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Machine Turns Wood Waste Into Money
There aren't too many 93-year-olds around with the energy, enthusiasm and sharp wit of Harvey Severson, a Minnesota inventor, manufacturer and tinkerer who's come up with more machines and ideas over the years than almost anyone we've ever met.
  Harvey started out as an airline mechanic and he even did some engine work for Howard Hughes in the 1930's. He started building sawmills and other logging equipment in his spare time and became well-known to woodsmen all over North America. In fact, the day we visited him, he was working on a big sawmill in his yard. He builds them from scratch, with features you won't find on any other machine.
  Harvey says one of his best ideas ever is his "wood curl machine" which he calls a Severson Shaver. When he first came up with the idea in 1994, he won a national inventor's award and was featured on CNN and in the New York Times. Since then he has perfected the idea and built an bunch of them for sale.
  "Where else can you buy a business for $17,000," says Harvey, about the machine for which he built nearly every component himself. Here's how it works:
  The machine is designed to turn scrap wood from construction job sites into curled wood shavings which can be used for animal litter or for use in place of foam peanuts for packaging. The machine, which has a large, enclosed flywheel fitted with planer-type cutting edges, will make as much as 8 cu. ft. of wood curls in a minute.
  All you do is to feed a tray of short wood blocks into one end of the machine. A blizzard of curls immediately starts shooting out the bottom into buckets.
  "The curls are a lot different than wood shavings because they're longer and are cut in a way that gives them a springy curl. They have much more bulk than shavings," says Severson. "It lets you turn a free product waste wood into a valuable product that can be sold at local stores as pet or livestock litter or to any company that packages a lot of product for shipping."
  The machine is designed to work with pine and other soft wood. In addition to using the curls for litter and packaging, he has experimented with mixing the wood curls into masonry cement in order to make a lightweight, insulated building block. He says the idea has a lot of potential.
  Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Harvey M. Severson, Severson Mfg., 8418 Dupont Ave. So., Minneapolis, Minn. 55420 (ph 952-881-8378).

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2005 - Volume #29, Issue #2