RE: do you use a chipper/shredder?
From: Douglas G. Larson (
Date: Sat, 1 Oct 2005 08:21:48 -0700 (PDT)
>Hi folks,

>We at Cantines Island are approaching eight years in residence[!]   

>As part of Grounds, was asked to see if any of you have a
>and if so:
>do you find it useful?
>Is it true, [as one of our neighbors was told] that it can be used only
>freshly cut wood???

>We've got plenty of backlog that would be useful as mulch.   If it can
>fact be shredded.   

We have used a big rented chipper here at Songaia. This is a good way to
go because purchasing is very expensive and the machines are very big.
One of the other comments is correct, get the biggest machine you can
find that fits in your budget. The work will go faster. 

Insist on everyone following safety measures. This should include

1)  Its best to have only 1 or 2 people in charge of putting the
material into the machine. You don't want the confusion that can arise
with 3, 4, or more people operating a machine like this. Everyone should
be clear about what their job is. Those not operating the machine can
help with bringing the material to the machine and perhaps cutting off

2)  Everyone who will operate the machine should be present and listen
to the rental companies explanation on how to use it. 

3)  Use adequate ear protection. The big machines are very, very loud. A
rental machine will probably come with 1 or 2 ear muffs but it is
imperative that everyone working around it should have ear protection. I
think that anyone within 100 yds of the machine ought to be wearing ear
protection. Cotton in the ears isn't adequate. Some ear plugs are a step
in the right direction but for a chipper job a full, over-the-ear style,
of muff is the best protection. Get extras from the rental company or
purchase these if you plan to do chipping regularly. You could also use
plugs in addition to the over-the-ear muffs. This internet company sells
very good equipment and has the best prices for ear protection.

4)  Since everyone will be wearing ear muffs agree upon simple hand
signals to start, stop, wait, etc. before starting the work. 

4)  Everyone wear sturdy gloves

5)  Those operating the machine should wear eye protection also. 

Douglas Larson
Songaia Cohousing,
Bothell, Washington

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