Introduction: Leaf Vacuum Extension Using a Leaf Blower

Picture of Leaf Vacuum Extension Using a Leaf Blower

Problem:  I have gutters that are on the roof of a two story house and even with a ladder, maneuvering to them to clean out leaves is precarious.  Here I present my solution.  I've taken my leaf blower/vacuum and grafted on a flexible "gutter extender."  In all this extends the reach of the vacuum to 7 feet.  I have attached a broom handle to the end to help maneuver the top and I put a 90 degree bend to help position the vacuum into the gutter.  The materials are wide enough that leaves don't clog it.  The total cost for new materials was $15.90.  12.49 for the Flex-A-Spout Downspout and 4.39 for the 90 degree bend.  Here's how it's made.

Step 1: Attach the Flex-A-Spout Into the End of the Leaf Vaccum

Picture of Attach the Flex-A-Spout Into the End of the Leaf Vaccum

I cut the square end off the vacuum and then drilled a hole to fit a bolt going outwards.  I put washers inside and outside and fixed it with a nut.  I wrapped some weatherstripping around the Flex-A-Spout to make a tight seal.  I drilled a hole in the leaf vacuum and then fixed it all together.  There is enough play to get the bolt to go in easily.  Then I wrapped three layers of duct tape to make sure it is a solid connection.  When I don't need the extension, I just remove the duct tape and unscrew the bolt.

Step 2: Attach the 90 Degree Bend and the Control Stick

Picture of Attach the 90 Degree Bend and the Control Stick

The 90 degree bend goes in the end of the extender.  Then I used a wire hanger to fasten to the end of the spout.  I then stapled the hanger to a broom handle and put duct tape around that to increase the strength.

Step 3: Drank a Beer

Picture of Drank a Beer

It's thirsty work.  This step is optional.

Step 4: The Grunambuloover in Action

Picture of The Grunambuloover in Action

This is a picture of the unit cleaning out a low level gutter.  The real beauty is when you are cleaning out the upper stories.  I find that i can still use the unit to pick up leaves on the ground too and in some ways, having the extension makes that job easier.  But I can take the extension off in about a minute if need be.

Comments

NirL (author)2015-09-23

What would happen if you attached the leaf blower to the bottom side of the gutter? :)

Mountainman 1840 (author)2015-09-22

Looks great! But why celebrate such a great idea with an ipa?

howest525 (author)2013-11-27

That's a clever idea! Nice to see more of the stuff from your site on here.

rosewood513 (author)2013-10-28

Thanks that is how I did it except for the broom handle I like they way you did it.
Now I know it will work. Thanks for the video.

balisticsquirel (author)2013-10-20

Great!
dUCT tape getting in a shot at the original use. :)

andyrak (author)2013-10-09

Great idea. I've had neighbors doing all kinds of wonky and sometimes unsafe maneuvering to get the leaves out.

I was thinking that perhaps some dryer vent hose with it's end supported by the telescopic painters pole (very light but strong) might be helpful for a design like this as well.

and earplugs for when the motor is on the shoulder lol...

love it!

Grunambulax (author)andyrak2013-10-13

I thought about that and looked at it but in the end feared the sharps it might pick up would shred the plastic. It would be interesting to try so let me know if you do.

I originally thought this up during a recent storm/flood where I had to go on a ladder to clear a gutter that was clogged and flowing into my sons (newly painted) room.

plasMad62 (author)2013-10-10

Nice. I've been doing this for the past 10 years with a Rigid 6 Hp shop vac. Used my snow roof rake 15 foot handle. Duct taped the vac hose to this ( Fred Green would be proud) and fashioned a goose neck from a section of my plastic dust collection piping and voila vacuuming leaves from my hard to reach eavestrough.

Grunambulax (author)plasMad622013-10-13

Good design. Like the goose neck idea. My shop vac was lower Hp and when I first tried this I used 1 inch PVC pipe and that could suck up mats, which wasn't bad, but could not slurp them down. I'd think your rig would do the job well.

boffincentral (author)2013-10-08

If I could make a suggestion.

There is a similar commercial product and it has a U shaped piece at the end that goes in the guttering. That will make it a little easier to use, and the machine a lot further away from your ears.

Good suggestion. I always use ear protectors when using this because of the noise.

I just found the item I was referring to. It is a kit for blowers from Stihl for cleaning gutters. Here's a link to a pic: http://www.villagemowers.com.au/images/S-BG55-US-E019_p.png?osCsid=1b210cf744f7e4a660b3d97e6e60b894

Bubbler (author)2013-10-08

A brilliant idea, well done. If I make one of these, I will add a mirror of some sort, (car rear view or one of those round shaving mirrors that magnify on one side) to see if I have really cleared away the most stubborn of leaves.

Grunambulax (author)Bubbler2013-10-09

I like it. Great idea. You get some feedback by feeling the clumps of leaves shooting down the chute. But a visual inspection would help. I've seen mirrors on telescoping antennae. Maybe that's the ticket?

trouble01 (author)2013-10-09

we needs videos from...

Tin Man (author)2013-10-09

Would it be a good idea to have the slurping device hung from a back-pack arrangement, then your arms only have to lift the tube?
I'm getting a bit too old to carry that sort of weight on one arm. Having never been an outside-broadcast TV camera-man, my poor under-developed upper torso would fail in a very short time!

Grunambulax (author)2013-10-08

Hi rosewood513, make sure you get the Doggy Style Pale Ale piece. Though optional, it really completes the project.

dkkim (author)2013-10-08

Niiiiice!!! I say this just having spent a bunch of time on roofs and ladders.
Wonder if it would work with a shopvac (either vacuuming or blowing).

rickdf (author)2013-10-08

I have this exact problem too. Super idea, making one this weekend. Thanks!

Grunambulax (author)rickdf2013-10-08

Hi Rickdf - I'm happy to hear it! I'm modifying my design slightly. I'm putting a screw-eye bolt in the bottom and then a screw eye in the end of the rod and connecting them with a zip tie. I've found that this makes it more maneuverable. I'll post a picture. I guess I should also post a picture of how the Flex-A-Spout maintains its bend angle... kind of like a gigantic bendy straw.

rickdf (author)Grunambulax2013-10-08

Great idea. I just stopped on my way home and picked up the supplies I need. I have some of those eyebolts so I'll sure be interested in seeing how you do it but I can picture how that would work. Thanks again.

Ricardo Furioso (author)2013-10-08

Great work.
And easy to attach to a shop vac.
And you can connect several of those goofy Flex-A-Spouts together.
Probably with screws as well.
Thank you.

Yes indeed. One of the things I like about the Flex-A-Spout is that they kind of hold their shape so when I'm doing the second story I can bend it so that it is more like a U while if I do the lowers I bend it at 45 degrees.

mstyle183 (author)2013-10-07

Great idea!!

Grunambulax (author)mstyle1832013-10-07

Thanks! I love your Atavar!

lonesoulsurfer (author)2013-10-06

Genius!

Thanks Lonesoulsurfer. I was particularly partial to the beer step.

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