Low budget rider leaf vac
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Soda springs,Id
    Posts
    4,326

    Low budget rider leaf vac

    Been working on this for several weeks. Got the chipper @ yard sale for $75. The screen frames were made from a bunch of clothing display racks I bought at a yard sale. The stock panel wire I already had. The discharge adapter can be removed just like the factory chute. I extended the tractor hitch out so it's vertical axis center is the same as the two elbows for turning rotation, Works very good so far. I have a screen door spring holding the two ells together. I built the tailgate hinges so the gate can swing all the way around to the side frame for dumping. I moved the tlr axle back so it would have enough angle to dump everything out. Then gave it a good spray of penetrol and two coats of paint. The tongue slides in & out so I can make it any length I want, Tho I like it the way it is along the the extended tractor hitch it makes backing the tlr very easy. I made this mainly to vacuum leaves in the fall but I'll also use it for chipping wood for mulch. I just need about 2 1/2 ft of 8" flexhose to reach from the deck chute to the chipper intake. I found some on the web for $10/ft min. 12 1/2 ft order. If anyone knows where I could buy some at a better price let me know, I'd appreciate the tip. I tried it w/ a piece of AC duct and it sucked up all the leaves I spread on the grass very well. I also like it higher off the ground so I don't have to bend over so far to stuff wood in the chute.
    Mike
    Ol' Stonebreaker
    "Experience is the name everyone gives to their mistakes"

    Miller 175 mig
    Miller thunderbolt ac/dc stick
    Victor O/A setup
    Makita chop saw

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
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    Soda springs,Id
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    4,326

    Re: Low budget rider leaf vac

    More pics
    Ol' Stonebreaker
    "Experience is the name everyone gives to their mistakes"

    Miller 175 mig
    Miller thunderbolt ac/dc stick
    Victor O/A setup
    Makita chop saw

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    In A Nice Comfy Chair
    Posts
    18,637

    Re: Low budget rider leaf vac

    That will get the job done in a hurry!!

    Nice job..

    ...zap!


    I am not completely insane..
    Some parts are missing

    Professional Driver on a closed course....
    Do not attempt.

    Just because I'm a dumbass don't mean that you can be too.
    So DON'T try any of this **** l do at home.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    western kentucky
    Posts
    4,392

    Re: Low budget rider leaf vac

    nice job you did...

    i have a wagon just like the one you used, when you get it loaded they get top heavy pretty quick..


    get the flexible hose in there and you'll be good to go..

    again nice project.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Soda springs,Id
    Posts
    4,326

    Re: Low budget rider leaf vac

    Thanks, guys!! If it acts a little tippy w/ a full load of chips or leaves I'll figure a way to put in a longer axle w/ outer bracing if need be. I figure if that chipper sucks as hard as it blows it'll do the job on the leaves this fall.
    Mike
    Ol' Stonebreaker
    "Experience is the name everyone gives to their mistakes"

    Miller 175 mig
    Miller thunderbolt ac/dc stick
    Victor O/A setup
    Makita chop saw

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Shamrock, TX
    Posts
    2,755

    Re: Low budget rider leaf vac

    Looks good.

    Check out McMaster Carr and flexible duct for the hose. They have a large selection and 5' minimum order on what I got once.
    Millermatic 252
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  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Wallingford, CT
    Posts
    43

    Re: Low budget rider leaf vac

    That's some cool fabrication.. Those are popular here in New England for fall cleanup.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Soda springs,Id
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    4,326

    Re: Low budget rider leaf vac

    Quote Originally Posted by irish fixit View Post
    Looks good.

    Check out McMaster Carr and flexible duct for the hose. They have a large selection and 5' minimum order on what I got once.
    Thanks, Irish!! I'll check that out.
    Mike
    Ol' Stonebreaker
    "Experience is the name everyone gives to their mistakes"

    Miller 175 mig
    Miller thunderbolt ac/dc stick
    Victor O/A setup
    Makita chop saw

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Lizella Ga.
    Posts
    127

    Re: Low budget rider leaf vac

    Amazon has 8" for $11.95 per foot.

    [ame]http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0006616BU/ref=noref?ie=UTF8&s=hi&psc=1[/ame]

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Sunnyvale, CA
    Posts
    518

    Re: Low budget rider leaf vac

    Nice useful, time saving contraption you have there. It looks like you welded onto some chrome plated steel in a few places, beware of hexavalent chromium production when doing so:
    http://weldingdesign.com/safety-regu...ews/wdf_54872/ and http://www.osha.gov/SLTC/hexavalentchromium/index.html
    Last edited by dhem; 06-26-2011 at 02:57 AM. Reason: link update
    Miller Dynasty 200 DX
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  11. #11
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Fort Collins, CO
    Posts
    94

    Re: Low budget rider leaf vac

    Quote Originally Posted by dhem View Post
    Nice useful, time saving contraption you have there. It looks like you welded onto some chrome plated steel in a few places, beware of hexavalent chromium production when doing so:
    http://weldingdesign.com/safety-regu...ews/wdf_54872/ and http://www.osha.gov/SLTC/hexavalentchromium/index.html
    uh...chrome? looks like galvanized to me...

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Soda springs,Id
    Posts
    4,326

    Re: Low budget rider leaf vac

    Yep,it's chrome. Clothing display racks. I had my swamp cooler going the whole time.
    Mike
    Ol' Stonebreaker
    "Experience is the name everyone gives to their mistakes"

    Miller 175 mig
    Miller thunderbolt ac/dc stick
    Victor O/A setup
    Makita chop saw

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Livingston, MT/Houston, Tx
    Posts
    537

    Re: Low budget rider leaf vac

    Nice setup, and a different tire would help with the trailer being so tippy. Those tires that are on there are basically wheel barrow tires, upgrading to the same tires that are on the front of your mower would probably make a world of difference.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Indiana
    Posts
    1,497

    Re: Low budget rider leaf vac

    Looks useful, the one I had would clog up with sticks.
    Makes a yard look nice after the leaves fall.

    How does the stove pipe "knuckle" work out? I wonder if it would bind and come apart. \Mine had the motor on the the trailer and flex hose going to the mower.
    Tim Beeker.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    wisconsin
    Posts
    372

    Re: Low budget rider leaf vac

    i wonder if u sucked up small rocks ,if they would blow through the stove pipe , prolly not real likely . ........... nice engineering !
    >Innovations are what i leave behind for History<

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Indiana
    Posts
    1,497

    Re: Low budget rider leaf vac

    I do know that hickory nuts make a heck of a racket.
    Tim Beeker.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Soda springs,Id
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    4,326

    Re: Low budget rider leaf vac

    So far the knuckle works real good. I've driven around quite a bit and intentionally jack knifed it w/ no problem. I guess time will tell. If it starts giveing me grief I'll cut a couple of flanges out of 16 ga to run against each other attached to each ell.
    Mike
    Ol' Stonebreaker
    "Experience is the name everyone gives to their mistakes"

    Miller 175 mig
    Miller thunderbolt ac/dc stick
    Victor O/A setup
    Makita chop saw

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Stevens Point, WI
    Posts
    4,334

    Re: Low budget rider leaf vac

    I built a leaf blower for the front of our mower out of a 55 gallon drum and a briggs. After using it a few times I think it would work better as a sucker like you built here.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    154

    Re: Low budget rider leaf vac

    you may wear out the stove pipe. you will wish there wasnt a pair of 90's in it, and you'll wish it shot into the trailer higher up.
    I see why you have the stove 90's, because your engine is on your mower. they pivot at the hitch...but I think it may come to annoy you there.

    if you shoot more into the top of the trailer you can fill it a lot more.

    corigated culvert is cheap, while the proper smooth internal flexi hose is $$$
    a large corigated plastic culvert will handle tight turns and any bending due to hills, hitting trees etc... and they do last a year or more.

    i like your stock panel and fabric sides. alot, and the nice rear door.

    not to hijack, heres mine

    I ended up making a stainless chute from fan to hopper. it splits at the fan, as such is easy to clean out if it clogs when the hopper overfills because it pivots up with the hopper when you dump it anyway.

    also the mesh top sucked. replaced it since with rabbit hutch fence wire. about 1/2" square openings.

    why stainless? cause i just bought a TA185 and i had access to some old food service fryers that were scrapped. and hey, no rust!
    Attached Images Attached Images      
    Last edited by dsergison; 06-29-2011 at 12:55 PM.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
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    154

    Re: Low budget rider leaf vac

    and edited
    Attached Images Attached Images     
    Last edited by dsergison; 06-29-2011 at 12:51 PM.

  21. #21
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    Jul 2006
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    154

    Re: Low budget rider leaf vac

    edited
    Last edited by dsergison; 06-29-2011 at 12:47 PM.

  22. #22
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Soda springs,Id
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    Re: Low budget rider leaf vac

    Good job on the blower. How'd it wind up for balance? I like the plastic culvert, hadn't even thought of it. I'm going to go ahead and get two 8" adj. ells and some straight pipe to make the transition from deck chute to chipper intake. Once I get the ells in the desired position I'll tack braze them to hold that position. I'll see how long they last and then try the plastic culvert. Thanks for the ideas.
    Mike

    ps: were you hungry the whole time while welding that stainless,LOL??
    Ol' Stonebreaker
    "Experience is the name everyone gives to their mistakes"

    Miller 175 mig
    Miller thunderbolt ac/dc stick
    Victor O/A setup
    Makita chop saw

  23. #23
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    154

    Re: Low budget rider leaf vac

    i balanced it by putting a shaft through it and some bearings and letting the heavy side roll to the bottom. then grinding a bit.

    the bearings were not even the correct size fo rthe shaft.
    The bearings were just sorta setting on my table and a stool next to the table. nothing fancy,

    it eats hedge apples.

    it gets yearly inspection. i have had to straighten them, and re-weld a few that started to fail. i run over fewer hedgeapples now.

    also, eventually the straight keyed coupling came loose and hammered my crankshaftt to death.

    i replaced it with a taperlock, (and new engine)

    It's a LOT of abuse for a briggs crankshaft. there really ought to be a torsional coupling. I get about 5 years out of a crankshaft doing my 2 wooded acres
    any looseness is instant death on the straight keyed shaft. even the taperlock works loose eventually. locktite it on the shaft.
    get a tapered and or splined shaft engine if at all possible.

    Ive devised a way to repair broken crank engines without taking apart. then they go into log splitter duty running a pump or somehting with no shock load.
    Last edited by dsergison; 06-29-2011 at 03:46 PM.

  24. #24
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Soda springs,Id
    Posts
    4,326

    Re: Low budget rider leaf vac

    Do you think you could offset it and convert to a belt drive?
    Mike
    Ol' Stonebreaker
    "Experience is the name everyone gives to their mistakes"

    Miller 175 mig
    Miller thunderbolt ac/dc stick
    Victor O/A setup
    Makita chop saw

  25. #25
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    154

    Re: Low budget rider leaf vac

    absolutely, but it would take up lots more space. and bearings. and pulleys etc...

    the little chipper like you used is a homeowner version and you will put more hours on it than the crankshaft was intended to take by vacuuming leaves. not knocking it at all, just saying. 200 hr design life on residential mowers. maybe 50 on little chippers, log splitters. etc... it's sad really.

    bright engineer I work with worked for Kohler, (they overbuild BTW . but he knows the design life and weak spots of all the competition having been responsible for testing and development. he was astounded that my fan lasted 10 hrs direct mounted on my crank.

    but then agrifab does exactly the same.

    I'm sitting in the vicinity of two broken crankshaft 6hp engines. mine and my neighbors . well i repaired mine and put it on a go cart, his is still broken.
    this is why you really would want a tapered crank engine wher the crank tapers up to about 1" and you draw the hub on with a nut. preferably and not the 3/4" straight keyed crank which is most common. I think i got 5 years out of my original engine.

    if belt driven it may last "forever". if not, I bet you get 5 +/- 2 years of collecting 2 acres of leaves. maybe a wash for cost. the extra crap will run some $$ and weight.

    taper crank example
    http://www.wallacecompany.com/machin...cp_6687-1a.jpg

    straight crank.
    http://www.arkansas-ope.com/BS_698172_H.jpg
    Last edited by dsergison; 06-29-2011 at 11:31 PM.

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