Calibrated at The AlpacaRosa Farm with a pair of calipers.Set this dimension to .430"-.450"
Remove from box and check to see if the Tooth-a-matic has been attached to your grinder. There should be a plastic windshield in box. Attach to the front side of grinder with either the handle or bolt. You could leave this off if you choose, but alpacas don't like wind in their face. Read grinder instructions for use of tool and maintenance.
*****VERY IMPORTANT! Your tool must be properly calibrated!! Failure to do so could result in injury to your alpaca. We have calibrated your tool at The AlpacaRosa, but shipping could modify it.
When getting your new tool out of the box, you will need to check the Tooth-a-Matic to make sure it is securely fastened to the grinder. Tightening the screw on the front of the grinder will secure. Over tightening can lead to a tight fit and poor sliding of mechanism.
Next, you need to check the tooth length cut dimension. Ideally, the teeth should be cut to about .450" length. Measured from bottom of grinding wheel to bottom of the tooth plate.
The Tooth-a-Matic achieves its desired tooth length by adding shims to the grinder's arbor (located on arbor under the grinding wheel). Currently, we have installed approx .125" worth of shims*** in your grinder. This will provide you with a .450" tooth length.
This dimension was chosen as the safest number after conferring with our vet. If you are like me, you don't want to cut their teeth too far down as you could get into the nerve of the tooth. Our vet figured , we all would be better off to leave the teeth slightly longer versus slightly shorter. So this is how I calibrated the tools.
Check it with calipers or ruler. If you don't have one, you can use a Lincoln head penny. Holding Lincoln's head, place into tooth hole on bottom of tool. You should see his entire nose. If you can see any of his beard (a depth of about .400"), STOP!
You may not have the proper shim in your tool. Call me and request a new shim. If Lincoln's eyes are covered (a depth of about .500") , you may not have the Tooth-a-matic slid all the way up the grinder's housing. This is the most common occurrence during shipping. Set the bottom of the Tooth a Matic (aluminum tooth plate) on kitchen counter and push down on the top of the grinder head housing with approx 60 lbs of force, seating the attachment as far up as it will go. You will notice that there is a cast-in plastic stop (as pictured) that prevents the attachment from going up too far on the housing. The attachment should not be fitted on the grinder in an angle, it should be running parallel to the handle of the grinder. The plastic stop was engineered as a safety feature and will prevent the attachment "riding up" the housing and cutting the teeth too short. Please remember, older alpaca's( over 10 years old) teeth dont grow, so don't cut them too short!
*** If you desire to adjust your teeth length to a different length you may need to buy additional shims. A .125" shim gets you to approx.450", so , just add or subtract the amount you want to adjust, and purchase shim kit from our store. These have an OD of 1" and an ID of 5/8ths . example: adding a .030" shim to the existing shims will cut the teeth .030" shorter!! Taking the .125" shim out and replacing with a .110" shim will leave teeth .015" longer. Length of teeth can also be mico-controlled by angling the tool up or down slightly at time of trimming. Use your eyeballs to view the cut through the top opening of the attachment.
Once you are confident the Tooth-a-Matic is properly calibrated, you can experiment turning it on and sliding forward to get the feel of the tool. Practice makes Perfect! ....got any volunteers around?...... "Oh, Honey!, could you come here please?"
The ultimate opportunity to trim teeth is at shearing time when alpacas are restrained. However, its very easy between shearing as well. Use one person to hold the alpaca's head, the other to trim. Males require two holders while the third person trims. If you are a 1-person barn staff, consider purchasing the PacaTrapper. It will empower you with the ability to single handedly take care of all herd health day tasks. Keep the grinder noise to a minimum by not turning on until you have properly "hooked" the teeth into the tooth hole, and have control of the animal..
Focus your eyes on the teeth through the opening on top of the attachment (See Picture) and watch the wheel engage the teeth. It should only take a couple seconds to cut trim the teeth. Quickly turn off and keep your animal stress free. Examine their bite, how does it look? If you think a little more needs to come off, Repeat, only this time tip your handle down a little to "micro adjust" the cut. Get out the Smooth-O-Matic and round off the sharp edges of the incisors that the TAM left behind. After about 70-100 animals, you may find the worn grinding wheel prevents the tool from completing the cut. It's now Time to replace cutting wheel. New wheels are 4" in diameter.
Push down on housing with approx. 60 lbs of force
Make it Touch Here
Put Shim on First , under the grinding wheel
This IS your line of sight when you are trimming the teeth. Focus through the opening viewing the teeth during the cut
Occasionally, you may need to clean the inside of the wheel cover. Take the screws out of the tooth plate and clean with water. If you experience "sticking" of the slide mechanism(see 3rd paragraph), simply clean and spray with Armor All spray or I recently found something that works even better , Dupont Teflon spray wax to help lessen the friction.
New grinding wheels can be ordered from The AlapcaRosa. If you choose to buy your own at your hardware store ( I don't recommend), be sure to re calibrate your Tooth-a-Matic after each and every installation of new wheels.
The thinner the grinding wheel cut, the faster the cut and the less HEAT that will build up and damage alpaca teeth!. 4"wheel 5/8ths arbor, cupped center, Non-ferrous application wheel, .045" thick, is best. Replacement wheels cost $10.00 for two wheels, when ordered from The AlpacaRosa. Phone number is 330-699-2182
We also sell additional toothplates for you to customize fit any of your snaggle tooth girls. $35 each plate. We offer 4 sizes of tooth plates. Alpaca Normal, Alpaca Custom, Llama Normal, Llama Custom. The Normal sizes fit most all animals. Use the custom size to fit the unusual snaggle tooth gal or larger bite animals. The plates are made of aluminum, so if you need to make the hole a little bigger, just file to size.
If you do purchase other size toothplates, be sure to use the correct size for each individual animal. Too sloppy of a fit hole may lead to over cutting teeth too short. The normal size toothplate provided will fit most all 15 month old and older alpacas teeth .
We don't recommend using the Tooth-a-Matic for a perfect Show cut until you are experienced with your tool and have the finesse to get a "perfect" cut. If you do use the Tooth a Matic for a show cut, use a dremel to dress up the edges of the teeth. No need to do this for maintainence cuts, but show judges like to see perfection!
The grinder and Tooth-A-Matic are warranted for 90 days
The Complete Kit is handy for keeping your Tooth a Matic Protected
Tooth Plate comes in 2 Alpaca sizes and 2 Llama sizes
Tooth a Matic Shim Kit Instructions for placing shims
The Tooth a Matic is calibrated at the factory to a .450” tooth trim dimension, checked from bottom of grinding wheel to the bottom of the tooth plate. Use a pair of calipers for accurate measuring.
The shim kit contains several thicknesses of shims to allow you to customize your tooth length of your desire. Included are 2) .020”, 2) .032” 2) .047”, 2) .062” , 1) .125”.
The .450” dimension is a safe starting point, but some breeders like to cut the teeth lower or higher. Some vets even like the dimension to be as low as .250” so that they can manually tip the Tooth a Matic and get their desired angle on top of teeth.
A Word of caution here, if you try this, be aware that the safety margin has been removed and teeth could be cut too short. You cut at your own risk.
Some of you have mentioned that you just want to take off a little more. Start off by adding a .020” shim under the grinding wheel.
Some of you like to cut off a little less, start off by removing the existing shims and putting in a shim less than what was in there to begin with. Some TAMs have been constructed using 1 .125” shim and some have a combination of shims.
Start by removing the tooth plate with a Phillips head screwdriver. Then take the wrench provided to take off the arbor nut. Pull off the grinding wheel. Under the grinding wheel you will see the shims. Replace with desired shims and put back together.
Measure before you use the tool again.
Call me if you need help ……….Don330-699-2182
Note the clear plastic Wind Deflector on front of the grinder
Send us an Email Don & Carolyn Marquette Don Cell # 330-618-9768 2251 Sesame St Carolyn Cell # 330-618-9769 Mogadore,Ohio 44260 Farm # 330-699-2182