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Joined: Jul 2018
Posts: 2,082
Likes: 80
Tyler Offline OP
SENIOR TECHNICIAN
Have been needing a leaf shredder/small branch chipper for a couple of years now

The downside of traditional wood chippers is the inability to easily clean out the insides after each use.

I needed something that will pulverise a tonne of leaves, chip small branches (up to 1cm) for garden mulch use.

Thicker branches can be done by an ozito chipper shredder electric (rapid shred) which occasionally gets used or council skip.

Even earlier (Nov 2019), I picked up a basic Victa Vantage 148cc. After a thorough clean, carby diaphragm, primer, filter, plug, oil change and blades, I had a good running mower which I really had no use for.

These basic Bunnings Victa mowers really do not instill much joy in using them – I often find 148cc to be just powerful enough. They are good mowers for people who just want to cut lawn without any ‘passion’ in it – much like a Toyota Camry.

Back when we started getting wind of a possible lockdown in late june early july (can’t remember), I grabbed some 1.6mm steel sheet. When we went into that lockdown a few days later I started work. Took me just on a ‘day’ (10-6pm with lunch break and general buggerising around) to make the chute and weld it on, then a few hours the next day refining.

A deflector plate was mounted under the deck to allow for the leaves not to be directly blown into the catcher, to act as a partial mulch plug and to direct sticks onto the blades. It ended up needing a bit cut off one corner as it was too restrictive.

The chute was sized to allow for a square crate full of leaves to be leant on one side and slowly tipped in.

After finding large pieces of stick were being thrown out from the front mower lip (I worked this out after having a cube of wood clout me in the forehead – yes I was wearing PPE) I lifted the motor up about 8mm. This was achieved with 2x masport blade washers and 1x honda D washer per mount bolt (lockdown, so couldn’t get a box of new washers). Any further would have caused the blade plate to hit the deck on the left side.

Next modification was one of the bigger mufflers to reduce noise. It basically just sits on 3200rpm for 30-50 minutes (aside from emptying catcher) so wanted as quiet as possible. Haven’t stalled it yet (though came close). Produces very fine mulch

Have put a few tanks through it to date. Works very well and I would guess its about a 8:1 ratio mulcher – 240l bin liner full of leaves to 2 wheelbarrows of useful mulch.

Next job is to cut 10mm off the catcher lip as it causes a little clog (juts out under deflector plate)


Excuse the welding (if you can see it) could not for the life of me get the arc welder to work properly for the first hour. Kept blowing holes through the deck (must be thinner than 1.6mm haha) and generally poor weld penetration. Eventually remembered to throw the rods in the over for half an hour and went a bit better from there.

Attached Images
Victa shredder.JPG (121.28 KB, 101 downloads)
shredder 2.JPG (63.79 KB, 100 downloads)
shredder 3.JPG (84.91 KB, 100 downloads)
shredder 4.JPG (195.14 KB, 100 downloads)
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Joined: May 2010
Posts: 304
Likes: 22
Apprentice level 4
Masport used to have a base with a chipper/shredder chute from factory, even had a pusher handle to push the little stuff through. Not a bad idea, just have to be a bit careful as always.

Joined: Feb 2006
Posts: 4,670
Likes: 163
SENIOR TECHNICIAN
How's it going Nath and Tyler?

That's a well thought out set up Tyler. You must have hours of fun using that and a good choice of mower to convert I see.

I'd be throwing down old fruit and vegetables also, and the odd matchbox car haha. Might make a nice smoothie machine for one of those trendy juice bars to use out back 😈.

Love to see a clip of it operating. Quite envious of this toy of yours.

I'd take to the chute and welds with some black or silver zinc infused paint though, after wire wheeling the rust.

Thanks for showing us this creative tinkering.


Ahh, if only victa had kept producing the thumblatch catcher series, they would be in better shape today!
Joined: Jul 2018
Posts: 2,082
Likes: 80
Tyler Offline OP
SENIOR TECHNICIAN
Hi Nath, I have actually got one of the Masport Genius Mowers with the chipperchute. Problem is finding a branch here that is straight enough to fit down the small hole haha.
Great mower - once I replaced the handle.

Am sure it would work with the bottlebrush.

MF, I chucked a 3cm 1ft long piece of ficus tree down it - mulched it but didn't like it much.

I plan on bogging over the edges and then spraying with etch primer, primer and then a blue. It is staying as is for now because I want to make sure I don't need to add some braces to prevent cracking and then that would stuff up the paint job... and I can't be stuffed painting it

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Joined: Jul 2018
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Tyler Offline OP
SENIOR TECHNICIAN
Have run another few tanks through. Cut off 10mm of the catcher lip, which helped with the clog

In its latest outing, ran for 1 hour and mulched an equivalent of a 240l council bin down to a few catchers of mulch.

Happily chip green wood up to 25mm, and dry wood up to about 18 without protest. Will self feed itself with reasonably straight camellia branches full of leaves.

Did stall it twice when I had some very damp peppermint tree I tried - clogged the chute and then went down all at once and bogged it down.

Then went to pull start it and I pulled the entire cowl off in my hands - all the (previously tight) bolts had vibrated loose from all the repetitive high loads.

The only thing I need to look at is it blows back up the chipper chute a bit. A rubber deflector may be in order

But it makes good mulch and saves a lot of space in the bin

Joined: Feb 2006
Posts: 4,670
Likes: 163
SENIOR TECHNICIAN
Sounds like it works well -mostly.
At least you're learning (as are we the readers) it's limitations.
I guess fitting a Powertorque is too hard due to the fuel tank.
Imagine with a PT and a four bladed disc.

Appreciate the update on it's performance.


Ahh, if only victa had kept producing the thumblatch catcher series, they would be in better shape today!
Joined: Jul 2018
Posts: 2,082
Likes: 80
Tyler Offline OP
SENIOR TECHNICIAN
MF, a few reasons why no PT

1 - I don't want to destroy any good PT - if I throw a stick down and damage the motor, I am going to be a lot more upset destroying a PT than a briggs - throw it out and put another on.

2 - Noise, its sitting in 1 spot and a PT at 3600 rpm is a lot noisier than a Briggs

3 - tank as you say.

I have got a spare 4 blade disc, but they have a problem - the blades scarcely swing back at all due to the shape of the disc. I forsee a bent crank if I go that route


I think the next progression is a briggs - Quattro 158cc. Bit more power + internal governor would mean faster response and less bogging.

I was thinking quantum 190cc, but the downside is you do end up with a bit of chaff in the cooling fins (clean every 8-10 hours use). On a classic briggs its 3 bolts and 5 minute job, on a quantum the tank needs off, then the cowl and fiddle around getting it all back on (1/2 hour all told).

Joined: Feb 2006
Posts: 4,670
Likes: 163
SENIOR TECHNICIAN
An electric motor might be the long term goal. As you say, it sits on one spot at a time, so a lead won't be an issue.


Ahh, if only victa had kept producing the thumblatch catcher series, they would be in better shape today!
Joined: Jul 2018
Posts: 2,082
Likes: 80
Tyler Offline OP
SENIOR TECHNICIAN
Absolutely no electric motors MF - I despise the things on power equipment.

I have one of those electric ozito chippers as well - but would need a 50m extension lead, or use the generator anyway (which is harder to move than the mower itself).

Joined: Feb 2006
Posts: 4,670
Likes: 163
SENIOR TECHNICIAN
I agree with that sentiment. No fun there. I think the flathead Briggs will be fine until you come across something better you don't care about lol.


Ahh, if only victa had kept producing the thumblatch catcher series, they would be in better shape today!
Joined: Jul 2018
Posts: 2,082
Likes: 80
Tyler Offline OP
SENIOR TECHNICIAN
I took it out again yesterday

I have found that unless the leaves have previously been picked up, you get just as good finish by running over the pile of leaves or running it through the gardens - watch for rocks but anything else goes generally. Had a (previously inaccessible) bit with a tonne of built up leaves.

Didn't want to go in there until I figured the couple of rats I was hunting were dead.

Caught a couple of small rocks, and hit a big chunk of rope, but didn't tangle anything.

The biggest problem was when I hit the dead rat - no fun at all! A decent 2 wheelie bin bags of leaves reduced to 4x catchers.

Only thing I can really fault with it beside the bits of chaff occasionally blowing up the chute when the catcher is packed is the air filter. I might try a snorkel, but I think that will clog quickly as well - just the nature of the work. Need to make an oilbath

Joined: Feb 2006
Posts: 4,670
Likes: 163
SENIOR TECHNICIAN
How does the filter get so fouled just from chopping garden refuse? Stirring dust?


Ahh, if only victa had kept producing the thumblatch catcher series, they would be in better shape today!
Joined: Jul 2018
Posts: 2,082
Likes: 80
Tyler Offline OP
SENIOR TECHNICIAN
Yep, stirs up a lot of dust and dirt

Joined: Apr 2014
Posts: 219
Likes: 10
Apprentice level 3
I can imagine.

I got a 1970\71 vintage Victa utility up and running yesterday and there was so much dust that I had to go straight in for a shower after less than an hour of use. I changed the air filter for one of the old blue “made in Australia” Victa filters but I’m now thinking I should have just used a pattern part.

Joined: Jul 2018
Posts: 2,082
Likes: 80
Tyler Offline OP
SENIOR TECHNICIAN
Another update. I put a lot of bottle brush branches through it and it started not feeding right and generally feeling something was wrong.

The carby bolts were starting to vibrate loose so tightened them off, but worked out the deflector plate I made under the deck had broken its welds and was about to come off.

After rewelding it (I can now half decently arc weld) I got an old Rover blade, cut 20mm off the winged end and welded in as a brace to the back panel where the victa axle runs through. Cut a bit more of the catcher off so it would fit right.

And MF, I have taken to throwing the occasional lemon down the chute

I do regularly stall it now. But will run it until something happens to it. Funnily enough, I know for a fact that the motor is 12 years old today 21/7/22

Joined: Feb 2006
Posts: 4,670
Likes: 163
SENIOR TECHNICIAN
When it gives up the ghost, find a cliff to hurl the b****off of and post a pic of the after shot here!
I might do one.


Ahh, if only victa had kept producing the thumblatch catcher series, they would be in better shape today!
Joined: Jul 2014
Posts: 112
Likes: 8
Apprentice level 2
In #112601 14/08/21 Tyler wrote -

>>>>>>Thicker branches can be done by an ozito chipper shredder electric (rapid shred) which occasionally gets used

The Ozito Rapid Shredder is a complete and utter WOFTAM, but it's bigger brother the Ozito Silent Shredder is a great piece of shredding kit. There's also a similar Ryobi version.

The majority of my pruning on our rural property is done with a chainsaw. Anything less than an inch goes through my Silent Shredder for mulch, above that size it is firewood/kindling. I used to just make heaps with the prunings and either leave them to rot away or torch them but in a desire to save the planet, ever since I got the Silent Shredder some 10 years ago it all goes to mulch, or firewood.

The Silent Shredder has a cog which slowly rotates against a plate and turns dry, hard sticks into chunks, moister stuff is sort of pleated and a trailer piled high full of freshly cut stuff can be converted to a wheelie bin full.

Joined: Jul 2018
Posts: 2,082
Likes: 80
Tyler Offline OP
SENIOR TECHNICIAN
The ozito rapid shredder was absolute crap until I unscrewed it and took the rubber 'safety' flap out of the intake. The way they come from the factory mean you have to push all the time with the push rod - a real pain.


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