2007 - Volume #31, Issue #6, Page #32[ Sample Stories From This Issue | List of All Stories In This Issue | Print this story | Read this issue]
Stump Grinder Built For $1,500
"I built it for only about $1,500. New commercial models sell for $5,000 or more," says Ferrante.
Unlike a conventional stump grinder where the cutting wheel turns on a vertical plane, the cutting wheel on Ferrante's model rotates horizontally.
The entire unit mounts on an L-shaped steel frame. The cutting wheel was built by a local machine shop and is operated by a pto-driven gearbox. The cutting wheel consists of a 1 1/4-in. thick, 10-in. dia. steel plate with a 1-in. thick, 6-in. dia. plate welded on top of it. A 2 7/8-in. dia. hole was bored through the center of the two plates and a splined bushing for the gearbox was welded in. Sixteen 5/8-in. dia. holes were equally spaced near the edge of the plate to mount the cutter teeth - two holes for each of the eight teeth.
"It has a simple design but it works great," says Ferrante. "I finished building it last summer and use it on my 27 hp Ford diesel tractor. I was able to grind 25 stumps in only 1 1/2 hours.
"I came up with the idea because we have about 160 acres of wooded hills with 1 1/2 miles of trails that we made by cutting down trees. It left a lot of small stumps that couldn't be cut any lower with a chain saw. All the stumps made for quite a bumpy ride when riding in a golf cart or utility vehicle."
To cut a stump, Ferrante backs up to it and lowers the 3-pt. hitch until the cutting wheel touches the top of the stump. Then he backs up real slow. "Some stumps can be cut in one pass while others require another pass or two. The cutting wheel will cut about 3 in. below ground level. It smoothes the stumps right out."
He also built a rack on the frame to hold a rake and a hoe. He uses the hoe to clear rocks away, and the rake to level the area back up after grinding the stump.
Ferrante says he kept the cost down by buying off-the-shelf parts. "The gearbox was designed for a Bush Hog rotary cutter, and I already had the steel plate that it's mounted on. I bought the steel frame at a store for $100. I bought the cutting teeth from a supply store and paid $100 apiece for the gearbox and shaft. Once I got all the parts, it took only about five days to build."
He says the machining work to form the cutting wheel and to mount the gearbox was the most expensive part of the project. "Anyone with a heavy duty drill press or lathe could probably build their own stump grinder like this for about $500," he notes.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Steve Ferrante, 4342 Whitehouse Trail, Gaylord, Mich. 49735 (ph 989 732-7924).
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