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sheep shearing machine!

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I have a working prototype of my upright sheep shearing machine. I have a bad back and very bad knee's. So it is not possible for me to shear my sheep bent over all day. So I built this machine to put the sheep at waist height. I tried to buy a machine in Austrailia but the firm was not respondsive and did not do what they told me they would do. So I built one myself. I did not want my sheep to have to go up a ramp to get them at the correct height. So my machine lifts the sheep and tipps it over onto the table.

 

It is very strange to shear sheep on the table. After shearing for so long in the conventional manner it takes some getting used to. The blow pattern is completely different. But after not many sheep I think I figured out an efficient pattern. If I had more sheep to practice on I think I would be just as fast on the machine as on the floor. After I sheared all my sheep on this contraption I was still fit! Not so if I had done it normally. Having had a broken back, neck and major knee surgery not to mention being sixty next year I think it will be a big help.

 

I only post it here for you curious folks. I have no intention to try to sell them. It is a very expensive machine to build. It is hydraulically powered and has a Siemens PLC computer controlling the crate movement.

 

There was a lot to learn just to build the damn thing! Nothing to reference the build on as far as dimensions. So my machine is very adjustable because I basically had no clue!

 

I will be curious about you all's comments!

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gxar5swPWIs

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That's pretty ingenious. I'd love to see how you actually shear them, as I'm not quite picturing it in my mind.

 

J.

Julie I don't have any good video of the actual shearing. The sheep is turned over by its hind legs being rotated by the leg restraints. The table is made up of two wings. Each wing is controlled by a foot pedal. The way I sheared the sheep I tried to follow pretty close to conventional shearing. I did the crutch and belly first. Then opened up the neck and then with a series of long blows did the sides. I did not have a lot of sheep left to shear. I held some back for this machine. So I didn't have enough for me to get really proficient at shearing on the table. The fastest I got was only three minutes. Although not embarassing certainly not impressive. I think the biggest time saver is not having to catch and drag. If I counted in that time over all it was not so much slower. After I shear 100 sheep on it I think I will be as fast as normal shearing but I will be fit enough to go out dancing after shearing 200 sheep in a day!

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That is really inventive! I shear sheep professionally and this year really reinjured my right knee. I am not a gifted inventor so I had to pass on most of my jobs to my young apprentices.

 

 

 

:)

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Here's a link the commercial version of this machine made by a company called Peak Hill Industries in New Zealand with video of sheep being sheared

 

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Peak Hill is the company I tried to buy a machine from last year. I tried for months to get the information sent to me. They kept telling me the information would be sent but they never sent anything but a price to me.

 

I also didn't want the sheep to go up a ramp into the machine. I built a machine last year that the sheep had to go up a ramp and sometimes it was problematic to get the sheep to go up the ramp. With the ramp it was difficult to help them along. With the sheep staying at ground level it is easy to get to the sheep to encourage them to move forward.

 

Also I didn't want the conveyor for the wool. If shearing by myself with no wool handler a conveyer would mean stopping and walking around the machine to manage the wool.

 

They use pneumatics for all the funtions. Using air cylinders to lift the sheep would have not worked. I use a custom built piggy-back hydraulic cylinder to lift the crate.

 

It would have been much less expensive for me to buy one of Peak Hills machines. Especially if I count the number of hours invested. I have a complete machine shop here at the farm. Without the lathes and milling machines that I have it would of not been possible to build the machine. Off the shelf parts for many of the functions are not available.

 

I like to build things hence the machine shop at home. It could be built much less expensive than how I built mine but I was trying to build the best machine I could build and did not cut many corners.

 

Lifting the sheep up instead of the sheep going up a ramp added a lot of challenges to the design of my machine. I had input from many engineers around the world. I can not take credit for all of the design. I only take credit for being stubborn enough to push through and build this contraption!

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On my machine the table and foot restraints are removable leaving only the crate. It is possible on my machine to have a sheep walk in the crate and be lifted up and NOT tipped. My plan was to use this for taking blood or giving shots. Also reproductive work. There will be access to the sheep from the side.

 

Also my table is adjustable in how the wings are configured to facilitate handling lambs to big rams.

 

This machine is definately a work in progress. As I said before I built this for myself and not to market the machine. Peak Hill has to keep production in mind and that opens up a whole new can of worms. Also here in Germany all machines have to be CE certified before they can be sold here.

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B! My old friend.

It looks like you've been busy. I hadnt even seen this till your e mail today. Glad we hooked back up. Seems we've both been MIA for awhile. Lol

That is one awesome machine. But then, ive seen the stair case too, so have no doubts about ur abilities and knowledge. Work smarter not harder i always say! Lol

Good on you! Glad to see you r still stirring minds, and sharing. Come back soon, im sure with me startin this pup soon we'll find plenty to shoot the s*** about.

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Hi there, I have followed your progress on a Machining forum and the input from your friend in the US and others - fascinating - even if it did consume half a weekend reading the 47 pages of threads :)

 

As a former sheep farmer for over 40 years I have always wondered if there was a better way.

My Father in law had a shearing table that you pulled a sheep onto from a raised race. The back and front feet were restrained in a twin clamp system for each end such that you could rotate the sheep away from you and then roll it back to you. Worked well for a very simple system.

I think I have seen an antique version of it manufactured many years ago by I think Moffat-Virtue.

I will be very interested to follow your development further.

I think there is a shearing table in New Zealand that uses ropes running through a poly pipe and then through a yachting style clamp but can't find the link right now.

Regards

Charles in Victoria, Australia

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So Ladies and Gentlemen,

 

We have the next generation of my upright sheep shearing machine.

In this version after the sheep is loaded on the table and ready to be sheared it can be rotated 360 degrees on the lengthwise axis. This makes the shearing go much faster. The fleece comes off with nice long blows.

I attach a link to a PDF of a simplified animation of how the machine works. The sheep is also off loaded to the back of the table for two reasons. One so there is less handling of the sheep. Two so the machines can be set up in a series so the input races are connected and the output races are connected between machines. Mind you there is no intention to produce these machines but I wanted to build what I think will be the ultimate machine to shear sheep in the upright position. In the latest actual built machine the sheep lays on a conveyor band. In the PDF it just shows two rollers but there is actually a band that goes around the two rollers and the sheep lies on the band. Also not shown in the PDF is the retractable wool tray at the back of the table. When the table is tipped down to the back to unload the sheep into the exhaust race the wool table is retracted. The only part I don't like about this arrangement is the fleece has to be removed from the tray before the sheep is unloaded from the table. It just means the sheep has to stay on the table a few seconds longer. Long enough to grab the fleece turn around and put the fleece on the table.

 

I will also post a video of a sheep being rolled 360 degrees.

 

http://forum.bruce-tamlyn-horsemanship.com/temporary/almost-finished-sheep-shearing-machine.pdf

http://s853.photobucket.com/albums/ab91/burnandreturn/?action=view&current=sheeprollingover.mp4

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I thought I would post an update about my latest version of my sheep handler. The table is height adjustable with just a push of a button. The leg restraints are ajustable in and out and up and down with just a push of a button. It takes ten minutes to be ready to shear or trim feet. The table is raised over the crate for transport.

 

http://youtu.be/rKcBH42cr2I

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I have changed a lot on my sheep handler. Because it is now mounted on a trailer the sheep have to go up a ramp. It is not such a big problem. What I am working on now is to have the entire machine voice controlled. Instead of having to push a button or step on a pedal I will be able to just talk to the machine! Maybe I should use whistle commands!

The crate tipping has been a big problem to solve. I wanted it to be more fluid and controlled than it has been in the past. Now I think I have it just how I need it to be.

 

Have a look and tell me what you think.

 

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It looks good. So you don't leave the sheep in the crate for trimming (like a tilt table) but instead tip them on to a table where you secure their legs and then work from there? Are you also trying to shear this way, or just do foot trimming?

 

It's definitely come a long way from the original prototype!

 

J,

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It looks good. So you don't leave the sheep in the crate for trimming (like a tilt table) but instead tip them on to a table where you secure their legs and then work from there? Are you also trying to shear this way, or just do foot trimming?

 

It's definitely come a long way from the original prototype!

 

J,

I shear on the table also. When I trim the feet I just tip the sheep onto the table and don't even bother to restrain the legs. The machine was built mainly for shearing. I can consistently and easily shear sheep in two minutes.

 

The main reason for tipping the sheep onto the table is the the exhaust race that is behind the table. That allows me to keep the finished sheep separate. The idea being if I wanted to I could connect two or more of the sheep handlers together. Meaning either unsheared or untrimmed sheep could pass through one machine on the way to the next machine.

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As promised I now have my sheep shearing machine voice controlled. Now while shearing I don't have to look for a pedal or press a button to roll the sheep. I just say "computer forward" and the sheep is turned a little bit. I can regulate how far the sheep gets turned with no problem. And I can reverse the roll also if needed.

 

It took me a long time to write all the software as I had to learn a lot of different programming languages and hire some of it done. But now it works perfectly. I also use it on some of my machine tools in my shop.

 

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