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Duh_Vinci
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Leaf Shredder DIY?

I guess this is the right section since shedding leafs is compost related? :lol:

Been looking for leaf shredder, but seems like anything under $300-400 is a cheap, poor ratings units, and I don't want to just through away few hundred dollars.

One of my weeders has interchangeable attachment arm, where I can turn the weed eater in any direction. So by looking at "their" cheap shredder design, do you think something like this will work?

[img]http://drphotography.smugmug.com/photos/1193355754_SmqDV-O.jpg[/img]

Say a plastic trash can, I can secure 3 or 4 legs, cut out the bottom hole and make some kind of "tripod" mount for the weeder, so it sits firmly on the ground, and the spinning part just inside the trash can? I have multiple cutting attachments for it from basic line to thick, sturdy plastic swing arms that would cut through tough brush as well?

Any suggestions are greatly appreciated!

Regards,
D

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Kisal
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I'd certainly put a nice, secure, sturdy lid on the thing. Otherwise, it would be like running a food chopper with the lid off. :lol:
"Isn't it enough to see that a garden is beautiful without having to believe that there are fairies at the bottom of it too?" - Douglas Adams

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Duh_Vinci
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No kidding! Leaf splatter allover the place ... Good thing most trashcan supplied with the lid :lol:

I figured the investment is minimal, $12 from Walmart, and use leftover conduit pole pieces for the legs...

Regards,
D

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applestar
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Power tools is not my department, but I think most people just run their lawn mower over a pile of leaves, DV.

I'm torn between wanting a little electric chipper shredder and spending the money on a pressure canner. :lol:

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Kisal
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applestar wrote:... but I think most people just run their lawn mower over a pile of leaves, DV.
That's what I always did. Worked fine for me. :)

I kinda always wanted a little chipper, though, something that would take branches up to and inch or so, so it would handle the prunings from my trees and shrubs.
"Isn't it enough to see that a garden is beautiful without having to believe that there are fairies at the bottom of it too?" - Douglas Adams

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Duh_Vinci
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Oh no, don't get me wrong, I do run over whatever leafs I have on the property with the lawnmower, I do have dual bagger attachment and a set of "pick-up" blades on it. But I don't have enough leafs on the open grounds to collect for the compost.

For leafs, I have to take a trip to the woods a the bottom of the property. I just thought it would be easier to pull a p/u truck down there, set up the shredder and go at it, bag the shredded leafs, load back on the truck and run up the hill to the garden.

Lawnmower just can't get around those trees down in the woods, that's why I was thinking about making something like that... And as kisal mentioned, I want to be able to shred the twigs and small branches, light duty $90-$160 shredder can't handle, but I know the plastic blades of the weeder can.

Regards,
D

toxcrusadr
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Not knowing what kind of weed whacker you have, it's hard to say how much brush it could handle. One thing you'll have to deal with - more with sticks but also with leaves - is keeping everything securely in place. You might want to secure the handle end of the machine to the ground or some solid object like a cement block. And fasten the shaft to the side of your trash can where they touch. You don't want things flopping around.

Using the machine upside down could cause a lot of excess dust which might be a problem if it's an electric one, where the motor and its cooling airflow is on that end of the machine. If it's a gas model the motor is safely at the other end.
Last edited by toxcrusadr on Tue Feb 22, 2011 7:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Tox

DoubleDogFarm
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I would do a simple test. Secure the garbage can and fill halfway with leaves. Now put the trimmer head in the can and fill the rest of the way. Start up your line trimmer. The test here is to see if the clutch will engage or kill the engine. May not have the torque to start in wet leaves and you will definitely shorten the life of the clutch and engine.

Eric

toxcrusadr
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Actually that's the way some people weed whack their leaves - put some in a trash can and plunge the machine in and out. When they get chopped up enough, add some more on top and continue.

I've also seen a DIY chipper shredder made from an old lawn mower, set up on a stand, with the side chute blocked so the stuff goes down and a hole cut in the top of the deck for an infeed. According to the maker, it worked pretty well on sticks, and they fashioned a hopper to feed leaves in.

I hope you're being careful with this - DIY is great but don't lose an eye.
Tox

DoubleDogFarm
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Actually that's the way some people weed whack their leaves - put some in a trash can and plunge the machine in and out. When they get chopped up enough, add some more on top and continue.
Yes, but you are already throttled up and working down through the leaves. If he starts with a empty can with trimmer head spinning and gradually added leaves it may work.

Eric

gros michel
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I've tried just about everything and even have a gas powered shredder. I find the most efficient , especially in the fall when I start my new pile and am inundated with oak and maple leaves to use for the browns is piling them up and running the mower without a bag over them. During the course of the next year I'll add kitchen scraps as well as occaisionally bagging the grass and adding it to the pile. Of course most of the previous years vegetable waste and seaweed( I fish a lot at the beach in the fall so it's convenient) go into the pile to start the initial heating. It works very well.

gardenvt
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We have a lot of leaves every fall in our back yard. We use a Black & Decker leaf blower/vacuum/mulcher/shredder. It works great and I can save as many bags of mulched leaves as I might want for the following year. I think we paid about $60 5-6 years ago at home depot. It still works great.

I use some of the shredded leaves as mulch in some areas of the yard. No weeds come up under a few years of that stacked mulch but when you dig under, it smells like earth ought to.

bosaw
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You are on the right track, my cousin is building a cob home and for a finishing coat of cob, he put the straw in a 5 gallon bucket and uses a weed eater on it. Works well. Makes a finer coating of cob.

a0c8c
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If you have a gas weeder, then you might run into some problems. Running the weeder upside down like that is not advised at all. The carbuerator has a lot harder time pushing the gas/oil mixture wearing it out faster and it can cause leaks upside down. Not all weeders work so well upside down. I actually think an electric weeder would be better for that, as it works the same regardless of which way it's facing and won't have any potential leaks. They're of course, no where near as strong though.

I honestly, have never shreded my leaves before putting them in the compost, just grass clippings(courtesy of my mulching mower). Maybe that's why my compost is a little slow.
Home Gardener from Austin, TX; by way of Iowa.

DoubleDogFarm
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Not all weeders work so well upside down
I will just add this. If your gas line trimmer changes RPMs or runs erratic upside down, you most likely have bad crank seals or air intake somewhere. With the 10% ethanol, carburetors and fuel lines are repaired more often. If we go to 15% look out!

Eric,
aka Ellison Repair

rot
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mower works for me

..
I like the mower option too.

When I do get leaves, I get 'em on the lawn and the mower chops 'em up and mixes them well with the grass clippings.

Maybe when I get the chipper working again, I'll revise that with regards to the avocado leaves.

two cents
..

capricorn116
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Did it work?

Did you ever build this thing?

I had the same idea. A Flowtron is great, but my used one burned out last year. I don't have the coin to buy a new one, but I do have my old weed eater. I wondered if I could get by with the weed eater and a plastic barrel or modified plastic bucket.

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