Problems With Oster Shearmaster

For discussion of tools like shearing gear, trailers, handling facilities all the way down the line to hoof shears. Sources, experiences, etc.

Problems With Oster Shearmaster

Postby Chad » Mon May 31, 2010 8:20 pm

I started shearing a ewe today with my Oster Shearmaster. Went swimmingly for about the first few minutes, then the clippers started to slow down, as if they were just chewing through the wool. What could have gone wrong? Could they have gone that dull that fast? Knocked out of adjustment? Over-heated?

And does anybody sharpen their own Shearmaster cutters?
www.myspace.com/thornecroft
Chad
Little-Bo-Freakin'-Peep
 
Posts: 310
Joined: Thu Apr 20, 2006 10:27 am

Re: Problems With Oster Shearmaster

Postby dog » Mon May 31, 2010 9:28 pm

these units can over heat quite quickly - especially if you force them thro the wool. they also need oiling after every sheep and the cutters need adjustment after every sheep - make sure the comb is fully in position - it is possible to tighten the comb when it is not fully at the end of the cut outs - this will help to over heat the unit as it is not cutting correctly - if the comb is fully in then the cutters usually will be in the correct position due to the 'pegs'

adjust the cutting pressure - to hard on then the unit will overheat and slow down - no oil to the blades and cutters the unit will overheat - if the wool is thick it is some times better to use an old comb - the teeth are thinner due to being sharpen many times. Could also be both the comb and cutters if these are not sharpened correctly then the unit will have problems cutting the wool and will over heat. Both should really be sharpened using a sharpening jig to get the right angles.

Some times on these units the two large screws that hold the comb in come loose and the comb moves - the pressure on the cutters stops the comb from coming fully out - tighten the comb screws as tight as you can and check them after each sheep - if the comb or cutters come loose or their angle changes during the shear then the unit will have problems cutting the wool and will over heat
The main difference between say a down tube unit and the shear master is that you can push the down tube hand piece more then you can do with the shearmaster units ( they have less power) so slow down a bit and let the shearmaster's weight push it thro the fleece.
dog
Old Hand
 
Posts: 1091
Joined: Fri Aug 14, 2009 7:50 am
Location: Australia nsw

Re: Problems With Oster Shearmaster

Postby Chad » Tue Jun 01, 2010 7:57 am

Thanks, dog, lots of good info.
www.myspace.com/thornecroft
Chad
Little-Bo-Freakin'-Peep
 
Posts: 310
Joined: Thu Apr 20, 2006 10:27 am

Re: Problems With Oster Shearmaster

Postby Island Shepherd » Tue Jun 01, 2010 9:06 am

dog wrote:...the cutters need adjustment after every sheep - make sure the comb is fully in position - it is possible to tighten the comb when it is not fully at the end of the cut outs - this will help to over heat the unit as it is not cutting correctly - if the comb is fully in then the cutters usually will be in the correct position due to the 'pegs'...


Chad,

I may have lost something in the translation from Aussy to Maineiac but, if Dog meant to seat the comb at the full depth of the screw slots ("cut outs"?) so that the cutter will be in correct position due to the comb screws ("pegs"?) than I would have to disagree. The comb should be positioned so that when the cutter it placed on it, the cutter tips are behind the side scallop. If you look at this from the cutting side view (as opposed to the sheep side) you will see that there is a bevel towards the tips of the comb teeth. The cutter tips should not go past this point or you will cut the sheep. On most handpieces this would happen if you put the comb all the way to the full depth of the screw slots. This adjustment is called setting the lead.

The outer cutting edge of the cutter should also not come out by the top or bottom comb teeth. With your machine you will have to start and stop it quickly until the cutter stops at it furthest point in either direction to check that the cutter isn't coming out by. With a regular handpiece you would loosen the tension and you can manual move the cutter back and forth to check it.

Once you have it set up right and tightened the cutters should not "need adjustment after every sheep-". These units with the motor in the handpiece are prone to overheating for a variety of reasons. I agree with Dog that you should keep it oiled with proper clipper oil, and if it is overtensioned it will heat up quicker and dull your combs and cutter. If it is too loose you will make stripes on the sheep, and jam wool under the cutter. Also make sure the screen is clear from debris.

As you get familiar with it and your technique improves you will have fewer problems. I know people that use those machines to shear many small farm flocks every year and have no problems sheared up to say 40-50 head a day. Beyond that an overhead machine starts to be the better weapon.

Good luck,

Dave
Island Shepherd
Old Hand
 
Posts: 2222
Joined: Mon Feb 19, 2007 9:59 pm
Location: Downeast Maine

Re: Problems With Oster Shearmaster

Postby Chad » Tue Jun 01, 2010 9:15 am

Thanks, Dave! Hey, maybe I can pay you to come onto the mainland and give me a clipper clinic? :wink:
www.myspace.com/thornecroft
Chad
Little-Bo-Freakin'-Peep
 
Posts: 310
Joined: Thu Apr 20, 2006 10:27 am

Re: Problems With Oster Shearmaster

Postby dog » Tue Jun 01, 2010 10:37 am

> if Dog meant to seat the comb at the full depth of the screw slots ("cut outs"?) so that the cutter will be in correct position due to the comb screws ("pegs"?) >than I would have to disagree
actually went out to the shed and checked it out on my unit - on my unit if the comb is not fully bedded then the cutters are not positioned right - the difference between your unit and mine may be the combs and cutters used or there may be a difference in the head of the unit. I am interested in how you keep the comb dead straight when you do not bed it completely in the screw stops and if you use a comb that matches the cutters you are using then when the comb is fully bedded they will not come past the edge of the comb (unless of course your combs are being worn away from incorrect sharpening)
I have seen shearers use combs and cutters that are so old and been sharpened so many times that you could almost roll a cig in them.

>the cutters should not "need adjustment after every sheep
probably we have heavier fleeces - but it is good practice to check the handpiece and oil between sheep - after each run (morning tea, lunch and afternoon tea I usally check the down tubes, drive belts and oil the down tubes etc in the shed - at the end of each day I sharpen all the cutters and combs and overhaul the handpieces - normal procedure in the shearing shed. My rules in the shed is that shearers are not to tramtrack the sheep, cut them or use blunt cutters and not to burn the hand piece out
I would not expect shearers to replace combs after every sheep but for some one that is new to shearing etc I would assume that he might be pushing the handpiece a bit more then he should or he has not set the pressure correctly thus a cutter may not last as long - so it is good practice to check the adjustments between sheep only takes a minute or so it can be done when you oil the handpiece.

>and if it is overtensioned it will heat up quicker and dull your combs and cutter
as you get experienced you can judge by the sound of the cutters moving over the comb - the sound of loose, tight and correct have different sounds
dog
Old Hand
 
Posts: 1091
Joined: Fri Aug 14, 2009 7:50 am
Location: Australia nsw

Re: Problems With Oster Shearmaster

Postby Phil Crome » Wed Jun 02, 2010 5:11 pm

Dog, John, whatever your name is,

I don't know what it is about your responses, but they usually find a way to chap me. Maybe it's your seeming assumption that an Aussie accent makes you the Divine Oracle of all things ovine, but then again, maybe it's just me.

Chad, if you set a comb all the way back in the comb screws, you will _not_ get a cutter set with proper, indeed any, lead. Island Dave's usual excellent description is correct, again as usual. In going on thirty years of using Shearmasters and who knows how many comb and cutter changes, I can honestly say that I have never set or been able to set one all the way back. Probably different in Australia as they use the metric system :wink: Use your eyes, the original lasers, to set your comb parallel to the boss at the base of the comb attachment as per Dave's suggestion. The only thing I have to add is that before you put the whammy to the comb screws, get them snug, set a cutter under the forks, engaged properly in the forks but with only light tension on the cutter. Then, with the machine unplugged, use a slender screwdriver to turn the fan blade, visible through the slots at the front of the motor about half an inch behind the head. This allows you to check the throw of the cutter, making sure it's making it all the way to the last tooth of the comb on BOTH sides. This very useful trick came to me from Charlie Swaim, a former champion shearer and employee of the Oster company. In my opinion, it is the only advantage of the Shearmaster over the Premier 4000, but I have learned to just pop the two screws and pull the head, then turn the gear on the back of the head of my 4000's, accomplishing the same thing albeit in a bit more time. Usually by the time I need a comb and cutter change, I need a break anyway.

As a beginner, most of us spend too much time with the gear in the air rather than in the wool, which means we're running it dry, which dulls it faster. This condition can be helped somewhat by oiling, but not remedied completely. Don't try to shear with dull gear, it will make you old. If your gear won't cut, stop trying until it's sharp. And by all means, if you can, go to shearing school.

Best of luck,

Phil Crome
Phil Crome

UA Local 23 Journeyman and part-time shepherd
Elizabeth, IL

"Have you had a fecal test done?": probably my epitaph.
Phil Crome
Old Hand
 
Posts: 553
Joined: Sat Jan 26, 2008 5:05 pm
Location: Northwest Illinois (Baja Wisconsin)

Re: Problems With Oster Shearmaster

Postby dog » Wed Jun 02, 2010 8:24 pm

well Being aussie I am not too sure what you mean by 'chap'

I have been called a lot of things but I am not a person from the Bhakkar district of the Punjab, Pakistan, nor from a a village in the tehsil of Kaloorkot in Bhakkar of course I am not a piece of chewing tobacco nor a chop jaw or cheek - probably what 'chaps' you off is I dont' speak amercian and I can't really change from being australian for you. :)
>that an Aussie accent makes you the Divine Oracle of all things ovine
of course it does not I know aussies with worse accents then me who have never farmed sheep take paul Hogen for instance or heaven forbid Steve Irwin. But then of course australia is the most productive sheep producing country in the world :twisted:

the difference between how you set the combs and blades may be as simple as the fact that we may be using a different head unit then you do over there - our oster units are replaceable head units - probasbly the best advice is to simply look up the manual that came with the unit or the replaceable head unit. basically thats all I did! :| surpreme knowledge is of course in the Books not in the accent be it aussie or yank
(I used the smilies to break the accent a bit)
dog
Old Hand
 
Posts: 1091
Joined: Fri Aug 14, 2009 7:50 am
Location: Australia nsw

Re: Problems With Oster Shearmaster

Postby Stan Potratz » Thu Jun 03, 2010 8:32 am

In response to Phil's comments re. the difference between Oster's Shearmaster and the Premier 4000 (it's not easy to move the forks on the 4000 even when there is little tension).

Phil is right. The 4000 has a permanent magnet motor- which are magnets even when the unit is not connected to electricity--- and so make it much more difficult to move the armature and thus the forks by hand.
Oster's shearmaster, like Heiniger & Lister's motor in the handpiece machines, use universal motors--- whose stator's are not magnets when disconnected. so it's much easier to move the forks by hand during adjustment.

The upside of permanent magnet motors, if the optimum magnets are used, are that they produce similar torque with less weight, length, and diameter, and armature rpm's (11,000 vs 33,000)
Stan Potratz
Old Hand
 
Posts: 488
Joined: Mon Sep 01, 2008 12:01 pm

Re: Problems With Oster Shearmaster

Postby Island Shepherd » Thu Jun 03, 2010 4:04 pm

Chad,

Phil is exactly right about using the screwdriver. I have seen another shepherd friend do that and I had completly forgotten about it. That is a much better method than wearing out your on-off switch.

Dave
Island Shepherd
Old Hand
 
Posts: 2222
Joined: Mon Feb 19, 2007 9:59 pm
Location: Downeast Maine

Re: Problems With Oster Shearmaster

Postby Phil Crome » Thu Jun 03, 2010 5:24 pm

Stan and others,

Just for the record and at the risk of repeating myself, the 4000 is in every other way superior to the Shearmaster. All of the positives listed in the propaganda are correct. The Shearmaster, particularly the old black handled ones, is a perfectly functional design proven over time, but I believe the 4000 is an improvement and more importantly a real achievement in design and manufacturing for Premier. Their support for and commitment to this piece of equipment is really something.

No relationship to Premier other than a customer.

Phil Crome
Phil Crome

UA Local 23 Journeyman and part-time shepherd
Elizabeth, IL

"Have you had a fecal test done?": probably my epitaph.
Phil Crome
Old Hand
 
Posts: 553
Joined: Sat Jan 26, 2008 5:05 pm
Location: Northwest Illinois (Baja Wisconsin)

Re: Problems With Oster Shearmaster

Postby Sylvia Murray » Fri Jun 04, 2010 7:51 pm

Chad,
First time shearers tend to tighten the cutter down too hard. I still use Shearmasters and the way I set the tension on my cutter is to just snug it up, turn the machine on which inevitably resets it and loosens it a bit so that it needs another light snug. Shut them off, then flip my sheep and start to shear. If they sound like they're just chewing or they aren't working...you'll learn the noise..I give them a small snug (while the clippers are running) then try again. You don't want to snug them so hard that you can hear them really bog down from too much tension. Don't know if that helps but it works for me.
Sylvia Murray
Alder Brook Farm
www.alderbrookromneys.com
Sylvia Murray
Old Hand
 
Posts: 428
Joined: Sat Apr 05, 2008 5:09 am
Location: SE Connecticut

Re: Problems With Oster Shearmaster

Postby Richard Ehrhardt » Thu Jun 10, 2010 12:38 pm

Chad,

Lots of good advice for you, will just add a few comments. I spent my early years shearing using a shearmaster. Probably sheared 15k sheep with one before getting handpiece and shaft machine in my late teens. They are functional units but need proper set up and sharp gear (as do all units) as has been well covered here.

The tendency with all new shearers to to keep cranking on the tension nut as the gear gets duller which creates a downward spiral of heat, friction and damaged combs and cutters that are then hard to resharpen. If your machine is slowing down with light tension and the gear/motor are not overheated, it seems to me that you must have a motor problem. Machines don't typically slow down unless the tension/friction is increased.
Richard Ehrhardt
Old Hand
 
Posts: 214
Joined: Thu Aug 30, 2007 11:08 am
Location: Eaton Rapids , MI

Re: Problems With Oster Shearmaster

Postby Chad » Mon Jul 05, 2010 9:20 am

dog wrote:well Being aussie I am not too sure what you mean by 'chap'
Dog, just to help a bit: "Chap" is part of an American expression "chaps my a$$," "chapping" being like chapped lips or maybe a diaper rash, a skin irritation. What Phil means is that somehow your responses often irritate him.

It may well be a disconnect between Aussie and Yank ways of speaking. An illustration: A friend of mine from Boston, Massachusetts went with his band to London. While there one evening they managed to get themselves drunk in the bars enough so nobody would serve them. They thought to purchase liquor and take it back to the hotel, whereupon they started asking everybody they met, "where's the packy? Where are your packies?" In massachusetts a liquor store is often referred to as a "package store," or "packy" for short. What my friends didn't realize is that in England "packy" - or maybe "Paki" - is a racial epithet referring to Pakistanis. Objectionable and uncool. My buddies very nearly got the piss beaten out of them.

Anyway, you two guys work it out because you both have a lot of knowledge to offer this rank newbie and who needs to waste time arguing?

And thanks to all for the help. I just revisited this thread and discovered a lot of responses I didn't know I'd gotten.
www.myspace.com/thornecroft
Chad
Little-Bo-Freakin'-Peep
 
Posts: 310
Joined: Thu Apr 20, 2006 10:27 am

Re: Problems With Oster Shearmaster

Postby Chad » Mon Jul 05, 2010 9:23 am

Dog, what means "tramtrack?"
www.myspace.com/thornecroft
Chad
Little-Bo-Freakin'-Peep
 
Posts: 310
Joined: Thu Apr 20, 2006 10:27 am


Return to Tools of the trade

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests