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Building a self powered pull behind leaf vacuum.

powered leaf vacuum

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16 replies to this topic

#1 NUTNDUN OFFLINE  

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Posted December 14, 2014 - 07:46 PM

After raking way too many leaves for the last couple of years at our current place of residence I think it is time to do something about it. At least in time for next fall.

 

We do have an Agri-fab lawn sweeper which does alright but fills way too quick and doesn't get all of them. If we didn't have so many trees and leaves it would probably be just fine only having the Agri-fab lawn sweeper. We have three garden carts which could easily be used as the base for a pull behind leaf vacuum.

 

Would definitely want to build removable sides for on the garden cart. I don't think fabbing a duct piece to mount on the chute of a mower deck would be too hard to make even with the primitive tools I have in the shop. The part that I would like to get opinions on would be the power system and fan / blower to use. Would be great to have something that would have plenty of suction but also chop the leaves into smaller pieces so they condense better.

 

I am thinking power would come from a spare engine or getting a cheap Honda clone engine from Tractor Supply or online.


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#2 KennyP ONLINE  

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Posted December 14, 2014 - 07:50 PM

This will be fun to lurk in on! Finding the fan/blower may be the fun part!


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#3 Bmerf OFFLINE  

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Posted December 14, 2014 - 07:56 PM

Start with something like this:

 

00q0q_lUdIxHRPEpU_600x450 leaf vac.jpg

 

I was looking to do this exact same thing before I found the deal on the old Sears leaf vac. There were several for sale in the $150 range this fall. But would be nicer to find just the parts. I will be :watch_over_fence:  on this one.


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#4 NUTNDUN OFFLINE  

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Posted December 14, 2014 - 07:58 PM

Start with something like this:

 

attachicon.gif00q0q_lUdIxHRPEpU_600x450 leaf vac.jpg

 

I was looking to do this exact same thing before I found the deal on the old Sears leaf vac. There were several for sale in the $150 range this fall. But would be nicer to find just the parts. I will be :watch_over_fence:  on this one.

 

That is definitely a good idea. Basically everything there already and should easily be adaptable to blowing into a cart. How well does the Sears leaf vac work?



#5 Bmerf OFFLINE  

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Posted December 14, 2014 - 08:02 PM

I'm not sure, but a guy at work has one (don't know if its a Sears) his is self-propelled and he loves it. Only complains are that the speed is either to fast or to slow (not a factor here) and that the bag fills up to quick. (again not a issue)



#6 ol' stonebreaker ONLINE  

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Posted December 14, 2014 - 08:33 PM

Don't have it all together now so no pics, but I made a mount for 5HP MTD chipper/shredder on the back of my Poulan rider. Adapted a deck chute to fit my deck and a piece of 8" hose to attach to the shredder intake. Then adapted a piece of 7" hose from shredder discharge to blow into a yard tlr I built sides for made of wire stock panel w/ sunscreen inside and across the top w/ a hinged gate on the back. It works very well.
Mike

#7 Lauber1 OFFLINE  

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Posted December 14, 2014 - 08:40 PM

I'd buy a good chain saw and then plant some Christmas type trees.


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#8 truck21 OFFLINE  

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Posted December 14, 2014 - 08:40 PM

Hey George,

 

    Talk to me before you get to deep in this project. I have some goodies at the golf course that may make this very simple.

 

      Don



#9 HDWildBill ONLINE  

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Posted December 14, 2014 - 09:05 PM

I'll be interested in seeing how this works out.  I have the same problem.  I cleared this place off 3 or 4 times this year.



#10 Doxey OFFLINE  

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Posted December 14, 2014 - 09:36 PM

I used a lawn sweeper for 3 years.  Chopped up the leaves with my riding mower first, then used the sweeper to pick them up, and then I would dump them into wind rows, then put them into a dump cart.  Bought a lawn vac. used, thinking it would be easier.  Wasn't.  The hose would keep getting clogged up.  Also it was hard to turn around the trees.  Sold it.  Back to the sweeper.



#11 Rasmataz OFFLINE  

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Posted December 14, 2014 - 11:13 PM

Was looking on YouTube a while back and there were quite a few people doing the same thing you're talking about... kinda like a cyclone vacuum. Might check it out, I was thinking about it also.

#12 boyscout862 OFFLINE  

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Posted December 15, 2014 - 06:45 AM

For many years I used my WH with a leaf vac from a Bolens to load leaves into a 10 cf trailer. I bought the Bolens attachment with a Kohler K91 engine. I took the engine and vac head off the Bolens frame and put it on the tongue of the trailer. I put sides on the trailer and a screen on top. 6" metal pipe connected the vac to the box. A 6' piece of 6" hose connected the deck to the vac. It worked pretty good for atleast 15 years. The mower deck did a pretty good job of picking up the leaves and the vac had no trouble as long as everything was dry and there were no sticks. The leaves in the cart were then run through a shredder to till into the garden.

 

I found that the blockages and the need to do the extra shredding were just getting to be too big of a pain. I now usually use a JD111 with a bagger and just dump the leaves onto the compost pile. A guy gave me a Troybuilt LT with a shredder that mounts on the deck. I will try to get that working with a bagging attachment next year.

 

This is the time of the year when the used sets are selling fairly cheap. Good Luck, Rick



#13 Canawler OFFLINE  

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Posted December 15, 2014 - 09:26 AM

http://reading.craig...4779322225.html

That should get you most of the necessary pieces. I looked into building one this year and did see a few vacuum/engine units on CL but even those were all in the $300 range. Then I found out how much even the cheaper grades of hose cost. I knew I needed one of the extended reach hoses to get into flower beds and such. I figured if I was going to spend that much to make one it would be cheaper to buy a nice used one. I ended up with a used Cyclone Rake with the extra 17' pickup hose. Checking with Cyclone Rake and DR Power I saw those pickup hoses run a couple hundred by themselves and with shipping, even buying bulk hose by the foot from a supplier like McMaster-Carr, it wasn't any cheaper.

Around here you can get complete nice used units with a few extras for $500-$750.

Fyi, I'd strongly recommend looking for a unit (or building one) with larger than a 6" hose between the deck adapter and blower assy.

Edited by Canawler, December 15, 2014 - 09:32 AM.

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#14 jimt1971 ONLINE  

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Posted December 15, 2014 - 10:04 AM

George you looking to do this right now? I have a Troy Bilt leaf shredder I can bring to the Little Guys Show in the spring. Unless you are coming to the Philly area for anything.



#15 ol' stonebreaker ONLINE  

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Posted December 15, 2014 - 10:47 AM

The nice thing about using the chipper/shredder is it grinds the leaves pretty fine. I leave out the shredder plate w/ the 1/2 circle to get max draft. I used 8" hose to connect the deck chute to shredder. I don't attempt to pick damp or wet leaves as they tend to settle in the suction hose. Maybe I should have used 7" but that was what I had to use to transition to the square deck chute which amounted to putting a square peg in a round hole, LOL!!
Mike





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