Converting gas to electric - need help

Glass crusher

I have an old, gas-powered chipper/shredder, but the pull rope simply doesn’t have the power to start the fly-wheel anymore, so I want to strip it down and put an electric motor to just run the chipping mechanism.

I want to use it to crush large quantities of glass into sand. Anyone have knowledge of how to convert something from gas to electric power like this?

post some pictures, and/or build log that sucker RIGHT HERE!
update your post with it’s progress!

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Keep in mind that I haven’t seen it before but some things to look at

(Also I’m no expert in small engines )

It could be the carburetor needs adjustment, or the spring isnt engaging properly. You may have a fuel or air blockage. All of which is fixable by pulling it apart and cleaning it and putting it back together.

Which is way easier said than done.

As for converting it to electric. You will need a slightly beefy motor. Like an old treadmill might do it. Then once the power is applied you replace the crankshaft of the gas engine with the stator rod of the motor.

I took it in to get serviced, and the guy basically said that the fly-wheels on those things are so beefy that they are always really hard to start. Plus, I don’t really need a chipper. I was hoping that by removing all the extra parts and just needing the teeth on a spinning axle, an electric ignition would be a lot easier to start and run for a lower power application like crushing glass.

The flywheel on a chipper is very heavy by design. You don’t want it coming to a stop every time a blade strikes a limb. So they are always a little tough to spin up.

Breaking glass shouldn’t take as much force but things like wine bottles are tougher than they look. Do you know of others that have done this successfully this way? The reason I ask is that generally, to make something fine like sand, you would expect it to be subjected to a milling operation, not just beat up by flailing. Think coffee grinder or flour mill. I’m not saying that it won’t eventually end up as fine sand, but the nature of a flail type device is to throw the stuff going through it out and that would tend to make it difficult to contain. Further, the finer the harder it is and you certainly don’t want to be breathing glass dust!

I’m not necessarily trying to discourage you from trying to achieve your dreams, but a reality check is sometimes a good thing.


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I appreciate it, Dave. I don’t know of anyone else who has done this, but I figured it might be worth a shot. And I did think about the fact that this initial step wouldn’t make all fine, uniform sand, but I did figure it would be a good way to start the process in a mass way. Everything else DIY I see on YouTube is some guy with a metal pole hitting bottles which seems obscenely tedious to me. Once I have small pieces, I’ll think of a finer milling operation later.

What about something low tech like a 25 gallon drum with a fitted lid and a couple of large rocks inside it. Throw in the glass seal it up and roll it around the yard for a while?


I actually kind of like that idea! I could probably strap it to my donkey and just let him do all the work!

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going that route, a cheap concrete mixer with the same large heavy things could do the job as well. I would probably not use stones as they will wear and chip and could add contaminants to the mix. A couple large steel balls would be less likely to do that. Left long enough, this would also produce a lot of fine dust. Ideally, a mesh could be incorporated in the container to allow the finer material to fall through once it reaches a particular size.


There is some junk in the ERP lab that would be ideal to put in there to smash glass.

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Yes, large steel balls, that’s a great addition.
You know we have a concrete mixer in the garage…hmmmm

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An old dryer and a old network switch…