Fieldcraft Grafting Machines
Presently there are three Fieldcraft tools available each has received a great deal of testing and development since their initial development. They are the "Graftech" a specialised bench mounted grafting tool the "Topgrafter" an all-purpose tool designed to field graft and bench graft and the "Chipbudder" predominately used as a repair tool but is also an effective tool to sidegraft larger stock.
Part Number: TG10 Price $450.00 plus air shipping only
Bench Mount Attachment--$40.00
Weighing 1.2kgs The Topgrafter is a universal tool, which can be used by hand in the field or bench mounted in a nursery situation. For the Topgrafter to be bench mounted purchase of a bench mount attachment is further required. However the Topgrafter was not initially designed for bench mounting and while just as efficient in graft take results it is not as "user friendly" as the Graftech thus affecting the number of cuts completed by operators. The Topgrafter cannot be air assisted in the operation where as the Graftech is universal.
The complete range of Fieldcraft tools are fast and uncomplicated to use. Depending on the type of tool purchased users could easily complete in excess of 2000 completed grafts in 8 hours. This is with one of the men grafting and the other taping and waxing the unification between the rootstock and scion.
A small efficient tool weighing approx. 1 kg, the Fieldcraft Topgrafter executes the long V cleft cut most popular in Europe.
The efficiency of all grafting is shown in the take and speed of operation. The Fieldcraft Topgrafter is a precision instrument consisting of two blades, made of hardened steel, which can be removed, sharpened or replaced.
The, anvil is grooved and positions the grafting wood in the centre to provide a precision cut. The handle operates like a pair of pliers, and is spring loaded to open, ready for the next cut. The grafter can be bench mounted, or used loose for fieldwork.
To operate the grafter, the stock is first placed on the anvil and a "v" groove is neatly sliced out.
The scion wood selected is next positioned from the other side of the grafter, and sliced. The resultant cut matches perfectly with the rootstock.
It's important the selected scion wood is of similar size as the stock to be grafted. This ensures the cambium layers fit neatly together.
The Topgrafter is suitable for grafts from three millimetres to thirty millimetres. This graft is then taped as normal, and the operation completed.
With the addition of the foot-operated Bench Mount the grafting procedure is greatly speeded. This accessory was designed for vineyards, orchards and nurseries that perform both bench grafting and field grafting.
The bench mount is attached to the workbench and the grafter is clipped into the mount with the blades facing the operator. A foot lever then operates the tool. With this accessory, daily throughput of bench grafts is more than doubled and the tool can be disengaged from the bench mount for fieldwork in less than a minute.
Part Number RGTM100 Price: $585.00 plus air shipping only
The Graftech Bench Mounted With Foot Lever
The latest addition to our range of Fieldcraft™ range of products is the ‘Graftech’ Topgrafter, which has been developed specifically for use in grafting’s commercial sector. This tool is solely bench mounted and foot operated.
Basically, this tool is a progression of the Topgrafter with the principal difference between the Graftech Topgrafter and the Topgrafter tools being the “Baseplate”. Both tools use the exact system, which performs the cutting action (executing ‘V’ cleft cuts) and continues to demonstrate high percentage of successful grafts from grapes, kiwifruit, avocados, persimmons, nuts, ornamentals, stone and pip fruit trees.
Operation using the Graftech is notably faster then using the Topgrafter and benchmount attachment. Design and manufacture of the Graftech has been directed towards operators performing numerous grafts per season. Using the Graftech Topgrafter you can increase throughput and reduce staff costs. Control system of the Graftech Topgrafter can be powered and operated by a compressed air “accelerator” or by manual foot lever.
Control procedure may be easily changed by purchasing the variance not initially purchased i.e. manual - air or vice versa. Whilst the Graftech Topgrafter is aimed at the commercial sector this tool is simple to use and has been used by novices to great effect. All the operator requires is a basic understanding of the “V” cleft grafting process enabling operators to complete procedures effectively.
The Graftech has been designed to be solely bench mounted and specifically aimed at grafting operations performing larger amount of grafts yearly. The Graftech is especially intended for use in the commercial sector i.e. nurseries. The special aspect of the Graftech is the baseplate, which has been ergonomically designed so operators of the tools are comfortable using the tool for long hours required when grafting in a nursery situation. The ergonomic shape also allows operators to sight the grafting stock prior to the cut thus improving operators centring of grafts
Initial trial installations of this new tool was to Riversun Nursery (Gisborne, New Zealand) who grafting grapevines began with an initial installation of 12 air operated Fieldcraft™ Graftech Topgrafters for the 2000 season.
These new machines produced in excess of 2,000,000 grafts in their first season of trials. Impressed with the efficiency and high success rate achieved with the initial trial year Riversun Nursery purchased a further 14 machines for the 2001 grafting season and produced in excess of 2,750,000 grafts. To date Riversun Nursery have purchased a total of 36 Graftech tools, which they have used to complete 3,500,000 grafts in an
eleven week period. It is not unusual for operators to complete over 3000 grafts per day. One operator has even completed a total in excess of 5400 grafts in a 9 hour day!
AIR OPERATED GRAFTECH BENCH MOUNTED GRAFTER
Part Number: RGTA10 Price: $838.50 plus Air Shipping Only
Graftech Air Operation
Initial usage of tools
We recommend that air powered tools should initially be set up with the blades detached from the "Knife Carrier" so operators may familiarise themselves by viewing the Graftech movements speed of action. Once this has been completed replace blades and use, the Graftech Topgrafter to perform cuts without wood. Following this they should commence using the tool with trial wood until operators gain an understanding of the tools functions.
Speed of cuts can also be controlled by slightly depressing the foot pedal (accelerator) permitting blades to manoeuvre at a slower rate. This method will allow the operator to become accustomed to using the Graftech Topgrafter and control the function accordingly.
By means of this adjustment, it can perform either an instantaneous cut or a gradual cut dependant on operator's selection. Operation of the air controlled foot pedal can be likened to using the accelerator whilst driving a car.
When using the Graftech Topgrafter with the pneumatic ram the cutting action may be controlled to suit the operators. The Graftech Topgrafter can perform either an instantaneous cut or a gradual cut dependant on operators' selection. By slightly depressing the foot pedal (accelerator) the blades will move at a slower rate, this will come, as the operator becomes familiar with using the tool. Use of the foot pedal can be compared to using the accelerator whilst driving a car.
For best cuts, we recommend that the speed be at maximum to make the cuts as clean as possible and reduce dragging of "cut tissue" in softer stock.
It is difficult to advise compressor sizes due to variances in how compressors are operated, distance of tools from the compressor and how many units are to be used. Below is recommended PSI ratings required to operate the air tools effectively.
Optimum running capacity is 100 PSI
Maximum running capacity is 150 PSI
Minimum running capacity is 60 PSI
Initially a compressor, which runs at 5-10 Cubic feet per minute/2-3 Horse Power, will operate a single Graftech effectively but leaves little room for future expansion. The smaller the compressor unit the slower the recovery rate affected from each cut.
Installation instructions for Graftech air operation
- Align Graftech base on workbench in desired position the shaft of the Grafter should be pointing towards you.
- Mark centre of two 10mm holes at rear of base unit and drill two 10mm holes through bench
- Mark centre of linkage travel and cut out hole for linkage travel.
- Align Graftech base plate again and secure through bench to bottom mount frame H section.
- Fit ram mount frame to the H section placing pins and cotter pin to hold ram in place. Secure front of ram holder to the bench using a wood screw.
- Fit and connect blade carrier to main truncheon, adjust for desire travel.
- Mount air isolate tap in desired position.
Important Note: This tap must be readily accessible to operators at all times. Operators must turn off air to the Graftech tool before leaving their work area.
- Connect air hoses from foot pedal to air ram.
- Connect main air from air compressor to air tap.
- Turn on air tap and test operation. Ensure that when the foot pedal is depressed the Knife carrier moves downward. If this moves in a reverse fashion the 2 air hoses attached to the air ram must be removed and inverted.
- We suggest that you spend a few minutes to familiarise yourself with the operation of this unit with out blade fitted.
- Position and affix hazard label prominent position.
- Turn off air and operate foot lever to relieve any air pressure.
- Disconnect blade carrier from top linkage and remove.
- Fit blades and reposition knife carrier to stem.
- Slide knife carrier down slowly and make sure that blade pass freely past anvils - adjust if necessary.
- Disconnect 6mm air hose from air tap and oil foot pedals daily by dripping a three of drops of light machine oil into this hose. Important Note: do not use CRC or WD40.
- Reconnect blade carrier to linkages and begin grafting.
Safety checks for Graftech air operation
Ensure that the compressed air supplied to the tool is clean and dry. Dust, moisture, and corrosive fumes can damage a tool. An in-line regulator filter and lubricator increases tool life.
Use the proper hose and fittings of the correct diameter making sure that hose connections fit properly. Care must be taken to always use hose built for the pressure they will be subjected to.
Blow out the airline before connecting a tool. Hold hose firmly and blow away from yourself and others.
Use hoses specifically designed to resist abrasion, cutting, crushing and failure from continuous flexing.
Always inspect all air hoses for cracks regularly for cuts and abrasions, worn threads, damaged or loose quick disconnect couplings in order to prevent injury resulting from a whipping air hose. Replace necessary parts, if defective.
Install quick disconnects of a pressure-release type rather than a disengagement type.
In the case of a hose fracture shut-off, the air pressure at the closest safety.
Look out for excess air hose around the work area to prevent tripping and falling.
Turn off the air pressure to tools when not in use.
Keep all tools in good condition with regular maintenance. The supervisor is responsible for the safe condition of tools and equipment used by his workers, but the workers have the responsibility of using and maintaining tools properly.
Ensure cutting blade and anvil are clean, free of nicks, correctly sharpened, free of accumulated debris and resin; nuts and bolts are properly tensioned and lubricated; locking mechanism functions and is in good order
The greatest hazards posed by hand tools result from misuse and improper maintenance.
Ensure that floors be kept as clean and dry as possible to prevent accidental slips with or around tools.
Before disconnecting the air hose from the airline, make sure that the air pressure is off and any air pressure inside the line has been released.
When using the pneumatic grafting tools, there is a hazard from flying chips. It is recommended operators wear safety goggles.
Do not lean over to pick materials off floor with tool still has air functioning. This results in loosing sight of cutting action. If tool has an accidental actuation, this may cause damage to the operator.
Tools must be inspected to ensure they are working properly prior to operation. All components must be checked to make sure they are tight and there are no missing or damaged parts.
NEVER adjust, remove or repair without disconnecting the air supply first.
NEVER leave an idle tool connected to the air supply to prevent accidental actuation. The air supply must be turned off at the nearest source or at the air supply.
Ensure the pressure from the air tap has been completely relieved through the line to the tool's pedal before changing to disconnecting or leaving the tool.
DO NOT touch moving parts or other accessories while the tool is operating.
Raggett Industries Ltd. suggests the use of air regulators to ensure a recommended air pressure of 100 psi.
Ensure proper seating and balance when operating the air tool.