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 04-27-2003, 21:32 Post: 53885
BillMullens

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 Building a lawn roller

All,
Any good ideas for making a roller? I have an excellent plastic 55 gallon barrel ,would like to fill it with water for weight. I don't have a convenient way to attach an axle to it; do you think I could run an axle all the way through and seal it well enough that it wouldn't leak much?
Thanks for ideas,
Bill






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 04-27-2003, 22:47 Post: 53886
Southerner



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 Building a lawn roller

Bill
I have had the same thought recently while doing some spring lawn planting. I have access to both steel and plastic drums. I don't think the plastic ones could be of any use other than using them as ballast or weight adders on top of plow units. The idea I had was to take a used 55 gal antifreeze drum. These can be picked up anywhere for a few dollars. Most diesel truck shops are glad to get rid of them. Weld a piece of flat bar or channel on each end. Come up with some type of bearing assy. for each side. using a pair of old bed frame rails make a hitch. It's cheap!
The bed rails probably could be bent by hand and if you don't weld a local shop could do it reasonably cheap
One note of caution: know what was in the drum. I won't weld or cut drums that have had fuel or additives in them. Windshield washer fluid either. It's just not worth it.






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 04-28-2003, 07:43 Post: 53899
TomG

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 Building a lawn roller

In a now ancient discussion in the archives, Roger Loving mentioned making a roller from an old gas hot-water tank. These tanks have a center hole for the burner chimney that he used for an axle. He filled his with concrete, but one might hold water as well. I imagine he removed the tank cover and insulation. I don't know if bearings, bushings or what was used between the tank and axle.






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 04-28-2003, 10:10 Post: 53908
slowrev



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 Building a lawn roller

Pillow block bearings work fine for the roller axles. You can get them many places, Tractor supply, Graingers, etc...

I don't think a plastic barrel would hold up too well. I used an old piece of 18 inch diameter steel pipe, welded plates on both ends with solid axle stubs sticking out, and a 1 inch pipe collar into one end next to the edge to fill and drain. I have mine filled with used oil, it seemed to be a good use for it. Just have to watch going downhill, the beast is heavy and will push you if you let it.
You might also want to put a drum scraper on it, they can just keep getting taller with the dirt sticking to it sometimes.






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 04-28-2003, 19:53 Post: 53934
marklugo



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 Building a lawn roller

Someone please explain to me why anyone wants to resurrect this ancient and completely fruitless Saturday activity. If you cut your grass correctly, you can achieve the same result.






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 04-28-2003, 20:41 Post: 53942
cutter



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 Building a lawn roller

I'm puzzled by that statement. I just finished rolling the rest of my yard, including the new restoration from the water main installation on the highway shoulder. I don't know how mowing "correctly" can press the humps and small stones back into the earth.

My 4' roller has about had it, eight or nine seasons old and it is more flat than round, not to mention a larger one would do a better job on the open flat areas. I was toying with the water heater idea myself.






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 04-28-2003, 22:26 Post: 53951
slowrev



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 Building a lawn roller

Cutter, Mark if from Tifton, GA. No freezing ground down there and better soil. I guess that explains his statement. I used to live in FL. A roller would just sink up in the wet dirty sand Smile Rollers are not needed everywhere.






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 04-29-2003, 07:04 Post: 53965
BillMullens

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 Building a lawn roller

Actually, I'd be using it to smooth and compact freshly landscaped areas and to roll in grass and wildflower seed. Maybe "lawn roller" isn't the right term.
Bill






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 04-29-2003, 08:01 Post: 53970
slowrev



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 Building a lawn roller

Bill,
I think lawn roller is the correct term. There are different sizes, and different uses. I use mine primarially to roll down fill dirt in newly landscaped areas, and in the spring to roll down a couple of rutted up roads. Also good to roll in gravel when the ground is soft. A smaller/lighter roller should work fine for your purpose.






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 04-29-2003, 08:44 Post: 53973
WillieH



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 Building a lawn roller

Bill -

I made several 55 gallon plastic barrel lawn rollers, and much prefer them to any other. a) they are easy to come by, b) they are light weight, so if your relative wants to borrow it, he can merely drain it and literally pick it up and set it in the truck or even trunk for transport, c) if you want to drain it, simple, merely remove a plastic bung cap.

I used 1 inch square steel tubing, cut it welded it with corner reinforcing, for the frame, with two pipe couplings for "axle " bushings. I used two galvanized pipe flanges, as they come with 4 holes, 90 degrees apart from one another, I drilled four more in each. I then used a high grade constuction adhesive on the two mating surfaces, flange back and drum, along with eight 1 1/2 x 3/8 inch hex head wood screws to secure each side. Once secured, I assembled the frame to the drum assembly, using a six inch pipe nipple as an axle for each side. Just place the pipe nipple through the welded on larger pipe coupling at end of frame, screw into mounted pipe flange...voila! Now you have a plastic 55 gallon drum lawn roller.

I have been making these for people for about ten years now, and never had a problem. I placed zerk fittings in the couplings for occasional lube, and water in the barrel.

The neat thing about the plastic...it ain't gonna rust out!
You can put all the calcium in for added weight as you desire. (FYI, with water alone, it will weigh about 500 lbs.)

The desire to roll is quite great, with a lot of rain and snow cover up here in the Northeast, one ends up with considerable mounds from earthworms, moles in the summer, shrews, etc. not to mention the rolling action allows a "setting" of the grass roots brought up from the frost the winter season before. Certainly advantageous up here.

Willie H.






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Discussion Boards > Active Subjects > Messages as Posted > Tractor Implements Forum

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