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2012 - Volume #36, Issue #5, Page #04
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Portable Leaf "Grinder-Blower"

It works twice as fast as most commercial leaf grinders, and grinds material into tiny pieces that make great compost, says Marvin Hechel, Neshkoro, Wis., about the portable leaf grinder-blower he built from scratch.
  A 10 hp engine that belt-drives 2 different home-built cutting mechanisms, as well as a blower fan, powers the machine. The first cutting mechanism is a chopper and the second a hammermill-type grinder.
  The leaves come out of this machine in pieces about the size of oatmeal, says Hechel.
  He uses a home-built trailer to dump leaves into a big pile next to the leaf grinder, and then shovels them into an opening at the top. The leaves fall onto a 3-ft. long, 8-in. wide conveyor belt, which drops them into a chopper equipped with a series of steel blades that rotate on a shaft. The chopper fractures the leaves and also smashes any garden waste that I put in, such as sweet corn stalks, before they reach the grinder, says Hechel.
  The chopper delivers the leaves into the grinder, which consists of a series of 2-in. wide steel plates off an old hay disc mower mounted on another shaft. Hechel drilled 100 1-in. dia. holes into the plates and also welded small metal discs onto them. The plates rotate on the shaft at about 3,000 rpms, and keep shaving the leaves down until the ground-up pieces are small enough to fit through the holes, says Hechel.
  A blower fan then delivers the ground-up leaves through a metal pipe equipped with an adjustable blower spout on top.
  I built it from stuff I already had, and couldnt be happier with it, says Hechel. I spent only about $100. The fan is off an old walk-behind snowblower.
  I built it because I wasnt happy with what was on the market. I had already tried using two different leaf grinders but they were light-duty units and worked too slow. It took about 10 min. to grind a bushel basket of leaves, whereas it now takes me only about 2 min. Also, sometimes chunks 3 or 4 in. long would come through whereas with my machine everything comes out looking like oatmeal.
  Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Marvin Hechel, W423 County Rd. E, Neshkoro, Wis. 54960 (ph 920 293-4731).
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2012 - Volume #36, Issue #5