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  1. #1

    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Posts
    155
    Location
    Connecticut
    Tractor
    JD 4310, eHydro - R4, dual SVC, speedmatch/cruise, rear floods

    Default Building a 3 pth leaf blower

    Hi Folks,

    My JD 4310 hasn't been delivered yet, but I'm already planning to build my first implement. The tractor is coming with a JD 48 hoe, JD 59" snowblower, and 430 FEL. I need to move lots of leaves, but I can't afford to buy a commercial 3 pth debris blower from Agri-Metal, Toro or Buffulo Turbine.

    The heart of implement is obviously the blower and housing. I have considered several options for procuring the blower. These include buying it from a place like Grainger, scrounging one out of some junkyard or scrapyard or buying a walking behind model and mounting it on a 3 pth frame.

    Of the three options I like scrounging the junkyard best on a cost basis, but it will take luck and time to find an appropriate blower in salvageable condition.

    Buying a walk behind model with a 5-8 HP engine is kind of expensive and wasteful when you consider that you're paying for the engine, when I have a much more capable power plant in the form of the 25 HP rear PTO.

    I'm trying to replicate as closely as possible, the performance of the <A target="_blank" HREF=http://www.agrimetal.com/framed_turf.htm> Agri-Metal BW 240 blower </A> After looking around, it seems the proper blower type would be a radial fan or high pressure blower.

    Buying the blower assembly (radial, pressure blower 13" diameter) from Grainger looks like $400+ and then there are the belts, pulleys, steel angles and plate, pto shaft, universal joint etc.

    I saw another by ns_in_tex that showed a mower deck converted to spin a squirrel cage blower 12" or so in diameter. Here is another picture of that <A target="_blank" HREF=http://www.tractorbynet.com/forumfiles/5-187168-4_drivewayblowerdischargeand2x4.JPG> blower

    According to ns_in_tex in his <A target="_blank" HREF=http://www.tractorbynet.com/cgi-bin/compact/showthreaded.pl?Cat=&amp;Board=implement&amp;Numbe r=187168&amp;page=&amp;view=&amp;sb=&amp;o=&amp;vc =1#Post187168> post </A>, he could blow that 2x4 from 8ft away at 1/2 throttle. All that from an old furnace blower? Of course, he has to run the blower at 3 times the speed it was designed for. I'm a little worried about the safety margin there, but it looks fairly low cost.

    Maybe a squirel cage blower is the way to go? Anyone have an engineering background or first hand experience building one of these to get the most bang for the buck? I've got 25 PTO horse power, I just need good blower ideas and sources other than Grainger. Ideas anyone?
    Sleepyhollow

  2. #2
    Super Star Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Posts
    12,429
    Location
    Upper Midwest USA
    Tractor
    JD 4300, JD X485 JD 4x2 Gator, JD 425, JD455

    Default Re: Building a 3 pth leaf blower

    What about a used silo filler blower? Seems they might be found at auctions or farm sales, or farm equipment dealers (junked or similar) for a reasonable price. As long as the bearings are good, seems to me once it is cranked up, you would have a whirlwind of air moving. Can't say I have seen any around, but they must end up somewhere.

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Posts
    155
    Location
    Connecticut
    Tractor
    JD 4310, eHydro - R4, dual SVC, speedmatch/cruise, rear floods

    Default Re: Building a 3 pth leaf blower

    You've got to pardon my ignorance beenthere, I don't know what one of those does or even looks like. I'm from Connecticut and we don't have much agriculture here outside of some dairy, vinyards and orchards. Do you have some pictures of one. Thanks,
    Sleepyhollow

  4. #4
    Super Star Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Posts
    12,429
    Location
    Upper Midwest USA
    Tractor
    JD 4300, JD X485 JD 4x2 Gator, JD 425, JD455

    Default Re: Building a 3 pth leaf blower

    Passing on a picture of a Badger blower that is likely the type used on a dairy farm that has a silo or two. These are run by PTO and are of a design that might be convertable to a leaf blower.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  5. #5

    Default Re: Building a 3 pth leaf blower

    There's a lot of education to be had on blowers in the back of the Grainger book, or at least there used to be. If you just want something to make wind and blow leaves, a foreward or reverse curve type blower might well suit your needs. If you even think you may want to build a machine that can also suck leaves and load them into a trailer, you want a flat paddle type blower.
    There's a thread over on the smokestack board of www.enginads.com about the blowers the steam engine guys use to load their engines, and a blower like that, housed, and nozzled down just might work very well for a leaf blower. Since you want to drive from a rear PTO, a slow speed blower swinging large blades might be best cause you'll put 100% of available power to the fan and not waste it on power transmission.
    Half, of not more, of the fun of making something is scrounging and accumulating parts. Right now I've got most of the parts for several projects, and some day I'll have all the parts for one or another of them. I've got a Billygoat vacuum with a wasted engine sitting in the yard, waiting to become the suction unit for a vacuum trailer I'll hopefully get built next year.

  6. #6
    Gold Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2000
    Posts
    365
    Location
    Rutledge, GA
    Tractor
    Kubota L3710DT

    Default Re: Building a 3 pth leaf blower

    I just saw this on ebay. It might give you some design ideas.
    <A target="_blank" HREF=http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&amp;item=1783740192>http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&amp;item=1783740192</A>

  7. #7
    Silver Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2000
    Posts
    112

    Default Re: Building a 3 pth leaf blower

    I am planning on building a leaf blower that will mount on the front of my loader. I will be using a Squirell cage blower with a small vertical shaft mower engine mounted to it and connected to the blower shaft with love joy connections. I will form duct work to direct the air flow. I should be able to raise and lower the blower with the loader arms as needed. I can hang this from the front forks frame and have the RF mower on at the same time. Around here you can pick up old lawnmower engines from free to about 25 dollars. A heating and Air place gave me the blower for free. They get 6 or 7 in every week.

  8. #8
    Epic Contributor Soundguy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Posts
    49,140
    Location
    Central florida
    Tractor
    ym1700, NH7610S, Ford 8N, 2N, NAA, 660, 850 x2, 541, 950, 941D, 951, 2000, 3000, 4000, 4600, 5000, 740, IH 'C' 'H', CUB, John Deere 'B', allis 'G', case VAC

    Default Re: Building a 3 pth leaf blower

    My background is civil eng.. not mechanical, but here is my .02

    I would try to find a squirrell cage assembly.. maybee something that had been run off a 3 phase motor at similar speeds.. or one with a pulley reduction built in to the frame.
    This choice is based on needing to do the least amount of fabrication.. all you need is coupling and stabilization.

    Next choice would be a box cage fan with an internal pulley step down setup. ( Large shops use these for ventilation.. We've got one in ours ).
    This choice again is based on a pre-assembled unit needing little fabrication.
    Last choice would be some sort of impeller design.
    These handle debri fairly well, and don't get as excited when running with a blocked exhaust or intake port.
    May need some advanced fabrication here, unless you can find a junked sewer vac ( vactor used to make one ).. they have a nice pre-packaged pto driven ( small youke and square tube pto from engine pto ) impeller... puts out lottsa air and handles trash like you wouldn't believe.. as you imagine.. this design could be used to vacume the leaves, and discharge them into some sort of catcher or vented bag...

    Again.. just ideas...caveat emptor... &amp; usual disclaimers

    Soundguy

  9. #9

    Default Re: Building a 3 pth leaf blower

    I'd recommend against using a Lovejoy, or any direct coupling from the engine. Furnace blowers are lo speed and will slip tremendously at engine speeds. Also, the beraings in a furnace blower will probably self destruct at 3000 RPM in short order.

  10. #10

    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Posts
    193
    Location
    Mexico City
    Tractor
    NH TC21D

    Default Re: Building a 3 pth leaf blower

    The Silo blower idea from Beenthere seems good. As many farms have gone out of business, or discontinued the use of tall silos, they are relatively cheap. Perhaps a used local equipment dealer might have a few sitting out back.

    Another option might be to modify an old snow blower. Perhaps find one that's a bit too big for your tractor, that the auger is worn out. Tear off all the auger systems, etc, and the blower ought to work nicely...

    If you're really looking to fabricate, another option could be the blower from the back of some (but not all) old silage choppers. These are the blowers that transfered the cut silage into the trailing wagon. Again... used euipment dealers would have units in the back lot that they would sell the parts off of...

    Good luck!

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