Anybody using a bowl cutter AKA: Buffalo Chopper??

Discussion in 'Sausage' started by lancer, Aug 28, 2015.

  1. lancer

    lancer Smoking Fanatic

    Hello All

    I recently bought three 14" bowl choppers (2 Hobart, 1 Fleetwood) from a school district.  I have finished refurbishing the Fleetwood and am mostly done with one of the Hobarts.  I plan to sell the Fleetwood and one of the Hobarts to pay for the one I keep. 

    I mostly wanted one for emulsified sausages and am hoping someone has some tips on using one or personal experiences to share.  Aside from what I've read in a couple of the Marianski's books and their website I'm starting from scratch with using these critters.

    Fleetwood FC14 D Bowl Cutter , fast and slow accessory drive hubs that I don't recognize, otherwise similar specs to the Hobart below.              

    The business end of the Fleetwood.

    Hobart 84145, 120V, 1/2 hp, #12 hub, bowl rotates 22 RPM while knives turn 1725 RPM.

    The third one is an older 220V single phase Hobart 84141 with #12 hub that I will likely have the bowl, cover, comb etc retinned for before selling it.  I'll know more when I get a chance to tear it down and really clean it though.  It was in storage for a long time in a dusty basement and the surfaces that feel rougher than I would like may just need a good cleaning.

    Thanks and I hope you all have a great weekend.

  2. c farmer

    c farmer Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Wow. I know some have them.

    I might be interested in a hobart one.

    Pm me.
  3. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    They make fast work of anything added you want fairly finely chopped and mixed. I have used them for Coleslaw, Salsa, Meatloaf mix, Etc. They will heat the food a bit as you chop, especially the longer process of emulsifing. You will have to add Ice, instead of water in the mix and starting with nearly frozen meat and fat is important. I have no specific amounts because I have not made Hot Dogs in one. Do some research and I am sure you will get more specific percents...JJ
  4. I would also like to add they make quick work of fingers as well, be careful! They are awesome, that's what we used at KFC when I was in HS to make coleslaw. Also in culinary school we used it as chef Jimmy said for sausage with ice cubes. Super cool toy, I would love to have one but it's just not in the budget lol
  5. danmcg

    danmcg Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Hey Lance, what exactly are you looking for? I just fixed up a 18" Scharfen and have only chopped some cabbage in it for a test run, but have some good info on proper procedures for sausage making if thats what you're looking for.
    Nice units, I've never seen a Fleetwood. Just curious but are the knives on the fleetwood reversed or is that the way it spins?
  6. lancer

    lancer Smoking Fanatic

    JJ, I figure that a refrigerated bowl would be a help too.  Marianski mentions using crushed or shaved ice to keep the blades sharper longer which makes sense to me.  In terms of refrigerating the bowl to help keep the product cold while cutting I suspect that the older units with the tinned cast iron bowl would have a bit of an advantage as there is a lot more mass in those bowls than the SS ones.

    Nicegirl, I've wanted to try one out for years so when these came up for auction a while back and the price didn't hit nosebleed levels (well, for two out of three [​IMG]) I couldn't resist taking the plunge.  For the most part, the only way we can justify buying items like this or our other commercial equipment are for me to buy and refurbish one or two for sale so we can pay for what we keep.  I hope you aren't in the forest  fire or smoke areas.

    Dan, you have a good eye if that were a Hobart but, yes, that's the correct blade rotation for the Fleetwood.  The blade starts a good 1/4" off the bowl surface near the center of the bowl and sweeps to about 1/16-1/32" at the outter rim of the bowl.  The bowl scraper is cast into the outer part of the cover and turns the product back towards the center of the bowl.  I suspect the intent of the design is to pin larger particles under the knife and cut them as it rotates closer to the rim. 

    Lan Elec who made the Fleetwood unit is no longer in business but there is a parts house in NJ that stocks some (but not all) the parts.  I don't know much about the Fleetwood cutters but there iNATO Stock Mumbers (NSN) for the 220V and 19" three phase shipboard versions.  My 120V unit was made in 1988 and as I see some coming up for auction on the military surplus site in working condition ( they seem to be as durable as other heavy duty commercial equipment.

    An 18-19" cutter is what I think I'd eventually want so I can make bigger batches and maybe tinker with makinf a standard base for hot dogs, coneys etc to make things go quicker.  What I guess I'm looking for is any input technique other than truely sharp knoes, cold meat, fat and bowl and crushed ice.  I'd also like to know roughly how long I can expect to be cutting for a 5-6 pound batch of emulsified meat.

    I may have asked before but, where in CNY are you?  We're on Center Street Rd. in Sennett.  If you're familiar with Elderberry Pond, the organic farm, market and restaurant, our farm is next to theirs.

  7. Thanks lance, we had some big fires close but not dangerously so. The thing that got us was SO MUCH SMOKE just poured into the valley, at times visibility was less than a mile.

    I'm all about bargains! Some of the coolest toys I have I got for a steal cuz I got no problem waiting for the right price! My husband used to fix commercial equipment so if we had an opportunity like you had we would jump all over it!
  8. danmcg

    danmcg Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Lance, Here's some reading for ya till I find the rest of the info I saved somewhere :dunno

    Sounds like you got the mechanical end of it nailed down, do you do this for a living?
    I had hoped to do a second test run ( first was a 1/2 head of cabbage just to see if it worked) this weekend with some eye of round and maybe make a bolonga but its looking like that may have to be put off for a week, Here's my scharfen;

    And some coleslaw;

    So you got a farm? any chance you raise pigs? I'm in Cicero about 15 mile north of Syracuse.
  9. lancer

    lancer Smoking Fanatic

    Looking good, Dan.  Now what was that street address and what time do you go to church?  [​IMG]

    We plant corn and soy no-till here.  We raise hertiage breed chickens (Buckeyes) but no pigs.  We may put on some turkeys next year.  I used to get my bulk pork and side meat from Loffts in over by Port Byron but they closed over a decade ago so I've been buying the occasional pig or side of beef from whatever neighbor has some available.  A couple each are raising pasture raised beef and pork.. 

    I think the first test for one of our cutters will be deer and beef liverwurst as three of our kids love it.  One of the more experienced guys from our sportsmen's club and I will be helping out and taste testing as I'm not a liverwurst fan.

    thanks for the link.

  10. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    Dan, That link has some great info! Looking at the Formulations, I had to chuckle at 100Kg being called a " Small Batch. "...JJ[​IMG]
  11. lancer

    lancer Smoking Fanatic

    I suspect the biggest of the industrial bowl cutters and vertical cutters could dim the neighors light when you turn them on.  The same school district I got the bowl cutters from had a Hobart vcm 40 vertical cutter/chopper for sale.  I thnk it only went for around $1,500 with tax and buyers premium.  They are rated to cut and mix 20-30 pounds of sausage in 1-2 minutes or 35 pounds of potatoes in 15-20 seconds..  Even that one was 10 hp 440V three phase.  I've seen ads for cutte/rmixers that have capacities in the hundreds of pounds at which have cooking and vacuum capabilites (not sure why the vacuum?) and which probably come with their own zip code.  I like bigger equipment and have the space for it but even that VCM 40 would mean making sausage only a few times a year.

    I like the metric recipies though.  One thing I like about using metric measures for seasonings and cures is the ability to painlessly scale up or down.  I use a fiearm cartridge reloading scale to measure the tiny amounts sometimes need for 1 kg test batches.  It'll give me the ability to measure less than 1/4000 of an ounce or 1/150 of a gram which is more than I can pratically need for most recipies.

    JJ, what part of NJ are you in?  We have a son and his family in Middletown near Princeton and Rutgers.

  12. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    Lance, Middletown is about 25 minutes South of where I am at in Piscataway. Rutgers Livingston campus is at the edge of town...JJ
  13. driedstick

    driedstick Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Dang it I want one of them - that would be awesome. nice score

    A full smoker is a happy smoker

  14. john915

    john915 Newbie

    Hi Lance,
    My old Hobart 84142 started to sound noisy. I plan to take it apart and regrease it. Is it easy? I would appreciate it if you could share your experiences with me. I think Hobart models 84141, 84142 a 84145 are similar choppers.
    Best regards,
  15. lancer

    lancer Smoking Fanatic

    Hello John

    It's good that I just checked in for the first time in a while and saw your post.  I haven't been on the site much for the last few months.

    In the past year I suspect that I've bought, refurbished and resold maybe 7-8 Hobart and Univex bowl choppers with some of them going to members here.  I don't consider myself an expert but based on my experience......

    If you haven't already done so make a trip to Hobart's website and download the operators and parts manual (combined in one booklet) for the unit. Product Documentation By Model Number.aspx

    The lube called for in the manual is about impossible to find which is no surprise for a manual first printed more than 40 years ago.  After a call to Hobart they said to use any lithium/soap grease.  Remove the bottom cover (if present) and you'll likely find that the old grease has broken down and is seeping past the gaskets and what isn't running out has turned into stiff glue.  A couple of cans of brake parts cleaner or degreaser and an old toothbrush are in order as the old lube can be a gold plated PITA to get cleaned out.  My experience has been that the gaskets have gotten stiff with age but will seal well when you reassemble the unit. Tighten the gasket cover screws in stages.

    There is a sheet metal grease shield that may or may not have kept the deteriorated grease away from the electric knife switch so clean the switch area, too.

    Check the cover interlock linkage to be sure it works correctly.  You will want to clean and lube the ball and socket arrangement that connects the linkage to the switch and prevents the unit from being turned on while the cover is open. Clean and lube the interlock parts under the lid handle and the lid handle part but the handle parts should get food safe grease.  A little goes a long way.

    From my experience the early bowl cutters such as yours and the 84141 had tinned cast iron lids and the later models are aluminum.  The heavy cast iron lids caused more wear on the lid hinge pins so the early units had sacrificial brass cam pins to allow for adjusting the lid up/down left/right etc.  Note that those pins are NOT available any more so take care of them.  If they aren't too worn they can be adjusted after loosening the set screws (two on your unit) and are helpful in stopping the lid from rubbing the bowl while cutting down on food that escapes from under the lid.  If the bowl rim is out of true you can get it back to the correct shape with a bit of cautious mallet or hammer work and a wood block to pad the bowl and keep from denting it.

    There is a stop screw on the turntable that keeps the bowl from being jammed too far into the lock tabs and seizing there.  They are usually in pretty good shape but if it appears worn change it before you have to wrestle the bowl off sometime (don't ask....).

    The blades want to be adjusted (after truing the bowl, if needed) to between 1/16-1/8" from the bowl.  I mark the bowl rim and rotate the blade shaft the couple hundred times needed to have the bowl rotate a full revolution to be sure the blades don't touch.  The blades should be sharp but not razor sharp as they will dull quite quickly if too sharp.  If you loosen the lock nut on the blade assembly a bit you can move the blades in or out by tapping them with a wood block.

    I think your unit was shipped with a stainless steel bowl but I have seen 84142s with the earlier cast iron bowl off of an 84141.  Metal Coating Company in Ohio does good retinning work at fair prices.

    Well, I hope this helps you some.  I'm off to split firewood for a bit.  Please ask any other questions that you have.  If you want to talk, shoot me a PM with a phone number.

  16. john915

    john915 Newbie

    Hi Lance,
    Thank you very much for the info, it helps a lot.

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