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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Ordered all new gauge wheels for my deck (old ones looking a bit raggidy), and I got to looking around, and pricing the mulch kit for it as well. YIKES!! No thanks!:flag_of_truce:

Anyway, watched a couple videos of guys making their own mulch plugs for the discharge chute. Seems like an easy enough DIY project to tackle. One video I watched, had the most compelling argument, even over the mulching effect, IMO, and that was that once the plate is installed, now you are not forced to make left hand passes around obstacles anymore, for fear of discharging into it (flower bed, garden, vehicle, windows etc. etc.). Also this would save a bunch of time mowing over the life of the setup, simply because you can mow however you want, no more setup to mow to the left anymore. Even if you don't get the FULL benefit of a mulching kit, there has to be some benefit to it.

Have you made a DIY mulch plug for your mower deck? What have you noticed while using it, if you have?

Turn Your Mower into a Mulching Mower for $20! - YouTube
 

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I think Gizmo2 made one a couple years ago. You can search the few posts that he has on here or maybe someone remembers where it is.
 

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Discussion Starter #3

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
Made one today out of a sheet of 1/8" Kydex that I had. Broke out the heat gun and it's super easy to form it to shape. Figure I'd make one temporary and easy before I commit to a fully welded blocker.
Mowed some with it. Like most have said, it will leave a small windrow of grass here and there. But, I think it will be better if the grass is shorter and dryer. To be honest, I was cutting 6" tall grass right down to 3-1/2", so some clumping is going to be expected. However, I will say the amount of clumping was very minimal considering the moisture and length of grass. Really, I think it worked pretty well. I use Gator G6 blades.
Something I won't do if I make a permanent blocker, is follow the contour of the deck. It's shallower up front, than it is to the rear, so I made the blocker tapered to this angle. It allowed a bit too many clippings to flow under the blocker. Not much but enough to be annoying. I think I would make it the same width front to rear, on the next one. Should help keep more clippings from flying out wildly.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Well, that lasted long enough to let me know if I liked it or not. hehe. Wasn't really expecting it to last too long anyway
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
Ordered the OEM chute block from AHW JD. Pick it up Friday. Once i figure in my time, designing a DIY blocker, getting the steel to make it, and then welding and painting it, no way I'd be money ahead. @ $90 from the local dealer, it's tough to beat IMO. I'm sure it will fit and look better than anything I can come up with, for $90.

Edit; One of the few times I feel I can say John Deere has saved me some money.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Picked up and installed the factory "chute gate" (that's what John Deere calls it).
I got say, I like the way it cuts with the chute blocked off. Leaves a minimal amount of clippings/clumps, and if you mow over the small windrow left behind, it basically all but disappears.
One thing I don't care for is that I get a fair amount of blowout from under the deck. Basically at the front corner of the chute and far right front of the deck. It's not a huge deal but it's more than before/without chute block, for sure.
I tried to capture how it looks on camera, and how long the grass is, to how short I was cutting it....
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Noone cares, but i'll keep updating anyway.

More time under my belt with this chute blocker. My blades need sharpened, this I know! :laugh:
Anyway, Compared to just letting it side discharge thru an open chute, the amount of clumps and the size of the windrows, is night and day. The chute blocker wins, hand down. This year compared to years passed , I'm letting my grass grow longer and not cutting it as short in between. Previously, I'd be cutting it at the 3" setting, this year I'm all about the 4-4.5" setting, while letting the grass grow longer in between cuts. With the larger 72" deck. So far, I'm experiencing less scalping on the uneven terrain areas, and less clumping overall, perhaps because I'm not being as greedy with the cut. However, because I do not have a full mulching kit, only Gator G6 blades, and a chute blocker, I feel it take a bit more HP (or less growth between cuts) to easily handle what I'm trying to accomplish. Either way, it's better than it ever has been, as far as left over clumps and clippings.
Consistently, the grass clippings are less than 1" over all, easily! Cleaning the deck off after a 2hr mow session, is much easier then it ever has been.

I've found that if I stay conservative with my cut, the better it turns out, with the chute block in place. IE; not trying to cut 6-7" tall grass down the 3" tall grass, in one pass. I do get some built up under the deck on the right side near the normal discharge area. You can tell this by the sound of the motor. What I've found, is that by making an abrupt turn, or just simply backing up, discharges the clipping build up under the deck, and it returns to normal sound/operation.

Now, I don't have alot of HP (29), for the 72" deck, to begin with, so the chute blocker exacerbates that issue, and it will let you know when it's really working it.
I think more HP would handle it much better.
I'll be back with more info as time goes on.
 

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:thumbup1gif:

I have been considering making a chute blocker as well.

Mainly I want to use it in the fall to help mulch the leaves better.

I'll have to see if JD makes one for my deck.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
:thumbup1gif:

I have been considering making a chute blocker as well.

Mainly I want to use it in the fall to help mulch the leaves better.

I'll have to see if JD makes one for my deck.
From my experience so far, I'd say it would work great at that.
 
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