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Beyond the Bale : December 2013
AWI has worked with the industry’s best shearing trainers to produce a grinding template that will help shearers place their combs and cutters in the best possible position on the grinder to ensure they get the ultimate sharpening. Eight out of ten shearers could make more money just by giving their handpiece, combs and cutters a little more attention, according to AWI Shearing Industry Development Coordinator Jim Murray. “An estimated 80 per cent of professional shearers don’t get a true cut, but a well maintained handpiece with FAST FACTS l An estimated 80 per cent of professional shearers could get a better cut by using better maintained handpieces with sharp combs and cutters. l AWI has produced a new “grinding template” that will help shearers place their combs and cutters in the best position on the grinder to achieve optimum sharpening. l The “grinding template” is available free to woolgrowers and shearers by phoning the AWI Helpline on 1800 070 099. Shearer trainer Darren Smith from Victoria demonstrating how to use AWI’s new “grinding template” on his grinder. Better grinding: a sharp idea sharp combs and cutters will increase tallies and make the job easier,” he says. “As well as reducing the effort of the shearer and increasing daily output, well ground combs and cutters will greatly reduce the likelihood of sheep kicking and straining while being shorn. “A properly cutting headpiece leaves the sheep looking smooth and polished. But freshly shorn areas of a sheep with a fluffy or furry appearance can be a sign that the tools are not cutting cleanly, and appear to almost be tearing or dragging the wool off.” The grinding template was developed by attendees at the AWI Sharpening and Grinding Workshop held in May at Roseworthy, South Australia. Shearers can use the template by placing it onto the shaft of their grinders and using the images of the combs and cutters on the template to set the right pendulum height for grinding their gear. When the pendulum is set up correctly, shearers should get the perfect scissor action and the best possible cut. Make sure you or your shearers are not one of 80 per cent not getting a true cut. Call the AWI Helpline on 1800 070 099 to order your free grinding template for your own grinder, or the next shed you’re heading to. SELLING MORE WOOL 34 34 34 ON-FARM December 2013 BEYOND THE BALE GRINDING TECHNIQUE TIPS • Set the pendulum height using the template • The comb should have a 1.5mm gap at the teeth when the heel is touching the disc. • The cutter should touch the disc flat and even. • The comb needs 4-6 passes. • The cutter needs 2-3 passes. • Even pressure should be applied with your inside foot forward. • Finish towards the outside of the disc with the sparks running straight up the comb teeth. GRINDING EQUIPMENT TIPS • Make sure the grinder is in a safe position (secure, clear, well-lit). • Check that safety guards are in place. • Always wear protection glasses when grinding. • Regularly check the length of the positioning pins on your pendulum. • Make sure combs and cutters are clean and dry before you sharpen. • It’s advisable to use pendulums produced by the same manufacturer of the combs and cutters that you use. Slight differences between pendulums can have adverse effects on your ability to sharpen. • Don’t skimp on emery paper; changing emeries regularly will increase tallies. More information: To order your free grinding template, phone the AWI Helpline on 1800 070 099.