Homemade leaf collector

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Video
http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=TNty8QNITpg

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very good idea, low cost, using whats available. too bad he didnt show off the impeller, wonder what it looks like?
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I like the idea of the direct drive, my father in law made something similar using a blower with belt drive. With exposed belts his was a "fool killer". His sides were made of EMT conduit and poultry curtain material. To unload you just folded the sides down and shoveled it off with a grain shovel.
Jimmie
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On Wed, 19 Oct 2011 17:46:00 -0700, JIMMIE wrote:

feature=player_embedded&v=TNty8QNITpg
I'm not sure about having the impeller so high up where it'd likely get me right in the back if it underwent catastrophic failure, though - I've seen commercial baggers where they're lower down, by the hitch, which puts a lot more metal inbetween them and me. :-)
I've got a couple of acres of lawn here, and the same again for trees - most of the leaves just blow away, and I've always just left the ones that remain - they've usually gone by the first mow of the next season. Still, I do have a spare trailer and a spare 3.5HP mower engine - I'm resisting the urge to start another "project" ;)
cheers
Jules
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Nicely done- mulches, collects, and helps unload.
See the accompanying website for the impeller details- http://woodgears.ca/misc/leaf_vacuum.html
Jim
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On 10/19/2011 4:59 AM, HeyBub wrote:

I've always wondered - why collect them? Two passes with the lawn tractor and they're finely chopped and disappear into the lawn. It's a lot faster and easier than vacuuming or raking them up.
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If you want to have a lawn the next year and have a lot of trees, you have to rake them. My lawn gets so deep, when you drive the lawn mower over the lawn, it picks up the front wheels because they are so thick.
R
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Andy comments:
I understand what you mean. However, the trick may be to mow more often, before the leaves build up to that level, rather than wait and try to do it all at once....
I my back yard is heavily populated with oak, and I get LOTS of leaves. However, my lawn tractor mulches them effectively, especially if they are dry, and they just disappear in a couple days.... The technique may not work everywhere, but it works well in North Texas in an oak forest .....
Andy in Eureka,
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wrote:

Most of my trees are sycamore and all the leaves fall at once. These leaves are so bit that the mower gets overwhelmed.
R
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Mulching the leaves should not harm the lawn. I suppose if there were a huge amount of them like you describe it might be a problem mulching them but "harm"? I doubt that.
Harry K
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Harry K wrote:

Viruses, fungii and other nasty pathogens to trees are found on leaves and these tree diseases will return year after year if you don't remove the leaves in the fall.
Leaf material left on lawns can promote powdery mildew and other fungi turf diseases. Leaves can also prevent the lawn from drying out if you have a lot of rain in the fall, again not a good thing for turf.
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On 10/19/2011 10:17 AM, Home Guy wrote:

Only if they are present, and have been a problem in the recent past. Otherwise, no problem. Typically, there is no problem.

Shade and lack of air circulation are the primary factors for promoting powdery mildew. And so? Powdery mildew isn't even as serious to turfgrass as pimples are to teenagers. It's unsightly, but almost never causes significant harm.
Leaves can also prevent the lawn from drying out if you

That scenario would require a hell of a lot of leaves and a hell of a lot of rain. Most of the time, that's not the situation.
Thanks to the points raised by a couple of other posters, I can understand the utility of vacuuming when there's a deep accumulation of leaves. But I expect the typical homeowner would frequently, if not usually, find that a riding mower or lawn tractor could neatly mulch leaves into the turf, if he wants to deal with them in that manner. I raised the issue because I've had neighbors who bagged grass clippings and leaves _only_ because they assumed that's how they're supposed to be handled. The first time I used my Snapper walk-behind with a Ninja mulching blade on the leaves, several of them came over for a closer look. They were pretty impressed that a good blade/mower could make the leaves virtually disappear. It's simpler yet with a lawn tractor.
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On 10/19/2011 11:17 AM, Home Guy wrote:

Wow! It's a miracle there are such things as "forests". How did they ever survive without people gathering the leaves?
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On Wed, 19 Oct 2011 16:40:52 -0400, Tony Miklos

What makes you think there *were* forests before there were people to gather the leaves. Most of the world was desert before that.
Sherwood Forest, for example, was just a half-acre children's park that became very successful and expanded.
The Black Forest was a style of chocolate cake sold in supermarkets across the country, and the owners used some of their profits to plant a forest in Europe.
Right now, the owners of Sahara Ice Cream have pledged to plant a forest in what is still known as the Sahara Desert their sales go above 10 million a year.
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Well, they didn't have internet experts to tell them the "facts" :)
Harry K
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On Wed, 19 Oct 2011 20:46:08 -0700 (PDT), Harry K

I never saw a forest with a lawn anyway. Tried running over leaves with my mulching mower a few days ago. Most of the leaves either blew away or piled up in front of the mower, falling off to the sides as I moved forward. Tried levering up the mower and putting it down on piles of leaves. About 90% of them blew away from the mower. When I saw I would have to go over the lawn about 18 times I decided to give up on that, and just rake them up into piles like always, and dump them on the street by the curb. Town comes by and removes them.
--Vic
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wrote:

If they are blowing out that much, maybe your blade is too low. Most mowers, I believe, have the blade up inside the deck skirt so that things don't get propelled out the sides of the mower, but are trapped. A mulching blade with the extra lift keeps the grass suspended until it is finely chopped.
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On Thu, 20 Oct 2011 07:50:46 -0700 (PDT), Harry K

Thanks. I give it another try, with deck high this time. It's been raining here, so I'll get at it before they get too dry. Might not blow away so easily. They were bone dry when I tried it.
--Vic
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Bone dry is best of course. You do have a mulching plug to plug up the mower outlet? Or tape something across it?
Harry K
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On Thu, 20 Oct 2011 20:34:47 -0700 (PDT), Harry K

It's a Craftsman push with a Honda engine - 5hp I think. Sold as a mulcher, with mulching blade and side discharge shut off with a thick piece of plastic. Always mulches well when the blade isn't dull I do need to put the blade on the grinder again. Maybe I'll do that. There's some time. Only one small tree shed its leaves so far. There's 4 big maples and a birch to go.
Not a huge lawn and it's no big deal raking and piling by the curb. I rake onto a 12'x12' tarp and never have to drag it more than 30' feet to the curb. Might take 3-4 times the time it takes to mow. Mainly thinking the mulched leaves would be good for the lawn, and save the waste of the town hauling them away. Got no idea what they do with them.
....Well, I just called the town and they could only tell me the garbage hauler picks them up from a town dumping ground. Called the hauler, and was told they offload them to a compostng outfit. Pretty hard to find out what's going on just talking to phone answerers. A web search shows Illinois has banned yard waste in landfills since 1990, and a recycling infrastructure has been established.
But I don't see leaf composting being a profitable business without subsidization. That would be my garbage bill. Since I can't get out of paying that bill, the big reason for me to mulch leaves would be because it's good for the lawn. Is it?
--Vic
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