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Discussion Starter #1
Has anyone here built a power sweeper? I have a single stage Honda and a tracked 2 stage as well. But I have a great metal fabrication shop and have been thinking about building a power sweeper. Anyone else pondering this, or attempted it?

Looks relatively straight forward. I've owned dozens of snowblowers in my life, but never a sweeper. We get a lot of snow days here too small for the two stage and even the single stage. What would be the desired features of a machine if you were buying one? The Princess Auto one even has the downloadable parts manual online so that's a big help already.

A big consideration for me would be availability of replacement brushes, so I would design around whatever is the most popular and available up here in Calgary. Haven't done much research yet but I do see people with Gravely and Princess Auto brands, so assume the replacement brushes are available.

https://www.princessauto.com/en/detail/24-in-power-sweeper/A-p8617409e
 

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greetings from the soggy eastern wilderness;

The one thing YOU must think about at all times is the speed of rotation of the brushes to do work-they have to be high speed to work and to enable them to scour snow from pavement

The only way it could work is to employ a chain drive with an large gas engine using a go cart slip clutch chain drive to increase the sprocket/rotor speed of the brush head to do work.

If you have a snow blower that you want to convert to a sweeper using a separate engine and chain drive for a go cart with the slip clutch would be the way to do this.

There were a lot of lawn tractors that had sweepers mounted on the front of them to clear snow but not anymore.

There are many two wheel tractors that have sweepers BCS And Grillo are two of them but the drive system is all gear driven and the sweepers are supported by adjustable caster wheels in the front to control the height of the brush tips to clear any material and the rubber tires of the two wheel tractor in the rear.

The biggest problem with them is wear and the cost of replacing the individual brush sets.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Agreed. My first issue was sourcing the brushes, which I think I have done. Princess Auto is kind of like a higher end Harbour Freight but geared more towards driveline. They sell replacement brushes for a sweeper they sell as well. They actually have one on sale now for $499.00 CND. But to be honest I want to build my own. I have a pretty sophisticated fab shop, and have built things more complicated than this before. Luckily Princess Auto (we call it PA up here) publishes their manuals and parts docs, so it is pretty easy to design from these as a starting point.

I happen to have a Honda GX200 laying around, so that's what got me thinking of the project. If I sell my HSS724 later this year I will have room for the sweeper.

Sweeper: https://www.princessauto.com/en/detail/24-in-power-sweeper/A-p8617409e
Replacement Brushes: https://www.princessauto.com/en/detail/24-in-power-sweeper-brush/A-p8630063e
Sweeper Manual: https://images11.palcdn.com/hlr-system/Documents/86/861/8617/8617409_manualhb_00_01_v01_manuel_enfr.pdf
Parts Manual: https://images11.palcdn.com/hlr-system/Documents/86/861/8617/8617409_partshb_00_01_v01_pieces_enfr.pdf
 

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Building a Power Sweeper.
One thing, normally a power sweeper spins in the opposite rotation that a single stage snowblower paddle would spin.
They usually want to sweep away from you, sweeping the debris out in front of it, not sweeping it back towards you, in under the machine towards your feet.
They push it away from the machine, just like when using a hand held broom, pushing it forwards. You don't want to sweep it back towards you unless you are hoping it will blow out the discharge chute and up into the air, and creating more of a mess.
If you would build something like that, you would have to reverse the drive rotation of the brush drum spin, from what the snowblower paddle would spin.
I am sure you could do it somehow. It would probably be easier to do it on a two stage machine by flipping the auger drive gearbox upside down to get the reverse rotation. It would be pretty tricky to do that on a single stage machine, where you might have to mount the engine backwards from the normal mounting of the snowblower to give the brush the opposite rotation as the snowblower paddle would have, then your drive assemble, belt or chain would have to be mounted on the opposite side of the machine as the snowblower would use.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Sorry guys—I should have stated earlier that I have no intention of modifying a blower; my intent would be to build from scratch. I have welders, sheet metal machines, hydraulic tubing benders, ironworker, lathes, mills, plasma, etc.

Since I have the engine and a big portion of what we get in this neck of the woods is powdery stuff, I thought this would be a fun project. The more I think about it the better I like the idea.

It helps when you have a free GX200 to add to the mix too :) Free is my favourite price.
 

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I see a lot of people using power sweepers for snow removal like the type of snow that you get. They usually work very well. At least we are giving you some ideas to help you to build one.
Give it a try, you might like it and have a lot of fun with it.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Yeah I'm warming up to it. I may sell my tracked two stage later in the year, which will leave me with the single stage HS720 for heavier stuff.

But I kept records of the snowfall for the last two years (geek that I am) and see that about 70 percent of it fell in to the 1.5" or less category. So this is within a good range for a sweeper.

I like a good shop challenge and you're right...it does sound like fun.
 

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Not only are power sweepers good for snow, but you can also use them in the yard for various things, sweeping up leaves from the trees, and even use them to sweep the driveways of dirt, stones and other debris. Plus kind of like "De-thatching" the grass. They do come in handy. They can kick up a lot of dust at times, so you would want to wear a dust mask when using them at times.
Sounds like a good shop project now that snow season is ending and a sweeper can come in use pretty much year round.
 

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If you do build something like that, you want to mount a set of "Caster Wheels" like found on the bottom of scaffolding or used on a garbage dumpster. Mount them on the back of the sweeper housing where the "Skid Shoes" would be on the snowblower housing.
Set them up so you can adjust the heights on them and lock them in place, but make them adjustable. You raise the wheels to lower the brush to sweep and lower the wheels to raise the brush when not sweeping for transporting the machine around. The brush assembly might be a bit heavy and you would have to put a lot of pressure on the handlebars to keep the brush up off the ground when just transporting the machine around the lawn. You could set it up like a lawn mower deck gauge wheel is with adjustable holes and use a pin to vary the height that is easily removable.
 

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Get a Gravely broom head and mount it on the Gravely of your choice...I may have a few left somewhere...I used to build cranberry pruners out of the sweeper head gearbox....
 

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I ran the older Gravely brooms … that was one powerful piece of equipment …..

I would love to find the old Trac Attachment of the Broom Sweeper …..
 
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