Homemade machines

Homemade machines

Some people just can’t settle for machines that are available on the open market. They think those machines are not good enough. So, they make their own. More or less professional machines, made by skilled and interested contractors. Here are some examples.

Homemade machines – custom-made for you

Of course, you must have some construction skills to build your machine. Or, you must know someone who has. Like Starks Flis AB that we wrote about in February last year, which wanted a remote-controlled chipper. They let a classic forest machine constructor, LL Maskiner, build the machine according to Stark’s specifications.

Log Max Harvester Heads
Remote controlled ERJO chipper
Full Speed ahead! The chipper has a 580 hp Scania V8 engine. The forwarder is a 2004 Valmet 860. (It became Komatsu in 2005)

LL Maskiner is the company that built the “Spindeln” (the Spider) harvester, which later became SkogsJan, then Caterpillar, and today EcoLog.

Homemade machines – with commercial intensions

As mentioned before, I used to work for the Elmia forestry show and I really wanted odd machines on the show. I invited Starks Flis AB to participate in the show with their remote-controlled chipper, but they had no intention of selling the machine. They just wanted an efficient chipper.

But there were others. Like the T-Bear that we wrote about (among other machines) in the article Odd Machines that could have been something. In this case, the inventor had a clear vision about getting the machine out on the market. In the meantime, he used it in his daily business harvesting forest. However, the T-Bear didn’t succeed and only one was built.

Homemade machines
The inventor of the T-Bear wanted to reach the market, but the market wasn’t interested(?).

In the same article, the German engineer Jürgen Hartig and his electrical, pendulum arm harvester is mentioned. That project, so far, never left the drawing board. But Mr. Hartig did build his own harvester before that. Originally, he used himself because SkogsJan wasn’t ready to enter a new market. Later, he sold the concept to a machine manufacturer who did build a series of seven machines. But he still has the original in the yard.

Homemade machines
Jürgen Hartig’s homemade harvester.

Homemade for real

At last, we have real homemade machines. Those who just need a machine and happen to have some skills in thinking and welding. And normally a pile of scrap to start with. This type of machine is more common than it seems. You bump into them now and then. The owners/builders certainly don’t want to market the machines because they are mostly illegal. They have not been tested or have any certificates like CE or similar. In other words, they could be lethal and shouldn’t be shown in public or operated by strangers.

I can’t help it, but this is the type of machine I find most exciting. They are there because the owner had time and interest in building it. Maybe he or she even needed it, but that was probably not important.

When you work in the forest as I do, you see them. But you must have sharp eyes. Here below is one that forwarded wood that I had felled last winter.

Homemade machines
A “real” homemade machine. Based on a Volvo BM 400 tractor.

Are there any more out there?

It would be interesting to see more of those “real” homemade machines. Please let me know if you have or have seen any.

Photos: Per Jonsson

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