I tried to use readily available dimensioned lumber from buildings supply places. The wooden result looks a bit goofy like my kids' wooden train set. But Rube Goldberg may approve. Snow shoveling is not glamorous work.
shows the 15 lb 'mount assembly' pinned to the 2 inch hitch receiver; The top of the two vertical 'mast' elements is only 27" off the ground and allows for the hatch gate to open freely. It is braced with heavy metal shelf brackets (pic#2
). I don't have a table saw to cut an exact 2" x 2" piece. Instead a long 0.5" wide slot was cut out from the 2x6 slab to clear the receiver opening lip. The wooden 'draw bar' fills the full 8.5" length of the receiver cavity to distribute the cantilever load.
The lighter color wood in the pictures is actually pale green PT (Pressure Treated) type; the regular framing lumber is stained brown. PT lumber is available only in certain popular dimensions around here; So some regular lumber had to be used. Eventually the whole project will be stained brown. For now the mix of wood colors highlights the various elements of the assemblies.
The 40 lb 'plow blade assembly' is shown in the pic#1 foreground, and it is looped onto the mount masts in pic#2. It is 6 ft wide and 19" high, made from 1"x5x6 ft PT fencing boards, screwed onto two vertical wooden runners. Two heavy steel barn-door D-shape pull handles are bolted to the top of the vertical runners which loop onto the mount 'masts' (pic#2). Thus the blade assembly can slide up and down, guided by the pull handles loops around the masts.
Incidently, my driveway's old concrete pavement is marred with cracks, and heaved-up sections. The plow design had to consider this imperfect surface; The blade assembly needs some freedom of vertical and skewed movements to ride over the uneven ground.
To reduce the risk of ground snags on the blade, the bottom edge is wrapped with a 1" thick spongy material to absorb the bumps and to ride over the cracks. I came across this spongy 2.5" dia x 4ft 'pool noodles' toy at a dollar store. I simply slit it lengthwise on one side and wrap it to the blade edge with steel straps (for heating ducts). Ideally a thick rubber edge would be better, but not available. The bottom edge section has a 30 deg pitch supported by wooden wedges. The upper section will pitch 10 deg opposite when is in plow mode.
An auto-lift arrangement was built for the blade traveling in an 'unplow' direction. This idea is from Youtube. The expensive factory plows lift with electric motors; others just let the entire blade drag backwards in the unplow direction. Our DYI auto-lift idea uses simple geometry & lever principles. MacGyver would nod.
Pic#2 also shows the blade lifted 1" off the ground in the unplow position. Note the small wooden skids/skis hinged at the base of the blade behind the sponge edge.
For clarification of travel directions, plowing is done when the Jeep reverses, pushing and tilting the blade bottom edge towards the vehicle. By contrast, when the Jeep goes forward (unplow mode), the blade bottom edge moves away from the vehicle; thus this opposite tilt angle causes the blade edge lift up, using the wooden skids as fulcrums (fulcra?), like a 2-wheel hand-dolly
To reduce snow plowing load to avoid wheel spinning, a 3" x 22" opening was cut at the center bottom edge of the blade, leaving a 22" wide center strip of snow unplowed. The crucial wheel tracks area are always plowed. After an initial plow pass, I can temporarily block off that center opening for a second pass of the plow.
If things work out well, I'll save me-self lots of sore muscles and time. It'll be much more comfortable sitting inside the Riot than wrestling a snowthrower with the wind blowing snow back at my face. I can stretch the life of the old snowthrower by using it for lighter duty area like walkways and sidewalks.
Yes, I'm dreaming of a white Christmas for the sea-trial, and wish for a rearview camera system.