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Architectdave

Updated Lawn Vac

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Architectdave
Hey gang - here are a few pictures of my updated lawn vac. I picked up the vacuum system form my buddy Durwood earler this summer. The canvas was shot and rather than attempt to rebuilf it I figured I could easily create a luan box that bolts to the rails like canvas that I can slide on and off easily. Its not heavy and it works pretty well. I need to add another vent in the top as the small one I have tents to get clogged up a bit. Here is the vac system on my gramps 3314H. Some of you may have seen my post a while back where I resurected gramps 3314H. Sadly gramps passed a few weeks ago. He was 100 years and one day old.


From the back, the hatch lifts up and the vent is at the top. the vent is plain 1/4" wire mess.


View inside showing the baffle that directs the clipings down.


Larger picture of just the trailer unit.


Picture of the yard




I have plans for the box I made if anyone wants a pdf as a starting point for making their own. Let me know. thanks for checking out my project. Dave

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toomanytractors
Not to be critical but I see a potential problem with your design. A sheetmetal friend of mine built a beautiful vac trailer and had the same setup on the baffle in the front and screen in back. As soon as he started to suck up leaves the rear screen plugged solid as the front baffle created a horrible turbulence inside the trailer. This is basically a turbo conveying system and as soon as the material reaches the trailer you need rid of the air. Gravity will take over. I think you need to eliminate the baffle in front, make the back solid and put as much screen as possible on the top of the trailer--front to back. This is the design Trac-Vac uses on their trailers and it works very well. When I built mine I also made a deflector for the top front of the trailer so the dust, dirt and fine stuff don't blow down the back of my shirt.

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Glen112
Dave - Looks great, but I agree with David (toomanytractors) and John (comet66). Those blowers move a lot of air, and it needs some place to go. Here is my solution, not real pretty, but it is functional:


The front is plywood, but the rest of it is made of a coarse tarp mesh from Harbor Freight. The tarp fastens neatly at the front with tarp clips. The frame for the tarp is made from PVC pipe held together with "set-screw" type pipe corners:


The back is not as neat, with the loose ends overlapping and secured with bungee cords:


Time to unload:


The coarse mesh allows for filling the trailer to the top. The loose fit at the sides and back results in extra capacity.


Full to the top, here is where the all around mesh really pays off:


Back for another load:


Almost done:


The nice part about this set up is that it comes apart easily for storage. One flat piece of plywood, five pieces of PVC pipe, and a folded up tarp!

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Vassal
Sorry for your loss Dave. Great job! I would be interested in a copy of your plans. This is exactly what I was thinking about starting with! I was wondering about venting though and thought about a full (steel) mesh rear door. Thanks for sharing. EDIT: Glen your post came in a hair before mine - I like your design also. I think a hybrid of both is in order. Thanks for sharing!

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Architectdave
You guys are correct and I mentioned I need another vent in the top....just havent gotten around to getting it in there. I used metal wire mesh to help avoid the fabic getting torn. Will update my design and let you guys know how it works out. Thanks for the symathy as well. Gramps is missed every day.

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MPH
Nice work Dave and Glen. Need to get motivated and put in use the one I got several years ago. Looks like a much nicer job in one pass then my lawn sweeper does in 2-3. Glen, any problems with using the stove pipe from the deck?

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Glen112
Marty - Stove pipe works fine. Have not had any problems with plugging at the elbow or anywhere along the pipe. The flex elbow allows for some movement. The pipe is not connected at the deck. I put a couple wraps of wide weatherstripping (like used on a pickup truck for a camper) around the outlet on the boot. This helped to make up up the difference between the diameters. It also provides a seal so that little vacuum is lost. As the deck flexes to follow the ground, the pipe slides up and down along the boot. I had been using an old Parker sweeper, and I have cut my cleanup time to a quarter of what it was. Here is my alternate setup for lighter pickup. In the spring, I add a spring type dethatcher in the front.


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Vassal
Glen, you said that the stove pipe section is not connected at the deck but slides on the boot - is this where the foam wrap seal is? Also, the flex elbow you mention, is that a remaining part of the original hose or is this a hardware store item? I've seen adjustable stove pipe elbows but not flexible ones (maybe a picture would help:o)) Anyway, thanks for sharing.

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Glen112
Mike - The foam weatherstripping is around the outside of the cylindrical part of the boot. The 7" stovepipe ID was too big for the boot outlet. The foam thickness all around the circumference makes for a nice snug, but flexible fit. Instead of flexible elbow, I should have said adjustable elbow. As the deck moves down, the elbow (the only elbow between the deck and the blower, shows best in the first picture of my post)rotates slightly along one or more of the adjustment bands to compensate. The combination of the foam at the boot and this ability to move at the elbow really works quite well. I hope the description helps, as I can't take any pictures because the equipment is at my cottage in northern Michigan. I will try to get some pictures next time I am there in a couple of weeks. Glen

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Vassal
Glen, thanks for the follow up, it makes sense now. I have a feeling that by the time I get my set up together, all of our leaves will be in my neighbors yard}:) This actually works pretty good since he shreds and bags them up and lets me have as many bags as I want:D

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Architectdave
Here is a pdf of the plans for anyone interested.[url="http://www.simpletractors.com/club2/attach/Architectdave/vac%20trailer%20enclosure.pdf"][img]images/disk.gif[/img][/url]

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HubbardRA
I think I would put the baffle over the mesh vent to prevent leaves from going directly to it, but then let the leaves blow freely out of the input tube. Just my 2 cents.

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Architectdave
I actually removed the baffle and added another screen vent in the top. works pretty well. Only problem is a blew out the old pick up hose with a stick or rock and then blew out the new top hose with the same while using the suction hose.... need to invest in new hoses this winter....I figure my trailer when full holds about 1 cubic yard of debris. Did my final leaf pickup yesterday and total this fall I've done 15 loads give or take a few. Not bad for 35 year old equipment.

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