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Power Mixer Gets Greenhouse Soil Ready Fast And Easy
Jerry Ahern puts away his shovel and wheelbarrow when it comes time to mix up fresh bedding plant soils for his greenhouse. He has an easier way to do it.
  "Every spring since I built my 18 by 28-ft. greenhouse, it's the same old chore of mixing up materials for the beds," he says. "This past spring I decided to make the job easier."
  Ahern started with a 30-gal. fiberglass pressure tank that had a 6-in. crack. He cut out the cracked area, fixed a door to it and installed a set of baffles on a shaft he ran the length of the tank. An old metal bed frame was cut down to make two A-frame supports for the tank. The shaft ends rest on metal V's welded into a notch in the top of the A-frames. A plywood sheet mounted to the four legs helps stabilize the frame and supports a soil collection box.
  He used a couple of pieces of angle iron and shelving brackets to attach a plywood board as a mount for a 1/4 hp motor and a speed reducer.
  "I connected the motor through a speed reducer to the tank," says Ahern. "A V-belt on a 1-in. pulley on the motor drives an arbor with a 5-in. pulley on one end and a 1-in. pulley on the other end. A V-belt runs from the 1-in. pulley up and around the pressure tank to spin it on its shaft. With the speed reducer, the tank revolves at about 60 rpm's."
  By attaching the plywood board by only one side and mounting the motor and speed reducer on the lower side, the weight of the motor maintains tension on the belt. To mix his bedding soils, Ahern simply fills the tank and rotates it for a few minutes. He then stops it so the door is facing down and drops the mixed materials into a collection box. Like the mixer itself, the box is made from materials he had laying around.
  "I cut down an old aluminum shroud from a hot water heater and pop riveted it together for a soil catcher," says Ahern. "This power mixer mixes up my bedding soils quickly and easily," he adds.
  Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Jerry Ahern, Box 605, Elk Point, Alberta, Canada T0A 1A0 (ph 780 724-2472; jerryahern @telus.net).

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2007 - Volume #31, Issue #2