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Attached are some images of my original homebrew vac cart. The impeller fam on this unit is home made and really does a great job. Intake duct is 7" and its suction is powerfull enough to use it as a vac without the aid or assist of the blades onthe mower deck. It hold close to 2 times the amount of the Agri Fab vac cart, and is powered by an 8 hp B&S I/C engine. Frame is a salvaged treadmill frame which was made from some really heavy walled rectangular steel tube which is unusual for a treadmill. The side panels are from a store display. These panels are made of welded wire in grid form with 1/4" round stock wires spaced at roughly 1.25" x 6" spacing on a 1" sq tube frame. Also attached to this frame is a channel that accepts the backboard which is a 5/16" thick plastic material. The front panel is a piece of 1/8" thick aluminum plate with a 6" PVC dishcharge duct entering it. The trailer dumps and has a rear mounted side hinged wire panel door with a mesh type fabric which serves as the exhaust filter outlet. It does a good job of allowing fine dust etc to escape but retains the junk thats sucked up, and does not make a lot of dust.
Inside of thr trailer is a duct with a baffle that allows the heavier stuff to fall towards the front and the lighter stuff to the rear and the air to flow out the back mesh panel. The two vertical tubes on the front portion are for hlding my pitch fork and rake.

It is more than capable of sucking up acorns and pinestraw and pinecones, without clogging. It can be filled to the top and still allows easy dumping of a solid packed cube of collected materials. The Agri-Fab unit has to be emptied befor its too full or it builds up collected debri above the actual dump door opening, and this makes it hard to get all the collected material out without having to fork it out, until you get it down to a level that will pass under the top of the rear door.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
vac cart front

Image of the front of vac cart
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
vac cart fan assembly

Fan housing and engine of vac cart
 

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EX Super Mod
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Another job well done.:clap: :clap: :headclap: :headclap: :dancingfo
Jody
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Images of old alum and new steel fan

I had originally used a cast aluminum fan blade assembly. I sort of figured it would not hold up but tried it anyway. After having a few blades break off from sucking up stones and other junk, I made a new blade out of steel. From looking at other manufacturers fans I found out they did not need to be round at all. Actually the square shape aids in chopping up and pulverizing pine cones and lines even smaller. The back plate is made from chrome moly plate 1/2" thick, and it was machined true. The blades are from chrome moly as well and are 5/16" thick. They were all machined together so they came out exactly the same. The back plate was machined with slots to fit the blades bottom edges into, and the hub was also slotted to fit the blade ends into. This slotting of the hub and backplate made it easy to get the blades at the exact angle and have them held securely until I welded everything up. The fan measures 13 1/2" diagonally across the corners.
I static balanced this fan assemblyand it runs pretty darn smooth.

So far lots of junk from aluminun cans and limbs etc has gone through this fan assembly and it shows no signs of bending or wear. I also use this vac cart which this fan assembly is mounted on to shred up aluminum cans for use in my back yard foundry setup. Faster to shred the cans and then use my log splitter to pack a steel tube form I made with the shredded cans than it is to crush them up. I use a piece of steel rectangular tube 8" x 10" by 16" long, which is placed on the log splitters I beam. I attach a 1" thick steel plate that fits inside the steel tube and place shredded cans in the tube, and then use the splitter to pack them into cubes of shredded cans, which allow little room for critters to live in and liquid to escape, and they satck for easy compact storage. Shredding them allows any liquid contents to dry out, as liquids of any type is not good whn it comes to molten metals. To shred all I do is use a short section of intake hose and literally suck up the cans out of a trash can, they get shredded and wind up in the enclosed trailer. I then place the trailer next to the log splitter and start making cubes of shredded cans. Entire operation is pretty simple and goes by quickly. This way I get more use out opf it as just a lawn vac cart.
 

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I always enjoy seeing shop-built and rebuilt equipment. I do lots of it myself and like to see other folks ideas. Thanks for sharing the pix......
 

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:truth:
Chipmaker,
You are a extremely talented individual. Are you sure you don't want to come spend a couple of weeks this winter. (subliminal message BRING YOUR WELDER subliminal message) And enjoy this winter wonderland.
:smiles:
 

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Just wondering Chipmaker, how much a fan like that would cost to manufacture? I also was thinking about a fan with slots cut in the end of the blade to be able to pulverize leaves. Do you think slots would work and if so do you think it would still hold up?
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Originally posted by amicks
Just wondering Chipmaker, how much a fan like that would cost to manufacture? I also was thinking about a fan with slots cut in the end of the blade to be able to pulverize leaves. Do you think slots would work and if so do you think it would still hold up?
I have no idea on how much it would cost to manufacture the fan impeller I made. Its not all complicated, and i have maybe 3 or so hours on it. If I was to do it again I would make it with three fixed blades, and three blades with flails attached. or possibly attach flails between maybe the four blades, similar to how Agri Fab makes theirs. One thing about my fan is its got a lot of meat, adds some kinetic energy to the motor, and is beefy enough to withstand anything that it may suck up into it, and also enough material on it to be able to repair it easy enough if it gets worn. I would think notches onthe ends of the blades would clog up with fibers in leaves and grass etc.

I had priced a replacement fan from Trac Vac and a similar sized fan would cost close to $289.00
and it was made out of 11 or 10 ga material with about a 3/16" back plate. If you figure in the price of materials (less than $20.00 if you shop around and buy drops etc, and figure maybe $40.00 an hour for machine shop wages for 3 hours your looking at less than $150.00 so its still well under what a new factory made unit is priced at, and its considerably better IMHO. Just carefull attention to machining of the items, and laying on uniform beads will put it as close as or closer than most factory units from what I have found out, so its possible to make one and not balance it if care is taken during fabrication.

A four bladed fan creates more suction and air flow than the 6 bladed ones do, but the 6 bladed fans are a lot quieter. I usually wear headphones and listen to the radio or a CD so noise is not really a concern for me, besides I'm already more than half deaf already.
 

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Just make sure that that fan is well balanced!! If not, their goes the engine and spindle bearings. I learned that by visiting peerless pumps on a business trip. If the blade isn't balanced really well, it will wobble and create problems with the engine and spindles.
 

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An A/C unit pull behind for the hot days.... well, that's what it looks like. Awesome job. I've been thinking about doing something myself too, just not ready yet. Thanks for sharing.
 
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