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How to build a garden strimmer / weed wacker from junk.

I needed a strimmer to cut down the long grass in the garden but I'm currently out of a job and can't afford to buy one, even though they are fairly cheap to buy.

So I had a brain wave, what is a strimmer? a motor with a wire attached and a switch, well I have a sewing machine motor and a switch and some other junk in the garden from the previous owner so I figured I would build one. I may have even uttered those often fatal words "how hard could it be?"

Step 1: What You Need

what you will need

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sewing machine motor, or other high rpm motor that runs on mains voltage

some connector blocks

mains cable and plug

a switch from a microwave

insulation tape

screws

a pipe or other long thing to use as a handle

scrap bit of wood

small dowel or little block of wood about 1 and a half inchs long.

metal bracket


tools
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drill and drill bits

screw driver

wire strippers

Step 2: Testing the Idea

I wired up the sewing machine motor to the mains and through the switch just to make sure it would work correctly, no point in wasting time putting it all together if it's not going to work.

Step 3: Constructing the Head

so now I know the switch and basic circuit work time to start building

using the bracket I secured the motor to the scrap bit of wood.

then I drilled a hole in the top of the scrap bit of broom handle then through the side a smaller hole for a screw to fit in, this will hold the broom scrap to the motor, then at the other end I drilled a hole straight through for the wire to attach to.

i pushed the broom scrap on to the motor spindle then screwed a screw in to the side to hold it in place, there's a handy dip in the motor spindle just for putting a screw in to for holding the pulley for the sewing machine drive belt.

then i pushed 2 bits of wire through the bottom hole of the broom scrap and tied it at both ends close to the broom scrap.

Step 4: Handle and Attaching the Head

now I need to prepare the handle, the problem is that the screws I have are not long enough to go through the handle and in to the scrap of wood far enough so I decided to flatten the handle at one end and bent it a little to be more level and drilled 2 holes in it for the screws to attach to the scrap of wood.

turning my attention back to the head, I attached a cable to the motor connectors and tape it to the scrap of wood, then i can screw the handle to the scrap of wood.

then I tape the cable to the shaft of the handle all the way up to where I will attach the switch from the microwave, which I also tape to the handle in place.

I attach the mains cable to the switch and to the cable that leads to the head and tape the mains cable to the handle to secure it in place.

Step 5: Testing the Final Product of My Labour

so the project is complete, from conception to completion took around one hour.

what else is there to do but test it, see the video below, my partner was filming and was so amazed at what I had created she wasn't watching the camera but it's enough for you to get the idea.



it works reasonably well, I will have to find some thicker more sturdy wire for the cutting head so it cuts better, but other than that it works great.

if you wanted to make your own you could add a safety guard on the back like a normal strimmer but I'm just going to wear long trousers.
Interesting. <br>The line does look a bit floppy but you can see it gets there eventually. <br>There was an idea in the tightwad gazette in which you could cut a three pointed blade from an old bucket lid to make a strimmer work like a brush cutter. <br>We tried it with an old strimmer we had and it did work until the plastic blade hit something a bit too hefty and broke. It might work on your machine too if you can find a way to fix it on. It worked with nettles quite well . <br> You should wear some sort of eye protection with your strimmer, even little bits of grass can get flung up in your face and hurt like anything.
I don't have it now, but its a great Idea

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