Leaf Blowout Cure

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Richard Martin, Oct 28, 2000.

  1. Richard Martin

    Richard Martin LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 14,700

    If anyone is interested I have come up with a baffle that virtually eliminates leaf blowout. There will still be blowout when going over hard surfaces but it works very well on grass. I was going to patent it and sell it but here it is for free. Enjoy.

    P.S. It leaves incredible stripes.

    1: You will need access to a sheet metal brake to make a nice one or you can bend it in a door frame.

    2: You will need a roll of coil stock (flashing). This can be purchased anywhere building supplies are sold. The heavier the better.

    3: Measure the distance between the front caster mounts on your mower deck.

    4: Subtract 1" from this measurement (for play).

    5: Cut a piece of coil stock to this length.

    6: Now you need to bend your coil stock. Click here to download a drawing of the bends. http://users.aol.com/rmartin631/baffle/

    7: The distance the baffle extends under the deck should be to the tips of the blades.

    8: You can either bolt the baffle to the deck or you can use Velcro. Tape does not hold long. The baffle mounts between the caster mounts (duh).
     
  2. gorrell

    gorrell LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 536

    Richard, wouldn't a piece of heavy rubber belting serve the same purpose and wouldn't bend if you had to back up. Just a thought. Lynn
     
  3. BRL

    BRL LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,211

    It seems to me that something like that would push the leaves in front of the deck (kind of like a mini leaf plow), instead of allow the leaves to be sucked in. What am I missing with this idea? Thanks.
     
  4. Eric ELM

    Eric ELM Husband, Father, Friend, Angel
    Posts: 4,831

    BRL, I was thinking the same thing. If I am mulching leaves that are over 3" deep and have the deck set at 2 1/2", I push leaves as it is now, so naturally I lift the deck up high the first time over them. It might be fine if you are doing an area that didn't have many leaves. That is where you have most of the leaf blow out in the first place. But as Lynn said, what happens when you back up and hit a high spot or even if you have a high spot going forward. Won't this get all bent up?
     
  5. John DiMartino

    John DiMartino LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,555

    I get a pile in frony as it is sometimes,this would make it worse,it seems.It would probably work great in grass.
     
  6. TLS

    TLS LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 7,937

    Why not use rubber around the side and rear and loop maybe 3" around the front. THEN in the frony (front) do the opposite of Rich and angle a metal piece upward on the same angle as Rich to act like a scoop to scoop that deep pile of leaves down low enough to get sucked under? Always thought of that, as all that happens now is that it turns into a 60" leaf plow.

    Did I make any sense?

     
  7. Richard Martin

    Richard Martin LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 14,700

    gorrell wrote:

    <b><i>Richard, wouldn't a piece of heavy rubber belting serve the same purpose </b></i>

    Probably not, you can adjust the angle of the baffle to compensate for different thickness of leaves. The belting would probably act as a plow.

    BRL wrote:

    <b><i>It seems to me that something like that would push the leaves in front of the deck (kind of like a mini leaf plow), instead of allow the leaves to be sucked in. What am I missing with this idea? Thanks. </b></i>

    No, it does no worse at plowing leaves than a deck without the baffle. In fact it may possibly reduce plowing because depending on how high you start the bend you can actually increase the height of the front of the mower. Once the leaves start under the baffle they just continue into the mulching/cutting chamber.

    ERIC ELM wrote:

    <b><i>But as Lynn said, what happens when you back up and hit a high spot or even if you have a high spot going forward. Won't this get all bent up?</b></i>

    What are you doing going backwards :) Seriously though, I have had mine on for 2 weeks now and have not had any problems going backwards or forwards. It does get little bends in it but since it is only coil stock (flashing) it is very easy to bend back. It has never come out from under the machine or gotten caught on anything. Also, since the cost to make one of these is so small (50 cents or so) and the benefit so large even if you had to replace it once a week (attach it with Velcro, change it in seconds) it would still be worth the effort.

    John DiMartino wrote:

    <b><i>It would probably work great in grass</b></i>

    It works excellant in grass. It's kinda pointless to mulch leaves anywhere else.

    Dixie 1 wrote:

    <b><i>. THEN in the frony (front) do the opposite of Rich and angle a metal piece upward on the same angle as Rich to act like a scoop to scoop that deep pile of leaves down low enough to get sucked under? Always thought of that, as all that happens now is that it turns into a 60" leaf plow.

    Did I make any sense? </b></i>

    Nice addition to the baffle. With a pop rivet gun you can attach a piece to the baffle to extend it out the front. I will be doing this to my new ones. Yes, it makes sense. I will change the drawing to reflect the additional piece.
    Thanks Dixie 1

     
  8. BRL

    BRL LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,211

    What Dixie said (made sense to me somehow!) is more along the lines of what I was thinking I would do with a piece of flashing. I haven't had much of a problem with blowout, but in the thick leaves, the deck is plowing a lot of them. Great idea that I think I will experiment with.
     
  9. Richard Martin

    Richard Martin LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 14,700

    I understood what Dixie 1 was saying but you also have to remember what this baffle was designed for. It was designed primarily for mowers that are mulching leaves and are having problems with leaf blowout. Hence the title of the thread "Leaf Blowout Cure". My Exmark 36 with the mulching kit installed was blowing more leaves away from the deck (never mind sucking them in, it wasn't happening) than were going under the deck. With the baffle installed all that gets away is the occassional leaf, maybe 1 in 500 or so.

    One of the advantages of using the mulch kit is it reduces or eliminates the windrowing effect that Eric and others are talking about. It does this because the mulching kit creates an individual cutting chamber around each blade and it does not pass debris from one blade to another. This eliminates having all of the debris end up on the right hand side of the deck and leaving a windrow there.

    The disadvantage to the individual cutting chamber (on Exmarks anyway) is that in order for leaves or grass to get into the chamber easily the front of the chamber is raised about 3/4 on an inch just like the mower deck is. Since all blades have lift to them they suck up air as well as leaves and grass. Well this air has to go somewhere and it follows the path of least resistance which just so happens to be at the raised portion of the chamber/deck which is exactly where you don't want it. There is no leaf suckup when you have the mulching kit installed. You end up with a severe leaf blowout.

    The baffle doesn't keep the air from coming out of the chamber but it does keep it from coming out from under the deck and scattering leaves around.
     
  10. jeffex

    jeffex LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,933

    I'm going to try your invention. I have several
    ideas that have come from the lawn business.
    last winter i got my feet wet at trying to sell
    them to companies. whoever said if you build a
    better mouse trap the world will beat your door
    down is crazy. this winter i'm going to give
    it another try. One of my customers happens to
    be a patent agent and gave me a few tips. i have
    a company in mind for you to try and sell your
    idea too. e-mail me at jeffex11@aol.com
     

Share This Page