Weed slashing train

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ge_rik
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Weed slashing train

Post by ge_rik » Thu Jun 27, 2024 2:33 pm

Greg alerted me to this ..... Clever idea





I was wondering, though, if the horizontal strimmer should precede the vertical strimmer - to clear the track of debris. Maybe he tried that and it didn't work so well

Rik
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Re: Weed slashing train

Post by philipy » Thu Jun 27, 2024 3:47 pm

That is brilliant, absolutely phenominal!
Wonder how it would do with my overgrown lonicera and heathers?

Rik, I'd have thought that a third vehicle with a blower, possibly behind the loco, would do a better job of clearing debris?
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Re: Weed slashing train

Post by Ianm » Thu Jun 27, 2024 3:58 pm

I saw this on Youtube a week or so ago. I was so inspired that I have ordered a shaft, bevel gears, and bearings to put one together. Still wondering whether to make up a frame in mecanno or sheet metal. Probably go with mecanno for a prototype. :dontknow:

I have a 24v scooter motor to try with it, hoping it won't hurl the beast off the rails when it starts using a lawn strimmer battery. :roll:

If it gets built I'll post some pictures and perhaps a video - possibly of its self destruction🫑
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Re: Weed slashing train

Post by ge_rik » Fri Jun 28, 2024 8:01 am

I bought a cheap 18v battery strimmer on ebay last year for around Β£30. It works surprisingly well. I notice there are some cheaper (3.7v) ones now available which could maybe form the basis for one of these - https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/315478015216

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Re: Weed slashing train

Post by Old Man Aaron » Sat Jun 29, 2024 1:19 pm

I may or may not have a dismantled battery whipper-snipper (strimmer) waiting in my cupboard for the past three years. :lol:
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Re: Weed slashing train

Post by Melbournesparks » Sat Jun 29, 2024 2:27 pm

ge_rik wrote: ↑Thu Jun 27, 2024 2:33 pm Greg alerted me to this ..... Clever idea





I was wondering, though, if the horizontal strimmer should precede the vertical strimmer - to clear the track of debris. Maybe he tried that and it didn't work so well

Rik
This was the most reliable configuration, the vertical cutter chops off the fern fronds and stuff that overhang the track then they get mulched.
philipy wrote: ↑Thu Jun 27, 2024 3:47 pm That is brilliant, absolutely phenominal!
Wonder how it would do with my overgrown lonicera and heathers?

Rik, I'd have thought that a third vehicle with a blower, possibly behind the loco, would do a better job of clearing debris?
This has been a common suggestion, but the short answer is that it doesn't actually work that well, and also just isn't needed.

What is missing here that's normally part of the maintenance train is the tank wagon with soapy water in it to wash all the plant juice off the rails.
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Re: Weed slashing train

Post by ge_rik » Sat Jun 29, 2024 3:46 pm

Melbournesparks wrote: ↑Sat Jun 29, 2024 2:27 pm
ge_rik wrote: ↑Thu Jun 27, 2024 2:33 pm I was wondering, though, if the horizontal strimmer should precede the vertical strimmer - to clear the track of debris.
This was the most reliable configuration, the vertical cutter chops off the fern fronds and stuff that overhang the track then they get mulched.
:thumbleft:

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Re: Weed slashing train

Post by Ianm » Tue Jul 09, 2024 7:48 pm

I couldn't resist a WIRL version of Melbournesparks weed slasher. So a few bits from evil bay and similar, a dig in the bits box, and a few hours (8 hours or so) with the 3D printer, an hour or three on the Myford, and the WIRL PWD monster is born. The video should be live about 20:15 this evening showing the first run of the prototype.



https://youtu.be/V00dOf-uybo

Some work still to do to pretty it up, but it coped with the yellow something that covers the track at the start of the incline curve, and also sorted out a bit of overhanging Box hedge at the fire pit curve. :D
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Re: Weed slashing train

Post by ge_rik » Wed Jul 10, 2024 8:28 am

Looks promising. I see Melbourne Sparks put a cover over his, presumably to protect the mechanism from the debris. If it was extended backwards, it could maybe also protect the loco... ??

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Re: Weed slashing train

Post by FWLR » Thu Jul 11, 2024 9:38 am

ge_rik wrote: ↑Thu Jun 27, 2024 2:33 pm Greg alerted me to this ..... Clever idea





I was wondering, though, if the horizontal strimmer should precede the vertical strimmer - to clear the track of debris. Maybe he tried that and it didn't work so well

Rik
I think that is just a brilliant machine for clearing weeds and overhangs from flowers and the like.

Would save Anne a load of weekly work in the growing season.. :lol :lol

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Re: Weed slashing train

Post by Melbournesparks » Thu Jul 11, 2024 10:13 am

Ianm wrote: ↑Tue Jul 09, 2024 7:48 pm I couldn't resist a WIRL version of Melbournesparks weed slasher. So a few bits from evil bay and similar, a dig in the bits box, and a few hours (8 hours or so) with the 3D printer, an hour or three on the Myford, and the WIRL PWD monster is born. The video should be live about 20:15 this evening showing the first run of the prototype.



https://youtu.be/V00dOf-uybo

Some work still to do to pretty it up, but it coped with the yellow something that covers the track at the start of the incline curve, and also sorted out a bit of overhanging Box hedge at the fire pit curve. :D
That's way better engineered than mine! Using proper gears and bearings is definitely the way to go, my 3D printed gears are visibly worn after only about three trips over the line. Using the whipper snipper line instead of the metal blades is something I've been meaning to implement as well, less likely to break the gears if you hit something solid like a big stick.
ge_rik wrote: ↑Wed Jul 10, 2024 8:28 am Looks promising. I see Melbourne Sparks put a cover over his, presumably to protect the mechanism from the debris. If it was extended backwards, it could maybe also protect the loco... ??

Rik
Probably a good idea, the wet plant juice is difficult to clean. The long term plan is to build a dedicated self powered unit that does all the weed clearing jobs and is built for the purpose and easy cleaning in mind.
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Re: Weed slashing train

Post by Ianm » Thu Jul 11, 2024 1:26 pm

Thanks for the comment - I am flattered that you approve the engineering :salute:

The bevel gears were a revelation - Β£10 for the pair - they are much better engineered than I expected at that price. And the pair of bearing blocks (Β£16 for the pair) and 8mm silver steel axle all ordered and delivered in less than a week.

Looking at the 3d printing, the design took a couple of hours in Sketch-up for the motor and bearing mounting block took about 12 hours and the battery holder another 3 hours - but fairly painless.

Currently working on a skirt to keep the trash off the wheels (a bit) and then to make a cover. Updates to follow.

I don’t think I will need the horizontal slasher as the track is mostly on a filcris ladder with roofing felt so, hopefully the vegetation will not grow through it. I am leaning towards a rail mounted fan and ducting to clear debris in the non too distant future. :study:
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Re: Weed slashing train

Post by philipy » Thu Jul 11, 2024 1:33 pm

All looking very impressive Ian, I'm watching with interest. Do you think your strimmer filament cutters would cope with heather? I have it along several feet of my track where it isn't very easy to get to.
Philip

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Re: Weed slashing train

Post by Ianm » Thu Jul 11, 2024 6:55 pm

Hi Philip

I think the strimmer cord would cope (short of woody stems) but not sure the slasher would stay on the track if the load was unbalanced left to right. I trimmed round my track with a normal strimmer a few weeks ago and plan to use the WIRL Monster each week to keep the vegetation back (including the winter months as the For-get-me-nots and primroses grow and completely cover the PW :evil: )

Further trial updates to follow - rainy days permitting :sunny:
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