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  1. #11
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    Sep 2005
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    Default Re: Homemade Lawn Roller, how heavy should it be?

    Paul,

    The water tank I have has a plug in the top. What I am going to do is cut off the bottom and weld on the top of a tank cut from a second tank (after the concrete, axle, etc... are installed). (I went to a plumbing company and they had 4 or 5 scrap tanks, you might be able to get another tank that matches the one you have). The ends of the tanks will be concave on each end and each end will have a plug at each end that will be drilled out to accept a 1" axle that goes through the tank and extends out an 1" to mount to the pillow block bearings. The tricky part will be filling the tank with it standing on end, tack welding the second tank top, then filling up the rest of the tank. I was going to cut a 2" dia hole with a holesaw to get the tank filled completely, then weld the 2" plug back on. I'll take some pictures as I assemble this thing in the next week and share it with you.

  2. #12
    Super Star Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Posts
    13,737
    Location
    Upper Midwest USA
    Tractor
    JD_4x2_Gator, JD_4300, JD_X485, JD_425, JD_455, JD_110

    Default Re: Homemade Lawn Roller, how heavy should it be?

    Sounds like you will have no problem, but I don't remember reading what you are going use to pull this thing around. Regardless, it is similar (only larger) than the one I built, with tank about 15" diam, and 4' long, filled with concrete, and using pillow blocks for bearings at the ends. I also built a rack for concrete silo staves on top. (had similar worries at the time, whether I could pull it with my 8hp Wheel Horse lawn tractor) Figure the whole thing weighs in around 650 - 750 pounds. The 8hp WH had no trouble pulling it around the lawn including the slopes of up to 12%. The usefullness in the Spring to get the lawn flat really helps when mowing.
    The gravel drive won't respond to any rolling, unless it doesn't have a good base. With new gravel, using the car to pack it when it is freshly graded is the best packer, although that takes a lot of passes to complete the task.
    But I don't loan it out, as too often when you need it, someone else has it and can't get it back (or has in turn loaned it to someone else, and can't remember who) right away.

  3. #13
    Platinum Member
    Join Date
    May 2001
    Posts
    932
    Location
    QC, Canada
    Tractor
    B7500HSD

    Default Re: Homemade Lawn Roller, how heavy should it be?

    Thanks.

    I have another idea. It just came to me so it is quite preliminary. How about cutting both ends off the tank and just using plywood to cap off the ends temporarily until the concrete hardens? You could sink a length of pipe into the ends, flush (anchored to the plywood form). Then use pins on the ends of the tow frame that would fit inside these hollows. Am I making this more complicated than it needs to be?

  4. #14
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    Sep 2005
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    Default Re: Homemade Lawn Roller, how heavy should it be?

    Beenthere,

    I'll be pulling it with a 1996 B2150 4x4 HSD, it should be just wide enough to cover the turf tire tracks.

  5. #15

    Join Date
    Jun 2001
    Posts
    1,390
    Location
    South Central Oklahoma
    Tractor
    Kubota Grand L4610HSTC

    Default Re: Homemade Lawn Roller, how heavy should it be?

    Hi,
    I may or may not CLARIFY this for you but I will discuss it a bit and hopefully you will see why I say what I say. On average it really won't be easier to roll. The water is free to move but except for sloshing around and being warmed up a bit by the sloshing the net effect is about the same for practical purposes. To get down in the nitty gritty, the water provides some viscous damping which converts tongue pull into heat in the sloshed water. If you pulled it fast enough (faster that any sane person would roll a lawn) centrifugal force would eventually, at high enough speeds, hold the water in a cylindrical shape with any air filed void in the center. This would be when the g forces from centrifugual force were enough times greater than earth's one g such that the one g of the earth would be a small fraction of the total force on the water and would become negligable.

    At speeds less than the "high" speed talked about above we would have water turbulance and an energy conversion into heat through sloshing of the water. NOTE: a sensitive thermometer can measure the difference in the temp of water at the top and botom of a waterfall. The increase is due to the water being heated when it crashes at the bottom of the falls with lots of "sloshing". So while towing the roller at moderate speeds we are wasting energy stiring the water. As steel or concrete don't thrash about so much as water in a roller application they don't heat as much and don't rob so much energy from the process.

    From a practical standpoint the energy lost to heating the water is considered negligible. There are the pros and cons already discussed regarding water. If neglected it can freeze bursting the container. Of course it cold be filled with last years antifreeze from other sources and left full all the time. It is a bit of a hassle to fill and empty. On the other hand if our circumstances require puting it away neatly or in a space conservative manner, an empty roller could be much more easily stood on end. On the downside, water is much less dense than concrete and the roller has to be larger to have the same effect B U T a larger water filled roller does not produce the same PSI at its ground contact patch with the same roller weight as a concrete roller, a density and diameter thingy.

    A larger water filled roller weighing the same a a smaller concrete filled roller will not press stones "back where they came from" as well as the smaller diameter concrete filled version.

    I suggest that the answer is a roller of the desired diameter topped with a water tank and or bin/hopper to hold weights (stones, scrap, or..). Fill to the desired weight. If the ground is a bit soft, fill it less. If doing a drive way fill completely and tie weights on the tank to increase the effective PSI at the contact patch. If yo really get INTO matching PSI to the desired effect considering the surface to be rolled yo might make a set of interchangeable rollers of differing diameters topped by a ballast taank and or weight bin/platform.

    Slipping into my Nomex and Kevlar blend underwear and standing by for any comments.

    Patrick

  6. #16
    Veteran Member
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    Apr 2000
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    1,589
    Location
    Western New York
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    Kubota B2710

    Default Re: Homemade Lawn Roller, how heavy should it be?

    Paul, The tank I used had plugs in both the top and bottom. I just removed the plugs and slid a 1" rod thru and welded it to the ends. I removed some plugs on the side and moved one to the end as a fill. I had some old bearings from a old roller that are a bronze bushing in a cast iron block. I just use a spot of fresh grease every time I use it. You want to use the rounded ends as they will not dig into the yard like a straight edge will. Makes a big difference if you don't have the rounded ends.The only problem with mine is the metal is not thick enough and it will dent if not filled to the top. I loaned it to my neighbor and he did not fill it all the way and tried it on his driveway. Left a lot of small dents in it. I would like to get some 1/4" thick pipe and weld the ends onto it. That would stop the dents! But I have no money into making mine so I can't complain too much. And I only use it once a year anyway.

  7. #17
    Platinum Member
    Join Date
    May 2001
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    932
    Location
    QC, Canada
    Tractor
    B7500HSD

    Default Re: Homemade Lawn Roller, how heavy should it be?

    Thanks, Von.

  8. #18
    Veteran Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Posts
    1,386
    Location
    michigan thumb
    Tractor
    jd 970, JD GT235

    Default Re: Homemade Lawn Roller, how heavy should it be?

    Sounds like a thesis for a turf management degree.

    A concrete filled drum wouldnt dent.

    I got good chuckle the first time I saw plastic rollers
    for sale in front of Quality stores.

  9. #19
    Veteran Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2000
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    1,580
    Location
    Waco, Texas
    Tractor
    Kubota B2910; Kubota T1670

    Default Re: Homemade Lawn Roller, how heavy should it be?

    [img]/w3tcompact/icons/shocked.gif[/img][img]/w3tcompact/icons/laugh.gif[/img]

    I like that idea! Of course, I've never used a lawn roller.

  10. #20

    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Posts
    129
    Location
    Missouri
    Tractor
    BX2200 / FORD JUBILEE

    Default Re: Homemade Lawn Roller, how heavy should it be?

    beenthere,
    You are right about the problems of loaning out equipment. I have already had someone ask to borrow my new BX2200, what they really need for their job is a Bobcat (skidsteer). I did however offer to bring it over and help with the finishing work to keep their rental cost down. Of course I would be the operator.[img]/w3tcompact/icons/smile.gif[/img]
    Rich...

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