Whole Leaf Tobacco

Cuthof Swedish Tobacco Shredder

Levi Gross

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 31, 2016
Messages
545
Likes
189
Points
43
Location
Central, Indiana. USA.
#21
In my opinion, for the small-time tobacco hobbyist you really can't go past something like the one offered on this site for $125. https://www.wholeleaftobacco.com/product/new-heavy-duty-shredder/
These aren't perfect but are certainly more trouble-free than the 'Cuthof'.
Personally, I have four like this and the beauty of these is that spare parts are readily available and when you renew the only things that can wear-out (the rollers, the combs and bushes/bearings, at a cost of around $50) you have a 'like-new' machine.
Those small 'budget shredders' similar to this seem to have quite a limited life, though you can also buy parts for these too.
View attachment 26665

Although this continues to work, with a little maintenance, very well for me I nowadays use a 'slicer' that a friend and myself built along these lines.
View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tRyfuk0ydrU&t=67s

It certainly didn't cost the 'thousands of dollars' declared in the video and the beauty of it is that with my whole-leaf tobacco I lose nothing to waste. I press the stems into a block and shred them, gaining about an extra 30% of what would normally be wasted - and the stems are actually more aromatic than the leaf. I then put the shredded stem once through the shredder (shown) and mix it with the shredded leaf.
Building a slicer like that is definitely in the works. I have access to gear reducers and electric motors etc I just need to come up with the plans. Maybe you could give me a design lead. I am also considering getting the.8 mm Polish shredder that @Jitterbugdude has posted up. It’s either that one or the one WLT has. The polish machine boast a production of .5 ton before any sharpening or service and can handle wet and dry leaf and stems. But yes what I really want is to get my blends down that I smoke the most and my wife’s blend under control. Then drumroll please... brick that stuff up shred it up and keep on rolling. I don’t mind spending hours just playing around the tobacco table and pipe blending and experimenting but when it comes to her mass quantities of tobacco she consumes I got to get ahead of the game.
 

Orson Carte

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 7, 2016
Messages
207
Likes
59
Points
28
Location
New Zealand
#22
I may have been a little confusing, above.
The model that I have four of (and the one I'd recommend) is generally referred to as a 'Polish' shredder and I think that the brand is 'Gabej', although none of mine have that shown on them.
They come in various sizes but mine are all 100mm wide in the rollers and the knurlings are 0.8mm apart (giving an 8mm shred).
It is, of course, a matter of opinion, but if you have a choice I'd recommend you buy one that runs with brass bushes, as opposed to ball bearings. The bearings are by necessity, very thin and I suspect of low quality. I have seen them collapse quite often in those machines owned by friends. There is far less to go wrong with simple bushes and they can be easily modified to be easily lubricated. (I'll supply pics if you need to ever see this).
These machines do need to be maintained (mainly cleaned, oiled, and combs adjusted) but they will generally give you a pretty trouble-free run.
As far as the motorised slicer goes it's really hard to provide 'plans'. We just looked at the one shown in the video, switched-on the mig welder and started experimenting. We simply used the bits we had at hand. The reduction-box (right-angle drive) we stole from an old hay mower. And the mechanism to advance the pressed block through the blade (which was also 'stolen' - from a picture-framing guillotine) was made from the derailleur bicycle gear working on the end of a threaded rod. (The beauty of this is that, depending upon gearing you can cut almost any thickness of shred, right down to less than 0.5mm).
I'll see if I can get a video of it - but because I'm 'old school' and my phone doesn't take movies this may take me a little planning.
Have a look at this for a nifty bit of engineering;
View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k1PDAuL0E5Q
 
Joined
Sep 1, 2014
Messages
3,434
Likes
960
Points
113
Location
Edmonton, AB, CA
#23
In my opinion, for the small-time tobacco hobbyist you really can't go past something like the one offered on this site for $125. https://www.wholeleaftobacco.com/product/new-heavy-duty-shredder/
These aren't perfect but are certainly more trouble-free than the 'Cuthof'.
Personally, I have four like this and the beauty of these is that spare parts are readily available and when you renew the only things that can wear-out (the rollers, the combs and bushes/bearings, at a cost of around $50) you have a 'like-new' machine.
Those small 'budget shredders' similar to this seem to have quite a limited life, though you can also buy parts for these too.
View attachment 26665

Although this continues to work, with a little maintenance, very well for me I nowadays use a 'slicer' that a friend and myself built along these lines.
View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tRyfuk0ydrU&t=67s

It certainly didn't cost the 'thousands of dollars' declared in the video and the beauty of it is that with my whole-leaf tobacco I lose nothing to waste. I press the stems into a block and shred them, gaining about an extra 30% of what would normally be wasted - and the stems are actually more aromatic than the leaf. I then put the shredded stem once through the shredder (shown) and mix it with the shredded leaf.
I had no idea that slicer was yours. Wow. That's a machine I've always respected, greatly.
 

Hasse SWE

Well-Known Member
Founding Member
Joined
Jul 25, 2013
Messages
1,258
Likes
80
Points
48
Location
Sweden (Värnamo)
#24
I really hope that the YouTube clip that 'Fred Jarm' (published 19 Jun 2011) Part 2, Processing and Shredd Use the Cuthof Shedder.
Can help you Levi (I told you about it yesterday) but I think it's a good idea to cheer that information eaven here. Because I can't put up a link I think it's better to take some screenshot:
 

Attachments

Jitterbugdude

Moderator
Founding Member
Joined
May 22, 2011
Messages
4,145
Likes
401
Points
83
Location
Northeast Maryland
#25
I disagree with bushings vs bearings. Bearings are so much more robust than a bushing. There's a reason a lot of companies use bushings instead of bearings... they are cheap. The shredders I bought from Poland all have standard size replaceable bearings. I bought several sets from a bearing company to keep as spares (rated ABEC 3).

OC, if you have some pics of damaged bearings ( I assume these are from the Gabej machine) I'd like to see them. The only time I've seen damaged bearings were due to misalignment and/or no dust shield and/or not having sufficient grease in them.
 

deluxestogie

Administrator
Staff member
Joined
May 25, 2011
Messages
13,510
Likes
2,742
Points
113
Location
near Blacksburg, VA
#26
Bronze bushings are self-lubricating, which is good. I think that bushings are advantageous over bearings when there is very high directional loading. Just in terms of the geometry of a specific radius bushing compared to a similar radius of a ring of bearing balls, the effective surface area bearing a radial load is far greater with a bushing.

So where frequent, severe radial impact is expected (say on the front wheels of a lawn tractor), a bronze bushing outlast a bearing ring of the same radius. If you don't limit the thickness of the bearing ring, then a larger external radius ring of bearings approaches the radial compressive strength of a bushing, and with far less resistance to rolling.

I think the key factor is whether or not a ring of ball bearings is designed to adequate thickness for its expected loads. If it is, then it always wins out over a self-lubricating bronze bushing.

Short summary: If the engineering of the bearing/bushing is for low cost, then you're screwed with a bearing. If the engineering is, instead for the expected load, then a bearing is better (and more expensive) than a bushing.

Bob
 

Levi Gross

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 31, 2016
Messages
545
Likes
189
Points
43
Location
Central, Indiana. USA.
#27
I agree with both statements it’s all about the applications.


The Cuthof machine I believe has found it’s appropriate application in my selection of processing equipment. It’s going to make oral dip. image.jpg it produces such a fine cut.

I also believe now all I need to do is get this big bag of fire cured tobacco from @BigBonner worked up with a good wintergreen recipe and process it.

The two videos show the leaf being very wet going through the machine so I am going to cook my leaf up and shred it wet. With proper care I think it will last It just needs to be used right. So my official opinion is the wetter the better. It’s natures natural lubrications. And oral dip is always moist.
 

Orson Carte

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 7, 2016
Messages
207
Likes
59
Points
28
Location
New Zealand
#28
I disagree with bushings vs bearings. Bearings are so much more robust than a bushing. There's a reason a lot of companies use bushings instead of bearings... they are cheap. The shredders I bought from Poland all have standard size replaceable bearings. I bought several sets from a bearing company to keep as spares (rated ABEC 3).

OC, if you have some pics of damaged bearings ( I assume these are from the Gabej machine) I'd like to see them. The only time I've seen damaged bearings were due to misalignment and/or no dust shield and/or not having sufficient grease in them.
As the man with the wooden leg said - It's a matter of 'a pinion'.
All I am saying is that in a hand-wound shredder, given a choice between bearings and bushes I'd always opt for the latter. And the principal reason for this is that they're 'simpler' and there's less to go wrong.
In most engineering applications the correct bearing is undoubtedly superior to a simple bush but in this case, where the shredder's sideplates (that house the bearings) are only 3mm thick, and there's a fair bit of side-thrust, I would still stand by my contention that a bush is a better bet.
I find it interesting when you say, 'The only time I've seen damaged bearings were due to misalignment and/or no dust shield and/or not having sufficient grease in them'.
Well, I think all three of those exclusions apply to the Gabej machine, in the negative;
1. Depending upon the 'squareness' of the crossbars that join the sideplates, misalignment can be a significant issue.
2. All the bearings that I have seen supplied with the new machine have been unshielded.
3. I suspect that the bearings supplied wouldn't be well-greased, if at all and the average 'user' wouldn't have a clue about greasing them.

On my shredders with bushes I have made a slight modification in cutting an oiling groove into the ends of the shafts that carry the sprockets. This makes them easier to lubricate without removing the sprockets.(See pic)
I also 'Loctite' the bushes into the sideplates, because if the bush seizes on the shaft it wants to rotate the bush in the sideplate. (see pic) Shredder Detail 002.JPG Shredder Detail 003.JPG
 

Orson Carte

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 7, 2016
Messages
207
Likes
59
Points
28
Location
New Zealand
#29
I had no idea that slicer was yours. Wow. That's a machine I've always respected, greatly.
China - I'd love to claim 'it was mine'. But it isn't. If I mislead anyone into thinking that it was it was unintentional. I have made one along similar lines but the poster was asking for 'ideas' (and I haven't got a video of mine) and the was a video I posted was of a good idea.
 

Jitterbugdude

Moderator
Founding Member
Joined
May 22, 2011
Messages
4,145
Likes
401
Points
83
Location
Northeast Maryland
#30
Wow... 3mm thick side walls? I can see why you'd prefer a bushing. I measured the side walls of my Polish shredder and they are 12.5mm thick. The bearings are 7mm thick. BTW, 12.5mm thick sides are way over kill for a small leaf shredder but I like very robust (sometimes overbuilt) machines.
 

Orson Carte

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 7, 2016
Messages
207
Likes
59
Points
28
Location
New Zealand
#31
Wow... 3mm thick side walls? I can see why you'd prefer a bushing. I measured the side walls of my Polish shredder and they are 12.5mm thick. The bearings are 7mm thick. BTW, 12.5mm thick sides are way over kill for a small leaf shredder but I like very robust (sometimes overbuilt) machines.
Yes, the sideplates on the models we are offered in NZ are stainless steel and exactly 3mm thick. For bearings to sit inside the plates they are, by necessity, pretty petite.
I'm pleased that my contention (of bushes being the better option) is no longer quite so contentious.
And similarly, I agree that if the housing in your shredder is four times thicker (at 12.5mm) sealed ball-bearings are the obvious preference.
 

Levi Gross

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 31, 2016
Messages
545
Likes
189
Points
43
Location
Central, Indiana. USA.
#32
image.jpg
This is a freshly shredded brick of fire cured tobacco processed with a Swedish Snus recipe found here on the forum. The tobacco was dripping wet when I formed it. It sat in the press for about an hour and a half. With some cranking efforts I had it shredded in no time. As I suspected this machine preformed much better with wet leaf and clean up was a breeze. Blades look good .
 

larryccf

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 28, 2016
Messages
151
Likes
19
Points
18
#34
damn, i wish Orson Carte hadn't posted that OG Engineering shredder - that is a nice machine, and the price in US dollars would run $1757 (backing out GST) and probably be close to $2000 shipped, maybe a little more. BUt I'm still on the fence about having to forming slabs or bricks - it's another step in the process, and facts be known, a roller shredder is the fastest for me - i can shred a lb of leaf (one lb before de-stemming) in 10-12 minutes on my 1mm G120 (which by the way, is made by the same company Orson referenced above, ie Gajek)

The design i've got in mind, is still the Teck 1 on steriods (4" wide feed channel) with a belt fed mechanism. What makes it simple for me, is the little Teck 1 i've got here already slices what look like 1mm shag, so the ratio between the worm and worm gear are already worked out for a 1.30" diameter splined roller. I've got the carriage from an old chinese (cheapo) bench top sander that would easily adapt to be my feed mechanism, and with an 8" cutting head, would give me a decent shred rate - not the rate the roller shredder does, but not far off the mark. THat benchtop sander carriage has the mechanism built in to loosen for belt change as well as track adjustment, so why re-invent the wheel. Here's a shot (it may give others an idea)

IMG_2482.JPG

We all dis the chinese cheap products (me included) but note the threaded adaptor spindle at the right end. I had a job for 20,000 thread protectors, and i needed to polish them - i bought this bench top sander for $55 from harbor freight, thinking if it made it thru half the job, $55 for a replacement would still be cheap price to pay. I sent it over to a local machine shop to cut me that threaded adaptor, and they ended up asking me where i got it (Harbor Freight). I gave the kid working it a 20" long 1/2" square rod and some alum oxide grit cloth that he'd spray some adhesive on the back side, stick it to the rod and he'd use the rod like a violin bow to wipe across the thread protector spinning on the spindle - this one machine did all 20,000 thread protectors - and then i took it home to use on some furniture projects. It was first purchased in 1998, and after using it on some kitchen cabinet projects and then some trade show booths i built, i pulled the motor for the G120 in the first video. The rollers are mounted in sealed bearings, and they're still in great shape, btw. The motor just went out a few months back so i bought another one, this one ran $65 fm Harbor Freight, but the same 1/2 HP 1750 RPM 110V motor

now the issue or task will be building the "Teck 1 on steriods" around this carriage or chassis.

On the subject of bronze bushings vs bearings - i have to agree with JitterBugDude - bushings are great for low load applications, but they are definitely an economically driven choice - not the best choice for durability. Let some stem pcs go thru your roller shredder, and you'll find the force of passing those stem sections thru or between the rollers, will have caused the bronze bushings to have wallowed out some (ie the round holes will now be somewhat ovalated or egg shaped. And whoever mentioned their use in tractor front ends, that would only have been for kingpin use, not for the actual axle load - they'd never handle it for long. Sealed bearings, and japanese bearings are the only way to go. They can be expensive, but they can also be had reasonably - i just bought 14 japanese sealed bearings (koyo) for $25 shipped, 1.125" OD x .50"ID x 8mm width, off ebay. I'd been watching ebay, not my first choice of sources but these were legit jap bearings and under $2 per, shipped - hard to ignore.

Keep in mind, all the metal dust as well as saw dust that benchtop sander produced, and the damn bearings (sealed) are still smooth and quiet.

fwiw
 
Top