ASK THE EXPERTS: Rototiller Conversion Parts

Merry Tiller rototiller
Small backyard rototillers, like this Merry Tiller, can be retrofitted with an electric motor for quieter, emissions-free operation.
Merry Tiller rototiller

I enjoyed Ted Dillard’s article on his electric rototiller (“DIY Electric Tiller Conversion” in HP150). I’d like a list of sources for the motor and switch. I happen to own an old Merry Tiller and would like to do a conversion myself.

John Hanson • via email

It’s great to hear from another Merry Tiller owner! I got the motor from Surplus Center ( Their available stock comes and goes, and you may not be able to find a motor that matches my specs exactly.

The switch is an AC power tool emergency cutoff, sometimes available at your local home center. I got mine online at Wolf Automation ( Virtually any 110 VAC, 30 A switch will do just fine, and especially one made for power tools. From a safety standpoint, having that big red emergency switch is good. If you mount the main power switch on the bars, I don’t think you really need anything but a standard 20 or 30 A 110 VAC switch. Remember, there was already a switch on the motor, and I felt it was a bad idea to have to reach over the machine to turn it off in an emergency.

All the other parts and bits I just picked up at the local home center store. Let me know how you make out, and I hope you have fun with your tiller conversion project!


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