Tech-ish... leaf vacuums

drkelly

Dipstick who put two vehicles on jack stands
Joined
Mar 21, 2005
Location
Oak Ridge/Stokesdale, NC
Since you mentioned the fan blade thing is heavy and was originally on a 15hp motor, my biggest concern with what you are doing is that a 5hp motor will not be able to spin that fan up to proper speed. Especially when leaves are flying through there at high volume.
 
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awheelterd

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 18, 2007
Location
johnston co./ ncsu
This is a 30hp unit I haven't put in yet, 13" inlet 13" exhaust. It's meant to run high static pressure so its a little different than yours. This will be pulling through a bag house for a dust control system. Yours is just meant to move air with only a 15hp being on it. Bearings are 22" apart, center to center.

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McCracken

Logan Can't See This
Joined
Jul 9, 2005
Location
With your mom at a nice seafood dinner
Since you mentioned the fan blade thing is heavy and was originally on a 15hp motor, my biggest concern with what you are doing is that a 5hp motor will not be able to spin that fan up to proper speed. Especially when leaves are flying through there at high volume.
I gave this some thought and talked with a mechanical guy here at work. He says as long as I'm not trying to use the 12" outlet I can make it work. Basically choke it down. I'm thinking I'll take it down to 6" and see what happens.

The actual outlet starts at 8" and flares to 12". I figure I'll cut some plywood and make a new outlet / chute.
 

shawn

running dog lackey of the oppressor class
Administrator
Joined
Mar 13, 2005
Location
Raleigh, NC
A hot agrifab flipped on a hill full of leaves does this very well.
I know a thing or two cause I saw a thing or two.....
Total loss.

People retrofit those agri-fab trailer vac things with outriggers for exactly this reason.
 

WARRIORWELDING

Owner opperator Of WarriorWelding LLC.
Joined
Jan 6, 2008
Location
Chillin, Hwy 64 Mocksville NC
People retrofit those agri-fab trailer vac things with outriggers for exactly this reason.
Father in law weighted the tires.
 

cranbiz

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 11, 2015
Location
Wentworth, NC
Picked this up yesterday off of FB. $400. Needed a bit of TLC, it hadn't been used in 2 years. Came with a new boot for the chute to trailer and a spare carb and gas tank.

Had it running before I agreed to the price and had to fix the throttle linkage when I got it home but now, it runs great. Going to make my life much easier now.
Agri-fab.jpg
 

WARRIORWELDING

Owner opperator Of WarriorWelding LLC.
Joined
Jan 6, 2008
Location
Chillin, Hwy 64 Mocksville NC
Picked this up yesterday off of FB. $400. Needed a bit of TLC, it hadn't been used in 2 years. Came with a new boot for the chute to trailer and a spare carb and gas tank.

Had it running before I agreed to the price and had to fix the throttle linkage when I got it home but now, it runs great. Going to make my life much easier now.View attachment 329770
I have that exact same model......patina and all!

I haven't used it two years as well......need to sell it.
 

89wrangler

Not a new member
Joined
Oct 22, 2005
Location
Bostic,NC
Got mine hooked up this past weekend as well. Also installed a new boot this year. That was no fun.
Had to pick up branches and crap before I could start. Then let it eat.

Looked awesome Saturday evening, got up Sunday and was like....damnit, yard
Covered again:shaking:. Next couple of times won’t be near as bad as leaves won’t be so thick.

Had two of these piles from the storm
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hooked up and ready
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leave and more leaves
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Before and after
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after
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48222101-B035-41B3-A830-FDB29D75F010.jpeg
 
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cranbiz

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 11, 2015
Location
Wentworth, NC
I replaced my boot Sunday, yes, that was a PITA.

Did my front yard, 2 trailer loads and today it looks like I didn't touch it. Wish it had more capacity but then again, it does suck to empty.

What did you use to mount the rake to the front? I like that idea.
 

89wrangler

Not a new member
Joined
Oct 22, 2005
Location
Bostic,NC
I had a piece of 1 1/4" hd conduit laying around. I welded it to the engine mount and put a bolt through the bottom to keep the handle from sliding through. I don't dump mine as the leaves don't just fall out you end up using the rake and it takes more time to hook the boot back over the chute. Got tired of having to "get the rake" when I dumped in various places. I wish I would have bought one of these years ago. What took me days in the past blowing, raking onto a large tarp and dragging to the woods, now takes me a few hours!
 

McCracken

Logan Can't See This
Joined
Jul 9, 2005
Location
With your mom at a nice seafood dinner
Oh man, I looked back and noticed I didn't upload shit. So now that I'm working graveyard the next three nights I'll rectify that.

So I took the idea of setting the motor off to the side instead of between the pillow blocks. I figured it would be easier to change belts and make adjustments to tension.

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At this point, you can see i had propped the fan housing up to get an idea of where everything needed to be set. I spun test the fan and got.it close to where it needed to be so that it would clearance inside the housing. Then I started to build a support frame to bolt the housing to.

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McCracken

Logan Can't See This
Joined
Jul 9, 2005
Location
With your mom at a nice seafood dinner
After getting everything welded in I made some minor adjustments in the plow blocks to get 100% clearance. She was smooth like butter in the mock up phase.

Next I needed to help the motor out. I did this by choking down outlet. The original dimensions were around 8"x9" at the base of the outlet and then widening out to 12" round. A 15hp motor originally drove this fan. I figure by reducing the amount of work that was needed I could save some horses. I cut the neck of the outlet off down to the 8"x9" base and screwed a cut 2x4 to make the new outlet 6"x8".

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I didn't get a lot of pictures of it but you can see the fan housing was getting into the box. I kept cutting put around it until it fit snug. Next I built a chute. This was interesting. I'm sure there's some fancy way to do this but I took a couple of pieces of plywood and then took a thin sheet and made it fit the curve by screwing it in every inch or so.

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The only thing left to do was test fire it, which I did. It's a video and everything looked good that I could tell. So with that success, I gave it the touch of class it needed.

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McCracken

Logan Can't See This
Joined
Jul 9, 2005
Location
With your mom at a nice seafood dinner
I forgot I put the wheels on too as you can see from the last pic. The best deal I found was ar Harbor Freight. 10" pneumatic tires for $15 / each.

I didn't get pictures of the final assembly but it was basically slapping a top on it and a rear tailgate that flipped up. I also wasted a whole day installing an idler pulley that didn't work for shit. Way too loose and it caused some interesting results. After taking it off and letting the belt run loose it was ready for the maiden voyage......

I made three swipes and I burnt the belt off of it. Looks like I'm heading back to the drawing board.

Things I noticed. It smelled like a burning belt the whole time it ran. The space between the pillow blocks was 12" but the remainder of the shaft that connected to the engine was probably another 12" that just hung out without support. Slow spinning the shaft showed that it had some wobble in it. I also got the straight edge out and the pulleys weren't aligned. Evidently, the ole calibrated eye was off slightly. Looks like a parts run is in order...
 

McCracken

Logan Can't See This
Joined
Jul 9, 2005
Location
With your mom at a nice seafood dinner
Ok, so I went and bought another pillow block from Northern Tool ($12). I had some more scrap steel laying around and built a third support for the 1" shaft (giggidy). Once I did this the wobble went away and it ran much truer. Next, I aligned the pulleys, which required twisting the engine slightly. No biggie, that shit was built in. Lastly, I put the idler back in the mix. More scrap steel and using the idea of a square Toyota drives haft I had something cooking. I also included a fine thread bolt for pulling up on the idler. I found that the idler just needed to take up slack. If there was any pressure, the engine wasn't happy.

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At this point, I was ready for round two. This time it was glorious. I did the whole front lawn and the back without any issues. I also learned that running the engine WAO was not the trick. Just under full throttle netted the beat results. It had plenty of air flow. Enough that I disconnected the hose from the mower and walked around sucking up big piles of leaves effortlessly.

Here's a picture of my neighbor coming by to check out my handy work. His comment was, "yeah, i can tell this was some of your engineering when I saw it" :lol: Touche Dallas, touched.

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Two things need improvement. First, I'm blowing so much air into the box that any cracks are outlets for leaves. I've got to seal it up better. Secondly, the hitch is strong but because I used triangulation, I've cut my turning radius to shit. This includes backing up too. Oh and number three, the hose attachment is horseshit. Making it out of HVAC ductwork was not smart. I need something more substantial. I'm thinking black stovepipe. I also wish I had some real vac hose. This corrugated stuff wasn't bad but it's really stiff and doesn't bend easy.

Meh, not too shabby in my mind. I saved a couple hundred bucks making my own and learned a few things. I also got a sweet welders tan from it, which reminds me I'm in the market for a good welding jacket. Any suggestions?
 

89wrangler

Not a new member
Joined
Oct 22, 2005
Location
Bostic,NC
I must say your results are better than I would have expected and am impressed. On mine, it has a screen inside on top that runs full length to the rear where it allows the airflow to exhaust and not let any leaves out. Congrats! :beer:
 

McCracken

Logan Can't See This
Joined
Jul 9, 2005
Location
With your mom at a nice seafood dinner
I must say your results are better than I would have expected and am impressed. On mine, it has a screen inside on top that runs full length to the rear where it allows the airflow to exhaust and not let any leaves out. Congrats! :beer:
Thanks :D I knew I could get it to work but at what cost, financially speaking? It only takes money, right :lol: I was really surprised at the amount of suction it produced at the lower rpms. I figured it would have to run flat out but that wasn't the case. The belt did great too with zero sign of wear.
 

drkelly

Dipstick who put two vehicles on jack stands
Joined
Mar 21, 2005
Location
Oak Ridge/Stokesdale, NC
Yeah, you need an air outlet that has a screen over it. Here are a few pictures of the inside of mine for ideas.

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PXL_20201111_111913732.jpg
 

cranbiz

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 11, 2015
Location
Wentworth, NC
I had a piece of 1 1/4" hd conduit laying around. I welded it to the engine mount and put a bolt through the bottom to keep the handle from sliding through. I don't dump mine as the leaves don't just fall out you end up using the rake and it takes more time to hook the boot back over the chute. Got tired of having to "get the rake" when I dumped in various places. I wish I would have bought one of these years ago. What took me days in the past blowing, raking onto a large tarp and dragging to the woods, now takes me a few hours!

Thanks for that.

I rake them out too. When the trailer is tipped, it's difficult to rake them out and as you said, the leaves just don't dump out on their own. I replaced the boot so getting that back on isn't hard but it's still faster to rake them out than tip, rake, move the trailer, rake and reset it for use.

It only took me one year to figure out that I needed one of these. While having the backpack blower was a huge step up from raking, the time it took to blow the leaves into the woods was huge. Then trying to get the leaves into a burnable pile that didn't take over the dump area and the surrounding area was a challenge.

Mine doesn't have the screen at the top, must have been an improvement in the later models. I might try to retrofit one on mine.
 

cranbiz

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 11, 2015
Location
Wentworth, NC
I just bought some Vac hose so I can make up the remote hose on mine for places where I can't get the mower in to. Agri-Fab sells this for $150. I figured I could do it for less.

Varco /-6in Medium Duty Leaf Collection Hose- Order 10 ft or 25 ft O is where I got 10' of vac hose for $68 shipped, I bought the blower adapter for $25. I'll fab up a handle out of scrap and a couple of 6" hose clamps and I'm in business.
 

drkelly

Dipstick who put two vehicles on jack stands
Joined
Mar 21, 2005
Location
Oak Ridge/Stokesdale, NC
I back up on a sloped hill, so the dump trailer tilts back about 2-3x more than if I was parked on flat ground. The leaves fall out fairly easily.
 

drkelly

Dipstick who put two vehicles on jack stands
Joined
Mar 21, 2005
Location
Oak Ridge/Stokesdale, NC
I just bought some Vac hose so I can make up the remote hose on mine for places where I can't get the mower in to. Agri-Fab sells this for $150. I figured I could do it for less.

Varco /-6in Medium Duty Leaf Collection Hose- Order 10 ft or 25 ft O is where I got 10' of vac hose for $68 shipped, I bought the blower adapter for $25. I'll fab up a handle out of scrap and a couple of 6" hose clamps and I'm in business.

I bought that kit from Agri-Fab, but have only used it once. I typically use my back pack blower to move leaves out of areas that they have collected and out onto the lawn where I can just driver over them and suck them up.
 

cranbiz

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 11, 2015
Location
Wentworth, NC
I bought that kit from Agri-Fab, but have only used it once. I typically use my back pack blower to move leaves out of areas that they have collected and out onto the lawn where I can just driver over them and suck them up.

I have some areas that the blower just can't do. Around the AC unit, recessed basement windows, etc. so I know I'll use it. I'm going to put a couple of brackets on the hopper to hang the hose when I know I'll need the remote hose and I have a knob for the adapter to make it quick change.
 

tlucier

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 3, 2007
Location
Mebane, NC
I have this and it works great

https://www.stihlusa.com/products/blowers-and-shredder-vacs/shredder-vacs/

since it shreds it can pick up a ton without emptying. I can do entire backyard 1/2 acre without having to empty.

worth the money and can get to all the little corners that my old pull behind could not

@BRUISER - which model did you get? The SH56 C-E or the SH86 C-E? The SH 86 has an anti vibration system and the reviews seem to indicate it's worth the extra cost over the SH56.
 

BRUISER

silent.. but deadly
Moderator
Joined
Mar 17, 2005
Location
Raleigh
@BRUISER - which model did you get? The SH56 C-E or the SH86 C-E? The SH 86 has an anti vibration system and the reviews seem to indicate it's worth the extra cost over the SH56.

I have the SH86 C-E
 
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