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I’m involved with a group called the Suncoast Makers here in Sarasota, FL. Its a group of retired and active engineers, IT pros, draftsman, designer, etc that meet every Thursday at the Faulhaber Fab Lab. We are seeking our own open Makerspace as well for the dirtier projects people want to try, the Fab Lab is mostly a clean space.
I recommend everyone who wants to get involved with the Precious Plastic project get activated with the local maker/tinkering/builder group. Try searching on Facebook or Meetup.
It’s literally everywhere now:
Did some work on shredder blade design with my friend Max who is a sophomore at the University Central Florida in Engineering and helps look after the Fab Lab here in Sarasota, FL when on winter break.
Here’s the google drive- open source!
The type of OEM shredder blades I am looking into getting.
Two different types pictured and a nice little video of how this company WANROOETECH water jets there own:
I have been meaning to share this experience- and the last time I typed this all out the post was lost so….I shall tell the story again!On Black Friday November 23, 2018 I purchase a “Vintage” Wortex HA-811 plastic granulator made around/before 1989- that I found searching the keywords “shredder” “grinder” “chipper” on Craigslist- and now will add “granulator” to those terms . This machine is a BEAST- weighing somewhere between 600-800lbs. It’s output is tiny plastic granules that can be used easily with plastic injection molding machines. This machine is intended to be used in conjunction with injecting equipment in order to shred up and recycle into usable grains once more all the spruce, runners, channels, and all the other plastic framing that is involved in injecting plastic parts. The parts are usually snapped off this perfectly good virgin “waste” plastic which is then thrown back in the granulator to be recycled.
I checked the website and called the now “Conair” Wortex manufacturer and spoke to someone in the service department who was familiar with the type of machine I had though could not locate the manual for it. He could only send me a questionable wiring diagram that told very little. He did tell me that they steered away from this design of plastic shredder due to the big bulk auger bit which I will get into in a moment.
The machine has some main parts – THE HOPPER which is the huge inverted rectangle thing above the outstretched right arm- THE AUGER ASSEMBLY. Inside the assembly is the AUGER SCREW which is turned by chain drive by a 1 HP motor with gear reducer which spins at about 70 RPM. The auger screw turns thereby “pulling” the plastic into the SHREDDER BOX which is full of the aft portion of the auger screw after it stops spiraling and becomes just a straight “FLAPPER” as I have grown to call it. The FLAPPER and AUGER SCREW are very much the same piece of metal.
Inside the SHREDDER BOX is a ROTARY SHREDDER comprised of massive blades that turn belt drive by a 1.5 HP motor on a separate switch and directional control than the AUGER MOTOR. The ROTARY SHREDDER spins at WAY more than 100 RPM and takes plastic that is pulled into the SHREDDER BOX by the AUGER SCREW into the FLAPPER and is smashed into two STATION BLADES, one on the top one on the bottom. You can peak into the top of the machine by the TOP ACCESS DOOR to the SHREDDER BOX above the FLAPPER. The plastic is then forced through the bottom where there is an IRON GRATE/SCREEN that plastic is pushed through into the form fitted BIN that also has a vacuum attachment(I will get ideas for this later).
These existing assemblies have some serious draw backs. As the AUGER SCREW does it’s thing it also plays a roll in the smashing of the plastic to smaller bits. The guy who sold it used it for it’s intended purpose – shredding lots and lots of small little plastic spruces and getting grains out of the bottom. The machine LOVES TO EAT!” He told me. The more material you have in the machine weighing the bottom material into the AUGER and filling up the SHREDDER BOX – pushing more plastic against the ROTARY SHREDDER as the box is full. I ran the machine with a good amount of material and getting great grains for some time until I ran out of material to feed it. I let it keep running and realized- as expected- Some of the bits will ALWAYS sit in the bottom of the AUGER ASSEMBLY as the screw is unable to “self clean” the area due to lack of contact aka a clearance of maybe 2 milimeters or .5 Inch. Also as the ROTARY BLADE does it’s thing and the FLAPPER turns feeding it more and more plastic there is also some clearance at the back bottom of the SHREDDER BOX leaving some room for plastic to pool and sit as well. The only way to clear the machine completely out of plastic is to shut it off and open compartments and do it by hand. A big drawback in my opinion and for those wanting to change between shredding different types and colors of plastic.
Since the machine is super bulky and these assemblies fall short of doing what I need my idea was to take the HOPPER, AUGER ASSEMBLY, AUGER SCREW completely off, which I have done. I covered the holes left by the AUGER ASSEMBLY and aft drive shaft which fits the sprocket for the chain drive with some PLEXI glass because it’s what I had and I wanted to be able to see in the machine. I ran the machine with only the ROTARY SHREDDER going, feeding from the TOP ACCESS DOOR and as I imagined it would – the plastic pools in the empty space left by the FLAPPER in the SHREDDER BOX.My idea is to customize my own FLAPPER. OR just to use another set of ROTARY SHREDDER BLADES on a driveshaft and fit it into the existing sprocket and bearing combos. Looking to do this drive shaft out of an upcycled car axle though also very open to options of what kind of steel I could use for this experimental FLAPPER. And also just the idea of adding another shredder stage on top sounds really good to me.
If I stay with setup I will be building the NEW HOPPER up off the TOP ACCESS DOOR which I have seen in most newer models of this machine.I also have the idea to swap out the big bulky ELECTRICAL BOX which houses the motors’ switches and relays for a smarter, more compact Variable Frequency Drive or something else. Both the motors are 3 PHASE, 220 volt, right now I am running them through a digital phase converter and plugging into the standard dryer 220 v plug in my grandfather’s garage. Looking for any and all advice/expertise on how to effectively upgrade this box, please and thank you!
This machine has about 2.5 inch solid plastic casters(wheels on it) so its decently easy to move on flat smooth services with a single person. One day I’d like to make a towable plastic shredder on a trailer, much like a large woodchipper that can be towed to places and events and shred plastic on the spot. Or perhaps I just upcycle a different vehicle like a golfcart or ATV and make the shredder itself driveable. I am very happy to be involved and see so many involved on these v4 shredder discussions!
I want to share my experience in the upgrading of this old model shredder in addition to having helped build a PP v2 shredder and intending to build a v4 dual axle shredder very soon. I was looking into doing this and then found this shredder on craigslist for $850 and after buying the digital phase converter and having it delivered to house, buying a new plug and some wiring, greasing the bearings I’m only into the machine about $1100 – which is a big hunk of steel and shredders and motors and wiring that already does a good job of shredding plastic which I intend to redesign to make better. There have been thousands of these machines so maybe our project will create somewhat of a following around restoring and upgrading these vintage type machines.Thanks to all those who took the time to read and anyone that is contributing to Precious Plastic! I will post more updates.
Love and Trash,
So I’ve gone and bought a VINTAGE 😉 industrial Plastic Granulator. Wortex(now Conair Wortex) HA-811 – made some time in the late 1980’s and she is a beast of metal weighing upwards of 200 kilos.
This machine was designed to be used in conjunction with plastic injection molding equipment that produces LOTS and LOTS of spruce, runners, channels and all the other plastic byproduct pieces of the framework in the molding process that are all snapped off. Because this is good usable virgin plastic it only makes sense for factories to have this recycling stream in the manufacturing process.
This machine a a few main mechanism-
THE AUGER BIT which is chain drive driven by a 1 HP motor with a gear reducer that spins and acts as a screw drive to pull the plastic into:
THE SHREDDER BOX – The part of the machine housing the back of the augur bit and THE ROTARY SHREDDER – which is a big gnar gnar set of heavy blades, belt drive powered by a 1.5 HP motor that spins the shredder wheel at about 300 rpm and smashes the plastic against another stationary set of steel blades.
The guy who sold it to me use to use it for the intended purpose- shredding smaller bits of plastic that can be easily turned through the auger. The hooper is huge and this thing could take a lot of plastic at one time. In NEEDS to be full to properly function. The other drawback is that it DOES NOT self clean. As in there is space in the shredder box out of reach of both the AUGUR what I will call the flat “FLAPPER” and the bottom of the shredder box, also out of reach of the rotary blades. So about two handfuls of plastic just always sit back there in near granulated form. Also below the auger
The machine does produce BEAUTIFUL Pellets pushed through the have iron screen. That also needs more plastic to keep being forced through to push out the pellets through the screen. For my purposes of shredding different types of plastic sorted by color and type these things are draw backs. I called the company trying to get a schematic or manual of this machine and it seems during their merger they misplaced it – though the engineer there did know the type of machine I had and he said that they’ve don’t really make em like this with the auger drive anymore- soooo, confirming what I already wanted to do- I took the auger out and covered the holes with plexiglass – the rotary shredder definitely still needs something like a “Flapper” inside to compress the plastic materials into the rotary blade. I am thinking to fabricate one that will fit in the hole as the same sprocket as the auger used roughly 2 3/8 inches. Looking for suggestions on what kind of steel I ought to use for this piece
orrrrr I’m thinking to upgrade with another set of blades on a shaft in the box. The only issue is there will still be space for the plastic to pool in the back.
My idea now with this giant auger screw I’ve taken off is to possibly make a giant extrusion machine! We shall see…
And I want to replace the old circuit board with a Variable Frequency Drive or some other smaller computer that can control the speed and direction of both motors. Looking for suggestions, please!
Trying to do this before I ship the machine to Costa Rica in January and then fly to go meet it and start shredding all the plastic I can get my hands on.
I will post more pics and videos as this restoration/upgrade continues
@btmetz I think you might be talking about my friend Recycle Michael of WasteBusters and I turning his old electric lawnmower upside down and screwing a metal trash barrel to the top? Worked decently well one we changed out the single flat blade for some flimsy sheet metal ones we were able to bend up. We did a cross of the two sets of bent blades and screwed them on opposite one more bent up and the there down like you would see in a normal blender. It worked pretty well for blowing apart milk jugs when we tried it. We quickly moved on to the next thing. I’ve been meaning to do an instructable…still do…
some instragram videos below
Love + Trash,
sorry to get your hopes up, thats just a picture of an industrial quad axle shredder i found on google image search. I’m using a fellows 90 as well trying to retool it to be more efficient and clean auto clean the blades easier. I am thinking about getting some parts laser cut to fill in the spaces better.
How is this going guys? @edgeeffect @davidpaag I am also taking apart a bunch of shredders. I’ve done it about six times now… Right now I have a fellowes cross cut ps-79ci and a couple of Royal 12 sheet shredders. I am thinking about REALLY moding things and making a quad axle shredder