Mill to make dust from leaves...

Thread Starter

Externet

Joined Nov 29, 2005
1,847
Hi.
What sort of mill would be more convenient to turn dry autumn leaves into dust as fine as flour; if possible re-purposing a household or common appliance/machine ?
How would you do it ?
 

Alec_t

Joined Sep 17, 2013
12,810
A coffee grinder or blender would probably work for a few leaves, but would be unsuitable for large quantities ..... unless you have the patience of Job.
How would you do it ?
I wouldn't even consider using a domestic appliance. SWMBO would have my guts for garters. :)
 

atferrari

Joined Jan 6, 2004
4,594
A coffee grinder or blender would probably work for a few leaves, but would be unsuitable for large quantities ..... unless you have the patience of Job.

I wouldn't even consider using a domestic appliance. SWMBO would have my guts for garters. :)
I buy my coffee finely ground to powder coming definitely HOT from the machine. While half Kg seems to take little time I cannot imagine a great amount of leaves.

I would be exceedingly careful with this. Fine flammable powders are explosive! It is probably not a good idea to repurpose any household device to deal with an explosion hazard.
In terminals shooting bulk cargo to ships is a well known risk.
 

SamR

Joined Mar 19, 2019
4,194
I've ground leaves and stems in them and they work well. The fineness depends on how close the griding plates are adjusted.
1647359601241.png
 

Thread Starter

Externet

Joined Nov 29, 2005
1,847
Thanks, fellows.
Had to check what a two-roller was, got it.
1647426578098.png


Seems promising. A larger like SamR suggests could work too.
1647426664168.png


For household re-purposable appliances I was thinking in the line of shop vacuum machine; clothesdryer, canibalizing clotheswasher motor, my riding mower perhaps... a paper shredder may not perform,... :rolleyes: hmmmm...
A couple of cubic metres twice a year should be enough.
 

MrSalts

Joined Apr 2, 2020
1,762
The question is, how much volume do you have? Are you trying to handle all the leaves from several large oaks to avoid raking? Would you do this once once or twice per week as they fall in the yard or do you want to do it once at the end of the season of leaf-falling?
In this case, a 15-20HP riding lawnmower with a mulching blade and mulching mower deck that is designed by an engineering team to mulch (that is, not designed to "look like" a mulching blade but is actually a mulching blade). You will not get powder but you will get small flakes (under 1/4" x 1/4" that fall between the blades of grass) and you'll never have to rake.

Alternatively, do you want to process one bushel basket and you truly want powder/dust/flour, then you'll need a mill like some used above. Controlling humidity will be key to stay between overheating (over-dry) and clumping (too wet).
 

Thread Starter

Externet

Joined Nov 29, 2005
1,847
Not to avoid raking. Once by autumn and once by winter, a couple of cubic metres each time. To add the powder to fertilizer as helper.
Using a mulching mower with the collecting bag as first stage of the process could be helpful as gathers the leaves into a smaller bulk ;) Then milling. Thanks.

1647442499007.png
 
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SamR

Joined Mar 19, 2019
4,194
I always cut the grass and leaves so that they are blown to the inside and recut until they are gone. Down here in the sandpile we need all the organic matter we can get into the sand.
 

shortbus

Joined Sep 30, 2009
9,372
You could make a DIY ball mill. One of the blue plastic drums with the removeable lid, a few rounded river rocks for the balls and 2 pairs of wheels for the drum the rotate on. Add a motor and belt long enough to go around the drum to a small pulley on the motor(like they do in a clothes dryer) and the leaves come out dust.

But one problem with your idea of not composting, and it happened to me. I put leaves though my chipper shreder and till the directly into the garden. I never composted them thinking the dirt and worms would do it over the winter. WRONG. I had to move the garden patch. Without getting the compost up to a certain temerature any weed seeds that were in the leaves will spout in the next year and for years after. That's why you need to compost leaves before putting in a garden.
 
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