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Old 04-08-2009, 03:09 AM   post #1 of 15
Gooserider
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Help Another KEMP chipper/shredder

I've seen mentions of this site in my travels elsewhere on the web, but this is my first time here.

I wanted to get a chipper shredder to deal with the brush on our suburban acre, a combination of tree trimmings and scrappy tree brush. I'd also like to chop up our compost pile to see if I can get it to cook down faster. I can't justify or afford one of the fancy "eats whole trees" models, so I was looking for a low budget home-owner grade unit. I found what looked like a reasonable deal on Craigs List, $75 for an "older unit" that needed some repairs.

It turned out to be a Kemp model Z60H / S/N Z60H5475354

Searchin on Kemp found a couple of references to the Green Acre Lawn & Garden place that's supposed to have parts, but didn't find this site - I found this site searching for Green Acre - talked to them this afternoon, and was told that they have been out of business for at least four years now, and have no idea about parts (but wished they did, as they keep getting calls)

The machine looks similar to the pictures in the Models: K2, K4, K4CH, K6, K6CH, K8, K8CH, T6CH manual that is on the site here, which is far more info than I had previously, the biggest difference looks like the wheels.

I had to clean out the tank, but the 206cc / 5hp B&S "Magnetronic" engine on it now runs pretty well, though it does seem a bit tired.

The clutch is very bad - I assume that it's a fairly standard item?

However running it with the clutch as best I could, I found it didn't do very well at either chipping or shredding. Looking at the manual it appears the chipper blade may need adjusting / replacement. (Ideas on sources?) However it didn't look like the machine would do a lot with branches, even at it's best. The chute is pretty tiny, and it didn't look like the chipper blade even ran all the way across it - not to mention only having the one blade.

When I tried to shred some of my soggy compost, if I had the output door in the lowest position it just clogged up, and if I had the door in the upper position it just seemed to shoot the stuff through without doing much to it...

I noticed that the teeth seemed to have about 1/2" of clearance between their tips and the screen on the bottom - is this too much?? Can one build the teeth back up by welding on their ends (I have a MIG welder)

I'm starting to wonder if this is the right machine for my needs, even if I do get it fixed... I wouldn't mind getting my money back out of it, but not sure if that's reasonable.

Comments / suggestions appreciated...

Pictures here: http://s197.photobucket.com/albums/a...urner/chipper/

Gooserider
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Old 04-08-2009, 06:32 PM   post #2 of 15
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Default Re: Another KEMP chipper/shredder

Eh Goose, welcome to MTF.
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Old 04-08-2009, 06:43 PM   post #3 of 15
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Default Re: Another KEMP chipper/shredder

Hope you find the parts you need. I am sure there will be someone along that can help.
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Old 04-08-2009, 08:19 PM   post #4 of 15
Gooserider
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Question Re: Another KEMP chipper/shredder

Thanks for the welcome...

I went to our local OPE guy today, and have ordered a new clutch - $70 and a belt... Hopefully that will make it run a bit better. For whatever it's worth, the guy said Kemp was a good brand, and that my 5hp unit would out do a newer 8hp MTD or Craftsman... Hope he's right, though based on it's current performance I'd say the other brands must be really bad...

I also took the top housing off as suggested in the manual, so that I could look at the innards of the machine a bit easier - it came apart surprisingly easily considering the age and amount of rust on the machine - no major battles, no broken screws, etc.

Now I need to figure out what (if anything) I need to do to the inside. I guess the big question is what is the meaning of "sharp" in this context?

The chipper blade doesn't look like you could shave with it, but it still has a decent point - how sharp does it need to be?

What about the cutting block? That looks like it has a bit of a radius on the corner where the knife goes by, does that matter?

Perhaps more of a concern, what about the shredder teeth - the manual says they can be reversed, but when do they need to be? Currently it appears that the trailing edges are square, but the leading edges are very rounded and polished looking, almost a 1/4" radius - do I need to reverse them?

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Old 04-09-2009, 09:16 PM   post #5 of 15
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Default Re: Another KEMP chipper/shredder

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gooserider View Post
Thanks for the welcome...what about the shredder teeth - the manual says they can be reversed...do I need to reverse them?

Gooserider
Yes, if you want it to shred instead of throwing things thru as it does now.
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Old 04-09-2009, 09:46 PM   post #6 of 15
Gooserider
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Default Re: Another KEMP chipper/shredder

Thanks Wayne,

I actually started reversing them this evening, have done five of the six rows, need to get the torch out and do some straightening on the last row - something in it's past must have really jammed it good, as it bent both the tooth and the angle iron strip that the teeth bolt to.

It's been pretty straightforward, though it really helped that I have an air wrench as dealing with all those self-lock bolts and nuts would have been a real PITA otherwise. However once again everything has come apart w/ no problems. I am following my usual practice of slapping a coat of Never-Sieze on any bolts I take apart, figure it can't hurt.

I haven't completely decided whether to pull the chipper blade off and try to sharpen that as well - it doesn't look as bad, but might as well while I have the unit openned up for surgery.

One mod that I'm considering is to try slotting the housing where the cutting block attaches to the chute - the manual suggests setting the gap between the chipper blade and the knife by shifting the drum shaft in the bearings, or by tweaking how the housing goes together - neither seems like a really efficient method. If I just slot the housing, then it's just a matter of sliding the block to fit and tightening it back down, seems a lot easier.

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Old 04-09-2009, 10:00 PM   post #7 of 15
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Default Re: Another KEMP chipper/shredder

Your machine looks a whole lot like my Mighty Mac chipper/shredder....A guy gave it to me a few weeks ago......





I also was trying to grind up the stuff in my compost bin as well as some bagged leaves.........It was also clogging the screen, but I think it was mainly because the stuff was so wet.......
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Old 04-09-2009, 10:26 PM   post #8 of 15
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Default Re: Another KEMP chipper/shredder

I would like to find one similar to those at a reasonable price. If you sharpen the chipper blade really sharp, it will dull and gap up almost instantly when used. A "wire edge" is probably best, i.e. sharp enough to cut the material it hits at high speed, but not sharp enough to cut your fingers when you check the edge.

I'll bet you will find a noticeable increase in performance with the teeth reversed.
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Old 04-10-2009, 11:41 PM   post #9 of 15
Gooserider
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Default Re: Another KEMP chipper/shredder

Thanks, I've now gotten all the teeth reversed, including straightening out the one bar that had a bent place on it, and the matching bent tooth. (Nothing like an oxy-aceteline torch and a BFH... )

I pulled the chipper blade and worked on it a bit with a file, it's now a little sharper, but not much - it really wasn't bad to begin with, no nicks, and a pretty good edge. I mostly removed the slight burr that was on it in a couple of places, and took all the crud off it.

On the back side of the blade, I did find some etched numbers and stuff, I wonder if it would give any leads on finding a replacement blade if I ever need one...

Quote:
CINCINATTI OHIO
900-0011
74-6819-A
Kemp was in PA, so it isn't their number, and it wouldn't surprise me if they were purchasing a stock blade from someone and designing around it - probably easier / cheaper than trying to setup to cut and machine a tool steel blade for limited production volumes.

Poncho - I agree, the machines do look a lot alike. My OPE guy was saying that he thought Kemp and Mackissik were very similar. I was looking at the MM on their website, and the insides are significantly different though - it appears that the MM has it's grinding teeth free floating on round bars. My Kemp has welded angle iron bars, with the teeth bolted to them. It also looks like you have a different setup on the chipper - On my machine the chipper chute goes right into the side of the body, the MM looks like it has some sort of extra chipping section on that side.

As to the clogging, what I'm wondering about is the discharge door position, looks like your machine is similar to mine in the way that it works. Hopefully now that I've reversed the teeth, and with a new belt and clutch (arriving Monday) I will get better shredding action with the door in the half open position, which I hadn't tried before - it clogged rapidly with the door closed, and open just kind of blew the leaves through without doing much to chop them up...

Definitely want to get the machine back up and running as I just had a friend drop off a couple yards of compost for my garden patch, but it needs filtering, and I probably need to fill my raised beds at least part way with chopped leaves first in order to make the compost stretch to cover them all...

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Old 04-11-2009, 06:39 AM   post #10 of 15
glenn27
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Default Re: Another KEMP chipper/shredder

Gooserider--post some pictures of ur Kemp unit--sounds like the same one I rescued awhile back----Other than draining the old gas, and spraying every connector down twice w/ PbBlaster--I've not touched it..
glenn
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Old 04-11-2009, 07:30 AM   post #11 of 15
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Default Re: Another KEMP chipper/shredder

Glenn27.....Gooserider posted a link to pics in his 1st post...

Gooserider....I just noticed something too....your machine is backwards to mine...everything is on opposite sides, chute, drive belt etc....That would mean that it turns the blades in the opposite direction....where mine pulls the material down, yours takes it in and across the top of the drum and then down....unless your belt is routed differently.... Dont see how it makes much difference, just thought I would mention it.
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Old 04-11-2009, 07:36 AM   post #12 of 15
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Default Re: Another KEMP chipper/shredder

Ponch--I got it now...Thanks!
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Old 04-11-2009, 12:00 PM   post #13 of 15
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Default Re: Another KEMP chipper/shredder

I agree Ponch, and good catch... Yes, my machine does turn so that the material goes straight across the top of the machine to the discharge area, and then down. This seems less than optimal as it will have a lot of the material getting blown right out with minimal chopping if the discharge door is open.

My belt is in the basic loop shape, and that is consistent with the belt guard. The drum also has to turn in that direction, as the chipper blade wouldn't do anything if it went the other way...

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Old 02-17-2011, 01:02 PM   post #14 of 15
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Default Re: Another KEMP chipper/shredder

Gooserider

Where did you find the Kemp c/s clutch you mentioned in this thread? I have a KEMP K6CH. It has a tired 5HP briggs that I'm updating to a 6.5HP Harbour Freight honda knockoff. I need to either rebuild my current clutch (springs / shoes) or find a new clutch. I've found some clutches at NORAM but the pulley diameter is either smaller or bigger than my clutch.

Seeing how you've been using yours for 2 years how are your shredder teeth holding up? Mine are rounded like you described and I was thinking of reversing them, but I'll need to either sharpen the front edge or find replacements in the future. What are you doing?

Any advice you can pass along will be greatly appreciated!

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Old 02-20-2011, 02:12 AM   post #15 of 15
Gooserider
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Default Re: Another KEMP chipper/shredder

I forget offhand, but it was one of the standard online OPE shops, I'm not on the machine I was using at the time, so I don't have my list of bookmarks which might have reminded me which one... I do remember that it was a standard of the shelf part, all I needed was the shaft ID, and the pulley OD and it was no trouble to find a match.

Since you are going to a bigger motor, I would think that you could probably get away with a slightly larger clutch pulley, thus spinning the unit a bit faster, or not running the engine as hard...

The teeth on my unit seemed to round down fairly fast after I reversed them, but it doesn't seem like it affected the way it chopped up the composted leaves I was running through the unit (or didn't - I had to be careful not to jam the thing up...) Seems like they want to round to a certain point and then the wear stops pretty much, I don't know if there is much value to trying to keep them sharper...

Now though, I don't know what I'll be doing with it - this is an old thread, and I haven't been a real active participant here, so you may not have heard, but I had a serious accident about a year ago. I was taking down a tree, and got hit by a falling snag. As a result, I have ended up as a T-5, ASIA-B paraplegic - feeling, but no motor control from the chest down, and am presumably going to be wheelchair confined for the rest of my life (barring some new miracle cure)... Needless to say, this has had a major impact on my lifestyle, none of it good...

I seriously doubt that I will be doing much, if anything with the shredder, as I don't see any way that I could use it - the feed hopper is about as high as my head while sitting in my chair, and I'd have real difficulty getting down low enough to clear it out easily when it clogged.... I'm still doing some gardening, but far less than I was, and I don't know what I'll be doing for mulch / compost, but certainly will need a different solution.

If anyone wants a Kemp chipper, I'd probably be into selling it once the snow melts...

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