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  1. #1
    Platinum Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Posts
    737
    Location
    Buckhannon, WV
    Tractor
    1947 Ford 2N and 2003 Kubota B7500

    Default Building a lawn sweeper.

    I would really like to have a lawn sweeper to tow offset from my wee little 38" riding mower and gather clippings.

    I know I can buy one for about $250, but I would like a largeish hopper, instead of the small one they come with.

    Any ideas on materials to use for the sweeper brush? You can get strip brushes at McMaster Carr, but they aren't cheap.

    I am wondering if this is a 4 wheeled contraption, if I could use something more like traditional rake tines instead of broom type ones?

    I assume I will need a system of some sort to move the clippings from immediately behind the sweeper, back into the hopper. Conveyor belt?

    Just looking for some ideas. I think I can build one that is as good, if not better for my purposes and have some fun doing it.

  2. #2
    Elite Member zzvyb6's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Posts
    2,722
    Location
    michigan
    Tractor
    jd 1070

    Default Re: Building a lawn sweeper.

    You would be much happier with a vacuum attachment that sucks the clippings, leaves, acorns, needles, dog poop, newspapers and pop bottles all up and blows them into a small trailer. The trailers can be a childs wagon with plywood sides even. The hose is all you would need to buy. You could even use a piece of flexible plastic drain pipe. Get an old gas motor, make an impeller out of soft steel. six blades. A housing out of sheet steel and bingo. Worked for me Eventually I would up with a new Honda motor, a 12" flex pipe, and an Agrifab garden trailer that I enclosed. Hooks onto my 72" mower deck. Fab or buy the connector to the mower deck.
    There is no "I" in team, but there is a "Me" if you want to jumble it up a bit...

  3. #3
    Gold Member dillo99's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Posts
    376
    Location
    Upstate NY
    Tractor
    Kubota B7500

    Default Re: Building a lawn sweeper.

    hmmm...might be interesting. I have a craftsman and I noticed that the thing is geared so one turn of the wheels is 8 turns of the brush - so if you are going to use the wheels for power you will need some gearing. You mentioned pulling behind a lawn tractor so I assume you don't have a PTO. A conveyer is a good idea and would definitely be necessary to have a larger hopper. Might need to go up at a slant too so you have a way to drop debris into a larger bin. Also important to have a way to dump the debris easily. I know with my craftsman that the bin can get pretty heavy - so a larger bin will be even heavier. I have my craftsman rigged to pull behind my tractor and I use the 3ph to lift and dump it. I need to rig it up more permanently but it works surprisingly well.
    Mike

    B7500, Loader: LA302, Backhoe: B4675, 3ph splitter, 3ph dump hauler, 5' Bush Hog, 5' rear blade, Chipper, 1 Wife, 3 Daughters and 2 Dogs (oh yeah...cat too but who counts them)

  4. #4
    Bronze Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Posts
    85
    Location
    NEPA
    Tractor
    B7800

    Default Re: Building a lawn sweeper.

    Can anyone post pictures of your home built sweepers?

  5. #5
    Platinum Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Posts
    572
    Location
    Jackson County, Michigan
    Tractor
    Bolens HT-20

    Default Re: Building a lawn sweeper.

    I have an Agri-Fab 38". Had to do some repairs to it. The drive line from the wheels to the brushes is quite an interesting transfer of power. The wheels can spin independent of each other, yet still drive that brush. Also, the brush height is adjustable and yet those wheels can accommodate that also. Look up Agri-Fab lawn sweeper and check a parts diagram for the brush bar. Quite frankly it may be easier and more efficient to build the lawn vac as zzvyb6 suggests.

  6. #6
    Platinum Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Posts
    737
    Location
    Buckhannon, WV
    Tractor
    1947 Ford 2N and 2003 Kubota B7500

    Default Re: Building a lawn sweeper.

    I have thought about the vac route, but I would rather have something that was ground powered instead of another engine. Although, I am starting to suspect that by the time I engineer a sweeper, I may as well have built the vac.

    The thing that keeps stopping me on the vac is the impeller. I have not been able to find any good information on the design of it. From what I have seen, it is a pretty simple item. Basically, a round plate with a hub centered on it, with flat vanes radiating out from the hub to the edge of the plate. Usually, the outside corner of the vanes are clipped.

    Should these radiate out at a right angle to the center, or should they angle?

    I am attaching a quick drawing of what I have figured out from others.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails -impeller-jpg  

  7. #7
    Silver Member alltoys's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    214
    Location
    Vimy, Alberta
    Tractor
    Montana R28

    Default Re: Building a lawn sweeper.

    Quote Originally Posted by zzvyb6 View Post
    You would be much happier with a vacuum attachment that sucks the clippings, leaves, acorns, needles, dog poop, newspapers and pop bottles all up and blows them into a small trailer. The trailers can be a childs wagon with plywood sides even. The hose is all you would need to buy. You could even use a piece of flexible plastic drain pipe. Get an old gas motor, make an impeller out of soft steel. six blades. A housing out of sheet steel and bingo. Worked for me Eventually I would up with a new Honda motor, a 12" flex pipe, and an Agrifab garden trailer that I enclosed. Hooks onto my 72" mower deck. Fab or buy the connector to the mower deck.
    Do you have any pics of your blower how you made it?

    Soft steel can you elaborate on this subject please?

  8. #8
    Gold Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Posts
    464

    Default Re: Building a lawn sweeper.

    I built a sweeper for a friend to sweep a parking lot. It fit on a forklift and used a 8-9 hp honda engine, gear reduction out of an old rototiller and brushes for a bobcat sweeper. It's been around 10 years ago so I'll have to look for the photos of the build.

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