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How to Build a Salt Spreader DIY

How to Build a Salt Spreader DIY

The UK’s harsh winters present a safety and legality concern for homeowners and business owners alike: slips and falls on icy surfaces. The last thing you want is to see someone you love or even a complete stranger harmed on your walkway or steps. That’s why spreading salt efficiently becomes key.

While purchasing a salt spreader is an option, constructing one yourself might appeal to your DIY spirit. That’s why we’ve compiled tips on how to build a salt spreader below, helping you save money while enjoying peace of mind knowing your walkways are protected.

But, as you’ll soon discover, buying a professional salt spreader at Jennychem is typically a better approach. It saves you time and stress while ensuring you’re getting the most efficient coverage possible. 

How to Build a Salt Spreader DIY: Step-by-Step Guide

Ready to learn how to build a salt spreader? This can certainly be a rewarding project, offering both a sense of accomplishment and a practical tool for managing icy conditions during the UK's harsh winters.

We’ll talk you through choosing the right materials for an effective, durable DIY salt spreader and then guide you through the construction process below.

Gathering Necessary Materials

Part of the appeal of making your own salt spreader is the cost savings. That being said, there are quite a few components you’ll need to source - and their costs can quickly add up. 

In the end, it’s fair to wonder how much money you’re actually saving through the DIY process. So as you look into sourcing these various materials, be sure to keep track of costs before you buy and determine if you’re better off buying a professionally made unit instead. Here’s what you need:

  • Container: Choose a sturdy container that can hold a significant amount of salt. An old wheelbarrow or a large plastic bin works well. Ensure it's durable and can withstand the weight of the salt.
  • Spreader Mechanism: For the spreading mechanism, a rotary spreader wheel is effective. You can repurpose parts from old machinery or purchase a wheel specifically designed for spreading.
  • Frame: You’ll need a robust frame to support your container and mechanism. Metal is preferred for its strength and durability. Consider using steel tubing or angle iron.
  • Axle and Wheels: The axle should be sturdy enough to support the weight of a full container of salt. Salvaged bicycle wheels or small cart wheels are suitable choices.
  • Handle: A handle is essential for maneuverability. Use a durable material like metal or heavy-duty plastic. The length should be comfortable for the user's height.
  • Additional Materials: Bolts, nuts, washers, and metal brackets will be required for assembly. You'll also need tools like a drill, saw, welding machine (if working with metal), and screwdrivers.

We’ve seen individuals simplify the process by just using a fertilizer spreader as a salt gritter after fine-tuning it to accommodate thicker, coarser salt grains. 

But again, you’re better off just purchasing a salt spreader from Jennychem at that point! Nevertheless, let’s get into the actual DIY salt spreader construction process below.

Building the Frame

Start by sketching a basic design of your frame, considering the size of your container and the height at which it will be comfortable to push.

Then, cut your metal tubing or angle iron to the desired lengths. Weld or bolt the pieces together to form a sturdy frame that can support the container and the spreader mechanism.

Attaching the Wheels and Axle

Determine the optimal position for your axle - it should be balanced to ensure easy handling when the container is full. Once you’re confident you’ve found the ideal placement, attach the axle to the frame using metal brackets. Ensure it is tightly secured and can rotate freely.

At this point, you can attach the wheels to the ends of the axle. Check that they move smoothly and can support the weight of the spreader when loaded.

Fitting the Container

Now you’ll need to position your container on the frame. It should be stable and evenly balanced. Use metal brackets or bolts to secure it in place.

Drill or cut a hole at the bottom of the container. This is where the salt will exit and be spread. The size of the hole will determine the rate of salt dispensing.

Installing the Spreader Mechanism

The rotary spreader wheel should be positioned beneath the hole in the container. Ensure that it can rotate freely and is aligned with the dispensing hole.

Devise a system where the rotation of the wheels leads to the rotation of the spreader wheel. This can be achieved using a simple gear system or a belt and pulley mechanism.

Finishing Touches

You’re just about done, but there are a few final touches to put on your spreader now. Fix the handle to the frame at a comfortable height. Ensure it’s securely attached and allows for easy maneuverability.

Once assembled, test your salt spreader with a small amount of salt. Adjust the dispensing hole or mechanism as needed to ensure even and efficient spreading.

Consider painting your DIY spreader for corrosion resistance and aesthetic appeal. You can also add features like a cover for the container to protect the salt from moisture.

Is a DIY Salt Spreader Worth It?

There you have it - how to build a salt spreader! You can now get to work bringing your DIY salt spreader to life and enjoy peace of mind knowing you’re doing your part to minimise slips and falls this winter. 

But before you get started, we do want to make the case for investing in a professionally made gritter instead. Here are some of the challenges you’ll face along the project alongside some benefits of buying.

Challenges in Making Your Own Salt Spreader

As with any DIY project, it’s important to consider if you possess the necessary skills to make your own DIY salt spreader. This type of project requires a certain level of mechanical skill and understanding, which may not be feasible for everyone.

You should also account for the time commitment. Constructing a salt spreader from scratch requires significant time and effort, from planning and sourcing materials to assembly and testing.

There are also concerns regarding the final product, both in terms of durability and efficiency. Homemade salt spreaders may lack the durability of professionally manufactured ones, leading to frequent repairs or replacements. Plus, achieving the right spread rate and uniformity with a DIY spreader can be challenging, impacting its effectiveness in de-icing.

All things considered, it’s fair to wonder…are you better off investing in a professional unit from Jennychem?

Benefits of Buying a Professional Salt Spreader at Jennychem

Jennychem’s salt spreaders are engineered for longevity. They are built to withstand harsh winter conditions, ensuring they remain functional for many seasons. They come with a 3-year warranty, offering peace of mind and a testament to their durability.

We’ve curated a selection that features advanced agitation technology, ensuring even and efficient spreading, making it ideal for large areas like commercial car parks. They are also equipped with retractable back stands, folding handlebars, and ergonomic grips to ensure that the task of spreading is efficient and comfortable.

Our spreaders are versatile, easily transitioning from salt spreading in winter to fertilizer application in summer, optimising your investment. This multifunctionality saves you the hassle of owning different equipment for different seasons. Every aspect of our spreaders is tailored for ease of use, reducing strain and enhancing the user experience. 

From the simple Cresco 10 Winter Spreader to our massive Cresco 28 Winter Spreader, there is something for everyone at Jennychem. We even have salt bins to help you keep your de-icing salt safe!

So, why not save yourself the time and hassle of making your own spreader when the perfect solution is a click away at Jennychem? Get yours today - we’ll offer tips on using it below.

Tips on Making the Most of Your Salt Spreader

Whether you take what you’ve learned in this guide on how to build a salt spreader and create your own or invest in the best at Jennychem, here are a few parting tips on making the most of your device.

Choosing the Right Salt

You may be wondering…does salt melt ice? Yes, but not all de-icing salt is made equal, which is why the UK trusts Jennychem for the best selection online. 

You can rest assured you’re setting yourself up for success with our efficient, affordable, and eco-friendly salt. Here are some things to consider if you’re still looking for salt:

  • Grain Size Matters: Opt for medium-grained salt for most general-purpose de-icing. Fine grains may clump and block the spreader, while too large grains might not spread evenly.
  • Consider the Environment: If environmental impact is a concern, look for eco-friendly alternatives like calcium magnesium acetate, which is less harmful to vegetation and pets.
  • Bulk Buying: For extensive use, purchasing salt in bulk can be more economical. Ensure you have proper storage to keep it dry and usable.

Not sure which salt solution is right for you? Don’t hesitate to get in touch with our world-class customer support team, we’ll offer a personalised recommendation.

Effective Salt Spreading Techniques

We have a detailed guide on how to use a salt spreader if you want to learn more about the process before actually using your spreader. But, it’s fairly simple and straightforward.

Start by tailoring the spreader's settings according to the salt type and weather conditions. Over-spreading not only wastes salt but can also harm the environment.

Overlap each pass by about 50% for even coverage. This technique ensures no spots are missed and the salt is distributed uniformly.

You also need to consider timing. The best time to spread salt is before the snowfall starts. Pre-treating surfaces can prevent ice from bonding, making subsequent removal easier.

Pay extra attention to walkways, driveways, and steps. These areas require more precise and often heavier salt application. Learn more about how to melt ice on concrete in our blog.

Maintenance and Care

Regardless of whether you’re using a DIY salt spreader or bought a professional-grade unit at Jennychem, you need to protect your investment with a bit of routine maintenance. 

This includes cleaning the spreader after each use to remove residual salt, which can corrode metal parts. A thorough rinse and dry can significantly extend its lifespan.

Regularly inspect moving parts, such as the wheels and spreader mechanism, for wear. Promptly replace any worn-out parts to maintain optimal functionality. You should also lubricate these moving parts to prevent seizing.

Store the spreader in a dry, covered area to prevent rusting and damage from the elements. If storing for extended periods, like over summer, ensure it’s clean and dry before storing.

Periodically check the spreader’s calibration to ensure accurate spread rates. An improperly calibrated spreader can lead to inefficient salt use. Armed with these tips, you’re prepared to make the most of your spreader!

Final Thoughts on How to Make a Salt Spreader

Building a DIY salt spreader is an ambitious task that requires skill, time, and effort, with potential challenges in durability and efficiency. Now that you know how to build a salt spreader, it’s time to get to work!

But for those seeking a more reliable and effortless winter solution, Jennychem offers professionally crafted salt spreaders. These are designed for longevity, ease of use, and effectiveness in harsh UK winters. 

Our blog has more helpful resources on topics like how to stop screenwash freezing this winter, how much Adblue to add, windscreen washer not working, which engine coolant for my car, how to use snow foam, and more.

Beyond our selection of salt spreaders and de-icing salt, we have the other products you need for a smooth winter at home or on the road. Shop our antifreeze for car, windscreen defroster, car cleaning products, and more.

Rather than navigating the complexities of a DIY project, choose Jennychem for a high-quality, ready-to-use salt spreader, backed by expertise and a commitment to safety. Explore our range at Jennychem today and simplify your winter maintenance with a trusted solution!

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