1.2 – Why Develop a New Brush Cutter Blade

It was the desire to be able to clear the old forests tracks, on our rain forest property that created the desire to again try a metal blade. I think I tried just about every type of blade one can buy for a brush cutter; some were good at one job and hopeless at others, some were just totally hopeless. I could not find one blade that would do everything that I wanted and take the punishment. One by one they ended up in that graveyard of blades rusting away in the back of the shed.

It was a friend that then said, stop whinging about it, your an engineer, design your own blade. So I thought, yes he was right, if I could design a fire truck, I could design a brushcutter-blade.

But as it turned out it was not as easy as I thought and it has taken eight years now and dozens of generations of improvement to get to where it is now. As you can see below, the grave yard of my old blades is just as big as other brands.

 

Old Brush Cutter Blades

Below is the very first prototype, worked fairly well, but fell apart very quickly as the metal used was just not up to the impact load and stresses it was subjected to.

First BrushDestructor Prototype

Below is another early prototype that looked the most aggressive of all the variations ever made, but was a dismal failure. This was was caused by the inner teeth on the leading edge not having enough velocity and snagging stringy grass and vines. Thus causing severe balance problems and drain of power which resulted in regular stops to clear off the grass.

BrushDestructor Prototype


 

Below is a video walking around our property along the cleared forestry tracks. There is no action or brush cutting in this video, but if you have a spare half hour, set the resolution to high, turn the sound up a little and relax as I take you for a walk through our rainforest property. The main two birds you can hear in the background are the Australian whipbird and the lyrebirds.

I decided I needed to take a walk and get some fresh air, when the sun came out for a few hours after over a month of being in the mist and rain.

This property is called Misty Mountain and is the western side of a small mountain called Mt Gibraltar, on top of a plateau mountain called Comboyne. This property was given its name many years ago due to the altitude and the fact that it is often in the clouds.

This property has been harvested for timber, twice in the last 100 years, the last time almost 50 years ago and the tracks that have been re-cleared are those that were made to drag the massive tree trunks out.

These old forestry tracks were cleared and maintained using a BrushDestructor Blade. In fact, it was the desire to clear these old forestry tracks that criss-crossed this property, so as to easily walk around and enjoy the property. That led to the need for and development of the BrushDestructor Blade.

Hope you enjoy the walk.

The video below, shows the fire that ripped through our property, even though we live in a high rainfall area. After about four months of almost no rain, from when the video above was taken. The forest was dry, by Comboyne standards, but not by Australian standards. One Sunday, late September 2017, unseasonably high temperatures of 40 degrees and winds gusting up to 140km/h fanned some small fire into a major inferno. Two houses were lost even before the fire brigade could get here and by that evening, the fire was too fierce and the terrain too rough to fight the fire, so all the fire brigade could do that night was park around all the houses in the line of the fire for the night and do what they could to save them.

From my experience designing fire engines and developing means to protect the truck and crew in the event that they should get caught in a burn-over. I had a good understanding of the area needed around the house to protect the house in the case of a fire, even though I never expected that we should be faced with this scenario here in Comboyne with a rainfall of between 2.5 to 3m a year. But when the fire was bearing down on us with those horrendous winds, I did not have the confidence that the area was enough, or the courage to stay with the house and so pack up what we could throw in the cars and left.

What I did not expect, was that so many firemen would stay the whole night, putting their lives on the line in such extreme conditions to protect our house, when we were not prepared to so. Another important thing I learnt from this, is that having a decent clearing around the house, is not just to save the house, but to also give the firemen that are trying to save your house some distance from the fire for their protection as well. As in our case, the fire men that were protecting our house, were not able to get out and reinforcements could not get in. To all the volunteer firemen in Australia and for that matter the rest of the world, who sacrifice so much of their own time and risk their lives protecting other peoples property, I thank you.

I will shortly put up a video, walking the same path as the video above, you will not believe that it is the same place.


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