Home made stump grinder?
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Posts
    57

    Home made stump grinder?

    Last weekend I rented a 13 horse stump grinder. It was $175 to have it from Saturday afternoon until Monday morning. Yesterday was Thursday, and I'm finally getting over the soreness from using it. I could definitely find a use for that stump grinder several times a year, but they would be small 1 hour jobs. Loading and unloading that grinder is also a two person job.

    I priced a new stump grinder, and they start around $2000. I saw one that had a horizontal grinding wheel, and was powered by a 6.5 horse motor. It made me think that I could build my own. I've got a "Swisher" brand brush cutter. It's sort of like a cross between a lawn mower and a weed eater. It has a 5 horse lawn mower engine that turns a big weed eater type of head ahead of the motor. (It sort of looks like an aardvark). There is a v-belt that connects the crankshaft pulley to the pulley that turns the weedeater head. I thought about removing the weed eater head and replacing it with a metal disk adapted for stump grinding, complete with grinding teeth.

    Do you think this idea would work, and do you have any suggestions?
    HH187
    Harris O/A
    Infrared thermometer
    Half a dozen angle grinders

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Iowa
    Posts
    3,803

    Re: Home made stump grinder?

    I was considering building one too, but ended up using a commercial stump grinder instead. I'm glad I did. Turns out the local tree guy needed his grinder teeth replaced. So I got to trade an hours worth of work for use of the stump grinder. I fixed it first so I got nice sharp teeth. Took me about 15min per 24" stump going at least 6" deep. This was last fall and the grinder is still in my shed. I may have to use it another time or two before he comes to pick it up.

    Point is. Maybe talk to the local tree guys and see if you can work out a trade. Maintenance for grinding.
    My name's not Jim....

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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    VA
    Posts
    1,352

    Re: Home made stump grinder?

    Quote Originally Posted by Boostinjdm View Post
    Point is. Maybe talk to the local tree guys and see if you can work out a trade. Maintenance for grinding.
    What a co-inky-dink! I've got a Carlton 2400-4 stump grinder in the shop right now. I trade the maintenance on this tree company's equipment for use of it, hour-for-hour. Gives me access to a 60' bucket truck, 12" chipper and chip truck, and this stump grinder. I'll have about 10 hours' use of whatever I need after I finish the repairs on this machine.
    Applied Fabrications, LLC

    Mobile Welding / Mechanical Repair in VA's Piedmont & Shenandoah Valley

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Posts
    417

    Re: Home made stump grinder?

    Quote Originally Posted by paulinkansas View Post
    I priced a new stump grinder, and they start around $2000. I saw one that had a horizontal grinding wheel, and was powered by a 6.5 horse motor. It made me think that I could build my own. I've got a "Swisher" brand brush cutter. It's sort of like a cross between a lawn mower and a weed eater. It has a 5 horse lawn mower engine that turns a big weed eater type of head ahead of the motor. (It sort of looks like an aardvark). There is a v-belt that connects the crankshaft pulley to the pulley that turns the weedeater head. I thought about removing the weed eater head and replacing it with a metal disk adapted for stump grinding, complete with grinding teeth.

    Do you think this idea would work, and do you have any suggestions?
    try to find a picture of the machine you have and post it. sounds like it will work.
    although with that kind of power, better grab some snickers bars before use

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Posts
    57

    Re: Home made stump grinder?

    Here is a picture of what my Swisher brush trimmer looks like. I've seen a few smaller stump grinders that have a horizontal cutting wheel. But the vast majority have a vertical cutting wheel (and alot more horsepower). I'm trying to make this grinder out of some things I already have. I bought 3 grinder teeth yesterday, and they should be here early next week.

    HH187
    Harris O/A
    Infrared thermometer
    Half a dozen angle grinders

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    VA
    Posts
    1,352

    Re: Home made stump grinder?

    Paul, you'd better be sure to fab up a minimum 180 degree shield for that thing - it'd be a good way to knock out a bunch of windows etc. if by chance you do make this "beast." I doubt you've got enough power to do much to a stump but probably enough power to burn up your single v-belt drive or the head bearings.

    I'm not trying to be doom and gloom, but if that chassis were capable of being used as a stump grinder, the company would have the adapter and shielding already on the market.

    I don't know what a new one of those weed whackers costs, but I wouldn't really try this unless you don't need the one you have. Seriously.
    Applied Fabrications, LLC

    Mobile Welding / Mechanical Repair in VA's Piedmont & Shenandoah Valley

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Long Island
    Posts
    2,229

    Re: Home made stump grinder?

    Quote Originally Posted by tbone550 View Post
    . . . I doubt you've got enough power to do much to a stump but probably enough power to burn up your single v-belt drive or the head bearings.
    I'm not trying to be doom and gloom, but if that chassis were capable of being used as a stump grinder, the company would have the adapter and shielding already on the market. . . .
    That's a really good point. The string returns very little side loading to the head bearings. A cutter head is an entirely different beast.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Canberra Australia
    Posts
    153

    Re: Home made stump grinder?

    It can certainly be done, my dad built one many years ago. I think the back section was off an old self propelled lawn mower (or small slasher, it was a pretty sizable machine).

    My dad put the 13 horse power honda he had on the back, with a long belt drive to the cutting head at the front.
    I wonder how effective that little 6 horse power engine is going to cope with the task, I would suspect Its going to bog down pretty quickly. maybe a good sized cutting disc / flywheel will help, but think you would be dabbing the stump, and then waiting for the speed to build up again

    the one my dad built would drive a cutting disc which was i guess about a foot across, with hard faced teeth. He had a bunch of discs, of several different designs. if one got blunt in the field, we'd just swap one out for the next, and then re grind them back at home

    He built a shroud all round it to stop chips flying everywhere, and had a few screens he had made from shade cloth and reinforcement mesh that we used to stop any that escaped from flying off to break windows or hurt people.

    I spent a few saturdays around town shredding stumps when I still lived at home many years ago. I'm sure my dad still has it. Its too bad I don't think I have any pictures, and he lives too far away for me to get some

    cheers,
    matt

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