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Re: Getting Rid of Live Oak Leaves?

Posted: Wed May 15, 2019 6:23 pm
by liveaboard
Too many things get stuck; other things aren't picked up, and some fly over the back of the basket.
A friend [who also build things] suggested I rotate in the opposite direction [so the tines sweep forward instead of back] and have a half tube to direct the lifted waste into the basket.
I mean to try that someday.
I also need to change the gearing, at the moment with the engine at idle it spins too fast.
Mostly what I need to collect are twigs and small branches cut from the hedge. I can mulch up any leftover leaves with the mower / brush cutter.
The hedge is 10' high, 10' wide, and 450 yards long. So there is some debris.

Re: Getting Rid of Live Oak Leaves?

Posted: Wed May 15, 2019 11:23 pm
by spro
I watched your vid and it was remarkable. You clearly have all the adjustments right to accomplish. The idea of having the tangs lifting , makes some sense because , because you can reverse the PTO direction or belts (and fasteners as required). It would certainly be more aggressive in lifting the small twigs, branches . The "half tube" could be a fabricated shield, rolled or flared at the entry. The question is how to keep the twigs from moving forward . I know this has been done before with farm tractor implements.. A one-way gate of sorts which contains the twigs from ejecting forward .

Re: Getting Rid of Live Oak Leaves?

Posted: Thu May 16, 2019 1:53 am
by Harold_V
I'm in to such things myself.
When Susan and I decided that we'd erect our shop and house ourselves, one of the issues we faced was how we'd handle the blocks from which both structures were built. They're a leave-in-place foam block, but they're relatively heavy due to their type of construction. For those who may have an interest, they're blocks made under two different names, one being Ener-Grid, the other Rastra. Their concept is to make the block from recycled polystyrene bead, chipped, and rebonded with Portland cement. They are fire-proof, and have an excellent R value. Easy to work with, cuts being made with a dry electric chainsaw and a cutting jig to keep the cuts straight.

We started with Ener'Grid (for the shop), and their blocks were 10' long. Being 10" thick, and 15" tall, weighing in at about 100 pounds each. No big deal when working at ground level, but as the structure grew taller, we had to be able to lift the blocks, thread them over existing rebar (every 15"), at which time they were glued in place. The shop has a 12 ceiling, and we worked from rough ground, with scaffolding on the inside, on which we'd stand to do the gluing and other necessary work (like installing pipe and conduit).

The house is a two story, and we used Rastra. Rastra is made the same way, and with the same dimensions, aside from length, but they were only 7½' long. We still had to place them the same way, and reach a lot higher.

We own a small, old Kubota tractor. It's a 6100 series, with a loader on the front. I removed the bucket, and in it's place I built and installed a boom. The boom was fitted with a pulley at the top, and a boat winch and cable in front of the steering wheel, mounted on the loader frame. We could lower the boom to ground level, where we'd attach the block with chain. The winch and cable allowed for raising and lower the block once in position. It was operated from the driver seat with ease. To travel, I'd simply raise the boom until the block settled against it, near the bottom, where the boom was wide enough to support it well.

When the shop was finished, I then added an extension to the boom that allowed me to place the trusses, picking them up by the top chord.

Lots of ways to skin a cat. You just have to be creative.


Re: Getting Rid of Live Oak Leaves?

Posted: Thu May 16, 2019 8:54 am
by liveaboard
Cool job, Harold;
The moderate weights are often the ones that get us into trouble, due to the temptation to lift by hand.
My motto; "Just say no to heavy lifting"

Sliding further off topic, I have no doubt one of you can help me with this;
I need to make new reciprocating blade bars for my hedge trimmer. ... 4&t=103174

Despite working with tons and tons of steel, I don't know much about it.
So I need to order flat strips, and they will slide on each other. If they're flat, a little grease will keep everything good.
I need a hard grade of steel, but drillable [48 blades will be riveted on].
Am I looking for 'drawn' or 'cold rolled', or surface ground?
I suppose the last must be best, but is probably to expensive.


There will be 2 1.8 meter [6'] blade assembles that slide against each other in a scissoring manner. The steel backs will be separated by the thickness of the blades, probably around 1/4"
I'll know when I get the blades.
Conceivably, a layer of something with low friction and high wear resistance could go in the gap.Or a third steel strip.
Any ideas?
I do not have a milling machine.

Re: Getting Rid of Live Oak Leaves?

Posted: Thu May 16, 2019 10:42 am
by SteveHGraham
Here is my theory on the leaf-gathering problem. Your tines have a crazy-high linear speed, because of the speed of rotation and their length. Maybe you need to shorten them, in addition to reducing the RPM's.

I don't think tines are the best way to go, because they hold onto things instead of ejecting them into the bin. A brush will work surprisingly well, even on sticks. I think sweepers have helical brushes because a straight brush would whump against the ground on every rotation.

My lawn sweeper has a brush that turns just like yours, "climb cutting." If I go over the speed of a brisk walk, it will through leaves over the back of the machine. I would say the brush sticks out about 4" from the axle, so the diameter is a lot less than what you're working with.

Re: Getting Rid of Live Oak Leaves?

Posted: Fri May 17, 2019 9:36 am
by spro
Thatchers are aggressive.

Re: Getting Rid of Live Oak Leaves?

Posted: Sat May 18, 2019 2:18 am
by spro
Okay. DeThatcher. Margaret Thatcher is stellar and aggressive but not what we are talking through. I was thinking about the larger types dethatchers for Liveaboards heavy tractor. They too are very aggressive and tear out the vines coating a lawn with invasives like crab grass and worse. So the idea is to have or construct a similar unit which lifts and propels the waste to a cart. All in all, this has been done with certain farm tractor implements. They may have been pulling potatoes, onions or something but the framework is there to explore .