuel briquettes for a rural home’s heating system.

After deciding on a chip shredder type, you can start getting the parts, supplies, and machinery ready. But first things first, performance is required.

Motor selection and belt drive calculation

The thickness of branches that your hand-made crusher can handle is indicated by the drive power. Here are some recommendations for choosing a motor:

  1. For your purpose, an electric motor with a power of 2 is ideal.5-3.5 kW, minimum 2 kW. Motor for 1.5 kW can be used to build a shredder for grass and small branches.
  2. The power of a gasoline or diesel engine should be 5-6 l. с. These are used on household power tillers and mini-tractors.
  3. It is pointless to buy an electric motor with too much power, unless you have one lying idle in your shed. It will use an amount of electricity that does not correspond to the work done.

Note: The V-belt transmission ensures that the blades rotate at the required speed, so the number of revolutions of the electric motor is not very important.

By choosing the drive and driven pulley diameters, you can ensure that your wood shredder can safely shred branches at a speed of no more than 1500 rpm for the knife shaft. The developed torque (force), not the blades’ rotational speed, is what matters in this situation. Additionally, the length of the belt and the distance between the pulleys are not very important. The transmission’s efficiency is decreased and tension is worse when the belt is too long.

Example of a calculation. The crusher needs to have an electric motor set at 2800 rpm. The best course of action is to reduce the shaft speed in half to 1400 rpm. Consequently, there will be a two-fold difference in the pulley diameters. If the driving pulley has a diameter of 100 mm, for instance, the driven pulley’s diameter, measured when it is positioned on the working shaft, will be 200 mm.

A word of advice: It never hurts to consider the bigger picture when purchasing pulleys from a turner for a V-belt drive. It is preferable to construct pulleys with three or four handles so that the belt can be adjusted to change the revolutions on the working shaft. The shredder can then be adjusted to operate under various conditions, such as crushing grass, sunflower, and corn stalks.

Preparation of materials

Using resources you already have in your home to make a wood chip cutter is the best way to cut costs. The rolled metal types listed below are appropriate for putting the frame together:

  • single equal-sided angle with a width of 50 to 63 mm;
  • 2 angles of 35 mm each, welded in a "box";
  • 40×40 mm profile pipe;
  • channel No. 6.5-10;
  • round tubes with a diameter of 32-48 mm.

The electric motor is installed on a 10 mm thick steel sheet whose measurements match the separation between the flange’s mounting holes (allowing for a reserve of 30–50 mm on each side). Two different kinds of devices are utilized for belt tensioning:

  1. The holes in the motor mounting plate are made oblong so that the motor can be pushed out and bolted in place.
  2. The plate is installed with one end on a hinge, then the belt is pulled up by the weight of the electric motor. On the other side it is fixed with nuts on the studs, as shown in the photo of the homemade chopper below.

Purchase 20–25 circular saws with carbide tips and the same quantity of spacer washers with a 20 mm diameter to assemble the shredder in the most basic manner possible. This will provide you with a working part width of about 80 mm, which you can adjust by adding or removing saws if needed.

Note: You cannot attach the tools closely to each other because the circular saw’s teeth are thicker than the steel base. Washers are used, positioned in between the saws, to make up for the width of the teeth.

On a lathe, the shaft that is driven by the belt needs to be turned out of a steel rod. However, locate two bearings whose seating sizes the shaft will be machined under before proceeding with this part. Additionally, mounting flange-equipped bearing housings must be made. On the secondary market or in specialty shops, they are occasionally available for purchase already assembled.

A pre-made stud with nuts can be used as a shaft, or you can use the bearings from the rear half axles of vintage Zhiguli models with a seating diameter of 25 mm.

You must cut threads on the shaft in order to install circular saws on it. Use a big pulley from some farm equipment or a steel wheel with a thickness of at least 10 mm as a flywheel. A steel base plate for the branches—which serves as a counterknife—is also required. Slice it from a minimum of 10 mm thick sheet.

If you have decided to design a branch chipper using chopping knives, you can base this design on the drawing of a planer’s knife shaft. You only need to adjust the axes’ diameters in order to press the chosen bearings. Since whole logs won’t be jammed into the chipper, it is preferable to narrow the working portion to 100 mm. Typically, car springs are used to make the chipper’s blades on a milling machine.

A disk-type chopping machine requires the following parts in addition to the shaft with bearings and knives for assembly:

  • 15-20 mm thick steel circle with a diameter of 40-50 cm (depending on the power of the electric motor);
  • sheet metal of at least 5 mm on the casing, whose front wall serves as a counter knife;
  • the same, 1-2 mm thick for welding the hopper;
  • M12-16 bolts with nuts for fastening.

The drawing illustrates the disk shredder’s cutting mechanism with the knives attached:

Frame fabrication

Regardless of the kind of chipper you’ve selected, you must build a bed to hold the drive and chopping mechanism when they are installed. The following guidelines should be followed when welding it from angles or pipes:

  1. Adjust the height to your height so that it is convenient to put branches into the hopper.
  2. The construction must be stable. Therefore, make the width of the frame at least 500 mm, the length is arbitrary.
  3. Stiffen the frame by welding cross members between the posts.
  4. For convenient moving of the unit, it is desirable to attach a pair of wheels and weld a handle to the frame.

Consider your options for the location of the electric motor. It is advised to install the motor in the frame of the shredder you make by hand using circular saws so that it does not protrude past its designated dimensions. This also holds true for other kinds of crushers.

Assembly of the shredder

First, using a package of circular saws, we will assemble the chip-cutting machine in the following order:

  1. Assemble the saws on the shaft by putting washers between them and tightening them with nuts on both sides.
  2. Press the bearings onto the shaft and then into the outer housings. The latter are bolted to the frame, having previously made holes in it.
  3. Put the pulley and flywheel on the ends of the shaft, fasten them securely.
  4. Install a steel plate – counter knife – close to the saw teeth.
  5. Install the electric motor and main gear, tighten the belt well.

Advice: Remember to remove the plastic covers from the bearing cages and lubricate them before assembling. Make sure the saws are positioned so that the tooth profiles do not cross over.

It is preferable to use bolts through oval-shaped holes rather than welding to fix the counter snake. The idea is to modify the space between the plate’s edge and the functioning teeth so that you can, within very small bounds, vary the size of the wood chips. The saws rotate "towards oneself," meaning that the teeth must "run" over the counterblade.

Once the components are put together, create and install the thin metal protective casing and the receiving hopper in front. The primary concerns are safety and ease of use at work; the dimensions of these components are arbitrary. Lastly, use a power cable to connect the machine to the power supply via a 25 A circuit breaker.

The knife crusher is assembled in the same sequence, but first the blades must be installed and fixed in the shaft grooves. There’s a subtlety here: the chips at the output will be larger the further the cutting edges extend beyond the shaft’s surface. The hopper is welded so that the branches feed into the cutting mechanism at a ninety-degree angle. The following video demonstrates how to do it correctly:

Advice: You can make the machine even better by building an extra tightening mechanism. A second, smaller shaft must be made, metal strips must be welded along it, and a belt or chain transmission must be used to link it to the main mechanism. If the tightening shaft is operating at too high of a speed, branches may strike your hands when loading.

There is also no special knowledge required for the manufacture of a disk shredder of branches; all that is needed is to adhere to the drawings and firmly fasten each node. The one and only tip is to try to make the front wall—along which the knives rotate—thicker and the space between them smaller when creating the outer casing. If not, the thin, flexible sticks will be drawn into the mechanism and secured to the shaft with screws.

You will need to weld extra brackets as indicated in the assembly drawing in order to ensure that the rear wall of the hood is securely fastened to the frame in at least four places.

Gather materials Wooden frame, electric motor, blades, screws, safety goggles
Construct frame Assemble wooden frame sturdy enough to hold motor and withstand shredding force
Attach motor Secure electric motor to frame securely
Install blades Mount sharp blades onto frame to shred twigs
Test Turn on motor and test shredder with small twigs, adjusting blades if necessary
Use safety precautions Wear safety goggles and keep hands clear of blades while operating shredder

If you want to manage garden waste effectively, building your own garden twig shredder can be a fun and useful project for any homeowner. Reusing common materials and basic construction techniques, you can make a tool that reduces waste and helps you clean up your garden while also promoting sustainability.

Making your own twig shredder allows you to tailor it to your own requirements and tastes, which is one of its main benefits. You can modify the size and power of your shredder to suit the needs of your property, whether it’s a small backyard garden or a larger one with lots of vegetation. You can easily handle a variety of garden debris types and volumes thanks to this flexibility.

Furthermore, building your own twig shredders is frequently more affordable than buying store-bought ones. You can save a lot of money and still achieve effective shredding capabilities by using easily accessible materials like steel pipes, blades, and old lawnmower engines. As a result, the project is affordable for people with different income levels, encouraging a culture of independence and ingenuity.

Constructing a garden twig shredder encourages environmental responsibility in addition to improving garden waste management. By chopping branches and twigs into smaller fragments, you speed up the process of decomposition and add beneficial organic matter to the soil. Furthermore, shredding garden waste reduces the amount that needs to be transported and disposed of, which lowers your carbon footprint.

In conclusion, building a garden twig shredder has many advantages, including environmental stewardship, cost savings, and customizable options. By starting this do-it-yourself project, you can support local sustainability initiatives while also obtaining a useful tool for garden maintenance. By combining some imagination, simple tools, and an open mind, you can create a delightful garden twig shredder on your own.

Video on the topic

Improved homemade shredder of haulm and branches in the countryside. Showing how it works. DIY

How to make a garden shredder of branches and grass with your own hands.Works as a branch chipper chipper

Garden twig chopper with your own hands. What it is capable of and what makes it better than a store shredder

Twig chopper without lathe 👍 wood chipper, wind chipper with your own hands.

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Sergey Ivanov

I like to help people create comfort and comfort in their homes. I share my experience and knowledge in articles so that you can make the right choice of a heating and insulation system for your home.

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