[AT] OT WoodPro wood chipper clutch

Stephen Offiler soffiler at gmail.com
Fri Apr 23 07:01:42 PDT 2021

I have to wonder if it's zinc (or Zamak alloy).  I can't say I've ever seen
aluminum used in a friction application.  It just seems that it would gall
and wear rapidly.  Zinc has much higher density than Al and you did mention
that it seemed heavy.  Finally, zinc melts at a lower temperature, roughly
700F vs. 1200F and you mentioned that it melted.

If you look around the 'Net you'll find various ways to determine whether
it is Al or Zn/Zamak.  Oven cleaner is one trick.  That stuff is lye-based
and will aggressively attack aluminum but not zinc.


On Fri, Apr 23, 2021 at 3:01 AM Steve W. <swilliams268 at frontier.com> wrote:

> Richard Walker wrote:
> >
> >> Those wouldn't be that hard to turn on a lathe. I'm guessing the
> >> originals were cast aluminum alloy, then final machined. Could turn a
> >> solid piece with the step and slots for the springs. Then cut them
> >> apart and finish the ends to size. If I had my lathe still set up I'd
> >> do it.
> >
> >
> > Thanks, Steve.  Already considered that as one option, have lathe and
> > large hunks of aluminum round in my scrap bin.  Springs could be
> > generic, guesstimating the original tension by wire gauge and coil
> > diameter.  The wild card is whether the type alloy used is critical to
> > the clutch's proper operation - its friction against the cast iron outer
> > drum.  The shoes seem noticeably heavier than what I'd expect typical
> > aluminum to weigh.  At the worst I'm out an afternoon's machining to try
> > this approach.
> >
> > Wet pine needles got lodged between the chipper disc and its housing,
> > which ultimately bound it up.  As this was in progress, the centrifugal
> > clutch started slipping and heating up, which I didn't notice at first.
> > Eventually heat totally melted one of the four aluminum shoes.
> >
> > Been the best mid-size chipper I've ever used.  Billed as an AV (All
> > Vegetation) unit by Vandermolen, it will literally chip and shred
> > practically anything.  First by the four knives in the disc, then into a
> > hammer-mill chamber with swinging flails.
> >
> >
> > Richard
> >
> It could be some odd alloy but I would think it's a 300 series casting.
> Unless they used a slug of something inside the casting.
> --
> Steve W.
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