Garden digger / backhoe idea

  1. CompoSimmonite Member

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    4,020
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    Werrington, Stoke-on-Trent
    I have continuing health problems including total lack of strength. That means I struggle to do things and where possible look for help such as air tools, winch, crane, etc - anthing that replaces my wasting muscles.
    The garden is in a mess but I'm unable to dig more than one or two spade fulls (have small electric cutlivator) so am considering hiring a mini digger to do the bulk of the work needed.
    An extention of this idea is making a micro digger :whistle:
    At present just a silly idea off the top of my head but mental exercises are something I can still do - most of the time !
    Plenty of plans available on-line for inspiration.
    Biggest problem I can see if the actual buckets so am setting my mind to that first. Even the smallest commercial items are simply too big, heavy and expensive.
    I'm wondering therefore about making my own based on modified spade, shovel and post / drain spade !
    Any suggestions. comments etc ?

    Cheers.

    Paul h
     
  2. penfold

    penfold Ambassador plenipotentiary

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    Argyll and Bute, God's own country.
    It's easy enough to knock up a small bucket out of flat plate; at this size the lack of a curved back doesn't matter so much. You could probably do without hardox as well, although that's not too tricky to do if need be. This chap's ditching bucket gives the general idea. The difficulty of making anything much smaller than the small commercial stuff is that it needs a certain amount of mass to work properly, but if you're only digging already tilled soil it maybe doable. Have you had a look at the R/C digger enthusiasts on Youtube? There's one guy digging his cellar out with them!:o
     
  3. madkayaker

    madkayaker Pro sparkey Pro Welder

    Messages:
    13,695
    Cumbria
    There is a company in France that make smart mini diggers they come as a flat pack. Will try to find the link
     
  4. Justme

    Justme Member

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    2,693
    Location:
    Pwllheli Wales
    I do loads of gardening with my 4 tonne digger.

    The tool I use the most is the grab.

    It can rake, deep dig, move soil in grab fulls, pull up roots & brambles, level & even make drills (rows for seeds) if the spacing is right. I even use it to remove large stumps. The biggest was about 2' 6" across. Just take large bites all round the stump to sever the roots & then rock the stump out. If it has a large suction I use the small bucket to lever it out.

    After that I use the ditching bucket as it can move more soil/muck in one go & is better for levelling larger areas. Oh & the blade on the front is useful for moving large piles of stuff.

    The amount you can do in a short time is amazing. If you are planning on lots of tools & buckets get a quick hitch of some sort. Then when you need a different tool you will actually change it rather than muddling on with the wrong one cos changing it is a pain.

    Edit to add

    Check out this web site for small digger ideas
     
    Last edited: May 9, 2013
    arther dailey likes this.
  5. Paul99

    Paul99 Member

    Messages:
    606
    Mid Wales
    TBH I'm not sure that it will actually save you any work. It seems like a good idea but by the time you do the bits you can't get to with the digger and repair the inevitable mess you'll make manoeuvring into position (unless you got loads of room around the garden) you'll likely think that you should have just done it by hand in the first place.

    That said I was very tempted to make a mount like this one:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4uApN7sQe3U
    I didn't get around to it in time for this year but hopefully next year.


    Also on my list of things to make is a landscape rake - which I think would be much more useful for gardening than a grading / digging bucket would be:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1VxweDi6SC0 (obviously would need scaling down to suit the machine)

    If you go down the route of hiring / making your own - you can buy mounting kits for common pin sizes and spacings e.g. http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Kubota-KX...K_BOI_FarmingEquipment_RL&hash=item4aa78b62e5 - That's for a 1.5tonne digger with 25mm pins and 90mm spacings - micro diggers would likely be smallerbut once you have that bit (which is the hardest bit to make unless you have a lathe & plasma cutter) you could make the bucket as small or as large as you like - alternatively find an old worn out bucket to suit and cut the mounts of it and base everything off that.
     
  6. AndyStobbs Member

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    2,476
    Location:
    North West England
    Depends on how much a gardener would charge you to tend to your garden.
     
  7. CompoSimmonite Member

    Messages:
    4,020
    Location:
    Werrington, Stoke-on-Trent
    Found exactly what I want :whistle: -

    [​IMG]

    The frustrating thing is my late father in law was a sportsground contractor so had all kinds of machinery like BobCat, mini digger, etc but at the time I didn't need it as my health was OK.

    Paul H
     
  8. AdrianH

    AdrianH Forum Supporter

    Messages:
    1,693
    Location:
    near Blackburn.
    @CompoSimmonite

    Just resurrecting an old thread to see if anyone has built their own?

    The past week whilst on holiday I have been helping to dig out a section of the back garden and also do running repairs on the drive way flags where the concrete underneath the flags has broken up and there was digging etc involved in that, after this we were both knackered and my back hurts.

    I could do with laying a draining pipe at some time to help the very small stepped area of grass drain so that would mean digging out a small ditch.

    Space is small so I would need a micro digger, but to be honest if I think about it I could hire one in for a day or two, but just more fun long term to build/repair/make good a project.

    I think the major cost would be in the hydraulics if trying a self build, but I do have a question to the group based on a video of a Polish Microdigger I have seen on Youtube.
    Made by Elgo Plus at http://elgoplus.pl/mini-digger-springer/

    I am looking at the boom arm and basically they are shaped vertical plates with holes in held together by tubes welded through in various places.

    So I was thinking of either SHS box section or even H beam. For the micro diggers one is not going to be lifting lots of weight, if lucky 100 Kg's? max at a time I would guess, and it is just that. So if the max reach was 2.2 metres what beam size could I get away with.

    Making or buying in pins and turning bushes up would be OK on my lathe.

    So come on this is a welding forum I would have though someone on here may have made one or considered it at some point?


    Any takers?

    Adrian
     
  9. Tinbasherdan

    Tinbasherdan Metal mangler

    Messages:
    4,196
    Location:
    Bolton, England
    It's about 70 quid a day for a micro digger, is it worth the hassle of building one really? It's cost you more than that
     
  10. MrFluffy Member

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    2,910
    Location:
    In the shed
    You can buy towable collapsable diggers for this job, might be just as cheap and easy to seek one of them out secondhand and fettle them and have a useable resellable machine afterwards... List of manufacturers to look for :-
    http://www.oilyhands.co.uk/Towable_digger_list.htm
     
  11. AdrianH

    AdrianH Forum Supporter

    Messages:
    1,693
    Location:
    near Blackburn.
    I know it is cheaper to hire one I even mention that, but I’m a hobby welder so I think about it.

    MrFluffy

    I think I have downloaded most of the literature from that site at one time and even the most decrepit Powerfab seems to be close to £1,500 to £2,000 nowadays.

    Clicked to post to soon there.

    I will probably never make one or buy one, but if I get the gear cheap, it could be fun, so no one else has thought about making one apart from CompoSimmonite back in 2013?

    Adrian
     
  12. Tinbasherdan

    Tinbasherdan Metal mangler

    Messages:
    4,196
    Location:
    Bolton, England
    Look at it the other way then, without being condescending: are you confident enough in your welds to have them connected to a hydraulic ram putting a fair bit of force in
     
  13. roofman

    roofman Purveyor of fine English buckets and mops

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    5,980
    Location:
    North West
    I used to own a powerfab (google it)...anyway the very small trenching buckets for them would be ideal for your needs:)
     
  14. scottmk1

    scottmk1 Forum Supporter

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    751
    Location:
    Scotland
    I'm building a Powerfab 125WTD digger just now (in between other projects!)
     
  15. AdrianH

    AdrianH Forum Supporter

    Messages:
    1,693
    Location:
    near Blackburn.
    Yep, with stick, I think I can even after completing my course I would still do practice runs first. Even with a Cosmo Mig after practice I built a car that is still going after 6 years, but I am sure it will break at some point. But even so Hydraulics do not tend to explode, or how shall I put it, if something breaks, it is not like compressed air where you get parts all over the place, Hydraulics do not compress so a sudden break may mean a loss of pressure and the boom drops. Worst case I think would be a split pipe under-pressure could do more harm then the front bucket coming down.

    I know of them well enough to keep searching every now and then. Have saved much of the literature


    Oh good, is that the one with 4 wheels and hydraulic motors on the front two wheels, without checking what I have saved.

    £99 plans by any chance?

    Adrian.
     
    roofman likes this.
  16. roofman

    roofman Purveyor of fine English buckets and mops

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    Location:
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    i owned the basic model and added a pair of rams to the front legs and a diverter valve from the original pump which raised the front without getting out all the time to do the pin trick...great machine and one day ime going to renovate one just because they deserve to be saved.
     
    scottmk1 likes this.
  17. You can pick up tractor backactors for £300 upwards at farm auctions, my Foster DP2 cost me less than £500 and it's got its own pump and tank and came with 2 buckets.
    You would need to add wheels and a power source but a lot easier than starting from scratch.
     
  18. scottmk1

    scottmk1 Forum Supporter

    Messages:
    751
    Location:
    Scotland
    Hi Adrian

    Yes that's the one. I bought the plans a while back for more than £99 unfortunately
     
  19. MrFluffy Member

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    Location:
    In the shed
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