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Kind of modded a leaf blower into a salt shooter

al24's Avatar

I had a old leafblower and thought of an idea. A handheld salt shooter, since the usual salt spreader wheels can get stuck in snow and is unreliable. The way it works is that salt goes in before the nozzle starts and gets blown out. I have a working prototype and the salt goes a decent distance (about the size of a normal driveway) and has a shotgun effect. The salt is held in a storage compartment on the top connecting to the intake. One of the cons is that it can get heavy, and you have to keep refilling. Your thoughts?

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al24's Avatar

also for the record, I am not looking for anyone to buy this or publish or commercialize this.

I would just like some honest feedback.

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magurn's Avatar

Hi Andrew!

Welcome to Edison Nation! Be advised that any information shared within these forums is public disclosure.

You are welcome to submit your idea to the Edison Nation team to be evaluated for potential commercialization opportunities by clicking on "Submit an Idea" on the navigation bar above

Before you get started, a great resource to check out is the Edison Nation Help Page.

We wish you the best of luck!

Ralph Machesky
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countofmontecristo's Avatar

^ What Leo and Michelle both said.

Aside from the accidental public disclosure, there are quite a few drawbacks to your project that I can see right away.

1. Coverage and scatter effects.  You may intend to only cover a sidewalk or driveway, for instance, but find in the spring you have covered part of the grass on either side quite well with salt.  This plays havoc with soil and PH as well.  Not good for the lawn or plants overall.  Epsom salts are different in that they provide calcium and magnesium in *trace* amounts.  Too much of anything IS bad, I'm afraid.

2. Corrosion.  Contrary to popular belief, salt is very corrosive to metals and even concrete.  Here in Colorado they use Magnesium Chloride instead of salt for that reason.

You mentioned that "The way it works is that salt goes in before the nozzle starts and gets blown out."  Salt is crystalline in shape and has sharp edges, if these are ejected with enough force they can eat away at plastic and even metal.  Ever seen an industrial sandblaster?  Silica is also sharp, like salt crystals and I could take a whole car body down to bare metal in about 10 minutes.

After you put enough salt down on your concrete, you'll start to see the damage over time

3.Temperature.  It's well known that putting down salt simply doesn't work if it's too cold out.

Not a fan of salt myself for those reasons above.  

For the record, I have used my leaf blower in the winter to blow away light, powdery snow instead of shoveling.  Also works great for clearing off the vehicles.

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inovate's Avataree_badge

Hi Andrew, welcome to EN!

I know you said you weren't interested in commercializing this, but it is an invention forum and someone else may be. It's out of respect for others we don't publish our thoughts. 

But since you already asked for help on your own personal work horse. What sticks out in my mind is as Ralph said, salt is very corrosive. And your other point about it being heavy. My simple thoughts would be to put it on a cart and attach a handle, to take the weight off yourself. You should be able to mount a feeder container. Good luck and save your back. Hope this helps

Aloha Charlie

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kimmyk's Avatargold

Sarah, that's probably better left to your local Inventor's Groups.

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sunto's Avatar

Hi Andrew 

I myself know what it like to have a product idea ripped off . Loose lips sink ships. 

You have found EN now fill your boots with all the free info and learn from others mistakes. 

If I was in your shoes I would be very tempted by invest in Rodger's E- Book.  

Good luck

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jdowney9000's Avatargold

I've never spread enough salt to warrant a pull start.

But, a nifty attachment for the end of your leaf blower may sell. y' never know.

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chappy75's Avatar

Steven J. Frey
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chappy75's Avatar

Conducting a proper CMA will identify all of your competition and give you selling price points which will, in turn, give you your manufacturing costs which can also determine your design and material that will determine your production process so that you can start looking for prototyping. 

Never start your research with gathering information in an open forum, especially with inventors that can have it patent pending in a couple hours. 

In this case, since it is not a unique product, you have to figure out and articulate why yours is better than the competition... or your "value proposition".

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countofmontecristo's Avatar

This item is not what it appears to be, it is overpriced, poor quality, poor design & only holds about a half pound of grass seed so it is too small for my application.

I would say that based upon the above review (one of four) this is not a great item.

1. Most likely made in China

2. Looks like a retro fit or mod, to your existing blower

3. Used mainly with small grass seed and maybe fertilizers, little salt.

4. Probably going to be tough to patent, based on existing uses.

The obvious problems I posted would have to be overcome in order for it to be a commercial success including patented. If you cannot correctly patent your innovation don't be surprised when competitors look at your design and make their own- maybe better or even cheaper.

Not saying it cannot be done (I know It can be) but best of luck to you!

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