Has anyone come across a solution to the proliferation of small (5 to
I've a lawnmower, generator, and pressure washer, chipper/shredder and
might buy another tool with a 5hp gas engine. I never use more than 1
at a time. I'd like an elegant PTO solution for small engines.
Look at that Black and Decker thing where you pull the front off and use it
as a drill, saw, sander, and who knows what else.
Would you use a lawnmower etc that were that crappy?
What I want is a way to use an automobile as a whole house generator. Think
about it, they can drive for an hour at 30mph on one gallon of gas. A 4kw
generator uses a gallon gas an hour while doing maybe 5% of the work.
Or maybe a NG powered A/C that can also be hooked to a generator.
It has been done for decades with trucks and it might be possible with
an automobile too if enough space can be found under the hood. Basically
an AC generator is installed via brackets to the engine block and driven
by belt from the crankshaft. I'm not sure how the generator was
engaged/disengaged from the drive. Most likely it was via a mechanical
linkage and might even have been done by slacking the belt tension. But
given the efficiency of air conditioner compressor clutches something
along that line would be more user-friendly.
These generator sets were routinely used on construction sites to power
tools before power lines were installed and probably were capable of 5kW
There is an AC generator that takes
power from a car or truck. It's the
AuraGen from http://www.aurasystems.com .
But, they have to be installed
on the vehicle and are not cheap. Very
good, just not cheap.
- Look at that Black and Decker thing where you pull the front off and
- as a drill, saw, sander, and who knows what else.
- Would you use a lawnmower etc that were that crappy?
It sounds like you are not using your toys in the most efficient
I often use my generator to power the radio while one of my sons grabs
the branches off the lawn and puts them in the chipper/shredder while
I follow behind with the lawnmower while my other son follows with the
pressure washer, cleaning the clippings and chips off the driveway.
It's real noisy, but it's quality family time.
I have to agree with Toller's sentiments but not specifically about
the B&D line of products...
In my lifetime I have tried:
A Saw Table - Mount your 7" circular saw under this table and you now
own a table saw.
A Drill Stand - Strap your hand held drill into this device and you
now own a drill press.
A Right Angle drill bit holder. - Chuck this into your drill and you
now own a right angle drill.
etc. etc. etc.
None of these "turn your tool into something else" devices work
anywhere near as good as the tool they are supposed to mimic. Whenever
you design something to serve multiple purposes, each of the
individual purposes are bound to suffer a little.
Designing an engine that could be moved from device to device would
probably end up hurting the performance of each device.
Having played with one or two of the "turn X into Y" devices
(especially a circular saw attachment for a drill ;-), I mostly
At the prices/sizes most consumers would pay for, yes.
But tractors and their PTOs are used to do the functions the OP
asked about all the time. If you have $10K or more ;-)
Age and Treachery will Triumph over Youth and Skill
costs too much, messy conversion and time, too many compromises
engine speeds mounting etc. the more complex the heavier it weighs and
more it costs, and harder for people to use.
engines and motors optimized for a specific use are way easier and
economocally its a loser, or you would see it all the time
Toro used to make a rig like that. They had a reel mower with the
engine and handle mounted on a metal plate that fastened with one big
hand-screwed bolt. You could take the engine off the mower and move it
to other tools. I seem to remember an edger and rototiller, and there
were probably others.
Or the 1950s & 1960s Gravely (sp.) mowers, you bought the power unit which
came on an axle with wheels and attachments that fitted on a coupling on the
front and drew power from the engine. Most common were the rotary mower
attachment, and there were others but I cannot remember them.
Yes - the Gravely is about the type I want, but more for stationary
purposes - I forgot the name until you mentioned it. My grandfather
and father owned one - tiller, mower/brush hog, snowblower, cart
puller and also good for pulling small stumps.
Not the BEST at anything, but darned good at everything,
Except for the lawnmower my other uses (and add in a stationary air
compressor) are pretty stationary.
As far as the hassle of converting there should be an elegant solution
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