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I made this from a standard plastic bucket, a little wood, and some plumbing supplies for about $20 or $30. It is something I made to press ten to 30 lbs. of grape skins that I add from time to time to my red kits. It’s not suitable for any serious grape pressing but for my needs it works.
My wife and I just bought our house, which had a vacant field, and my father-in-law had been making wine for a decade, so we thought a vineyard would be a great way to extend the family hobby.
After three years of spraying 450 vines, I finally realized why other vineyard growers kept asking how we do it. Like many, I used a backpack sprayer, and after four refills per spray session, I moved to an ATV sprayer. Last year, it took 12 hours to cover the vines adequately with the ATV sprayer. I needed a better solution.
I did a little homework and discovered I needed an air blast sprayer, which delivers a fine mist via powerful airstreams so the vine canopy can be thoroughly and efficently covered. I needed one that would fit down my narrow 5’ rows, provide adequate coverage, not require a tractor, nor cost thousands of dollars. Nobody manufactured one that fit all my needs, so I decided to build one.
The key components to the sprayers I looked at were transportation, chemical delivery, and air delivery. I already had the ATV sprayer, and a garden wagon I was using to pull it down the rows. I just needed the air blast part.
At my local lawn and garden center, I came across a leaf blower on wheels, powered by a 5 HP Honda engine. I separated the engine and fan assembly to complete the three major components for an air blast sprayer; I just had to combine them.
After a few more days of planning, I picked up hose, valves and nozzles, plus woodworking ducting and fittings.
I had a friend weld a framework for the wagon, which provided a place to attach everything. I had a metal shop fabricate a fitting to connect the square blower nozzle to round ducting. I was able to do everything else myself.
To control the air delivery, I used wood shop dust collector hose, gate valves and fittings. I wanted to spray the entire side of one row at a time, (from 6” to 40” of canopy) and determined I would need one nozzle in the spring and up to three in the fall.
After assembling all of the parts I gave it a test run with water. I turned the fan to high speed and walked it down a row. It worked so well that my teenage son was soaked from two rows away. No problem, both the air and spray were adjustable.
The finished sprayer is 24” wide, 48” long, fits down the narrowest rows, and is easily pulled by hand or riding lawnmower. It reduced my spray time by 80%. And the total cost? $1,100. Well worth the time and effort.