View Full Version : OT: Lawn mowing.... (pics)

06-20-2004, 12:38 PM
I really like summer around here, except for the lawn mowing. This is largely why I don't get much machining done this time of year.





Dave Opincarne
06-20-2004, 01:29 PM
That's why it doesn't get dark until 11pm! http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//wink.gif Beutiful looking place Evan.

Happy Solstice


[This message has been edited by Dave Opincarne (edited 06-20-2004).]

06-20-2004, 01:36 PM
Thanks, we love it here, especially in summer. We arn't moving until we can't possibly look after it. One robot lawnmower, coming up...

This time of year it doesn't get completely dark at all. Problem is I tend to wake up when it gets light. I was up at 4 am this morning.

06-20-2004, 01:38 PM
looks like you need a bigger mower, when I was a kid we used a tractor and a brush hog on a low setting, we had a similar looking yard and it took about an hour to do two acres with lots of fruit trees and turns. maybe you could rig up one for your truck, like your snow plow.


06-20-2004, 01:59 PM
Nice idea but there are too many obstructions like trees. I have a 17hp riding mower, a 3 1/2 push mower and a battery powered reel mower for the garden lawn. Aside from a mower-bot I can't think of anything better. Besides, I need the exercise. I really don't mind but it does cut in to my spare time...

Dave Opincarne
06-20-2004, 02:06 PM
Goats, oh, but then there's the flower beds.

4AM? That's about the time I'm up when I work OT, and in the winter it's dark here untill 8:30 AM. Otherwise I'm up at 5.

Must make it hard to watch the night sky though. Or does it?

06-20-2004, 03:06 PM
Definitely no astronomy at this time of year. That's not possible until August. No goats but we have plenty of deer. We might be boarding a couple of horses which will cut down the work load a bit. Those pics only show about half of what I mow.

06-20-2004, 03:21 PM
my uncles property in florida is pretty much the same situation you have. He bought one of those lawnmowers with the blade in front, that can turn on a dime, obstructions are no problem, gets the lawn done pretty fast.

06-20-2004, 03:46 PM
I've theorized for years that the advent of affordable power mowers completely changed the face of rural America.

When I was ten we moved out to the country. The lawn grass around the house was about three feet high. For the first mowing a neighbor came in with his hay mowing rig to get us started. From then on it was the kids job with the push mower. Needless to say we only had a small lawn area, even though we were on 120 acres.

Once my dad sprung for a power mower the lawn expanded to cover a couple acres.

As much as we liked country living with all the space on earth to build forts or whatever, we missed the paved areas for bike riding and sports like basketball.

Now I'm a city dweller and will most likely always be one. I suppose if I didn't have the 8 years in the country I would want to try it, but been there done that and I'm too settled into the city life now.

Evan, what made you decide to settle in the country? From previous posts I think you once lived in the states didn't you?

06-20-2004, 04:38 PM
When I got my first house I still lived in the city and went up to restore it on weekends. I had someone come in and mow it for me and the first time he came out he asked," So how much of this place do you want to mow?" I replied, "Oh, about an hour." As the grass got under control the lawn got bigger until it settled to a specific size. Fifteen years later when I built this house the dozer driver asked, “So how much of this place do you want to be lawn?” You guessed it! “About an hour”, I replied. He did ok because it takes me about an hour to mow with my walk behind mower.
Now I have a thing about lawn mowers and grass in general. I’m right on the verge of going solar here, making my own windmills and such and power is a big thing to me. One summer, Nancy calls it the lawn tractor summer, as opposed to the moped summer or the windmill summer but those are other stories, I decided, after seeing all the lawn tractors in my bucolic country setting, to find one and fix it up. It was a long journey but I eventually found a Sears in good shape but with a bad tranny. I fixed the tranny and had a reasonably good machine with a 44" deck. Trouble is, even though it took less time to mow my ‘one hour’ lawn the 16 hp beast consumed exorbitant amounts of gas, two to three times as much as my rebuilt lawn mower and furthermore I didn’t get a stick of exercise.
Then came the rotary reel mower. I don’t know how many of you remember the rotary power reel mowers but they were essentially push mowers with an engine. I found one at a garage sale for fifty bucks that needed a little coaxing which I happily did and for one season I mowed my ‘one hour’ on less than a pint of gas.
Reel mowers are great but they have one fatal flaw, they don’t cut down long weeds and after a few weeks your lawn looks like you favor them. I could have gone out and manually cut down the weed stems but then it would have taken longer than an hour to cut my lawn.
While the one HP reel mower is still my favorite a wonderful thing happened a year later. My friends moved to Florida and before they moved they asked me if I wanted anything they were leaving behind in their barn. Never being one to overlook the treasures in an old barn I scurried over to see what I could find. There in the corner was a Honda lawn mower and while it needed some work it I could easily see it was an able machine. I’d say it takes a little more than a pint to mow the lawn now and a little less than an hour but the story doesn’t end here.
My friend owns a flower shop in town and she asked me if I wanted anything in her barn because she new that if anyone could restore and respect her grandad’s stuff it was me. Turns out she was right because I found an old sickle bar mower in there that just had my name on it. After making a few parts it was running like a clock. Now the thing about sickle bars is that your lawn can get the height of September corn and you can still cut it with ease. Now I’ve added a new dimension on to my ‘one hour’ lawn mowing. It’s called frequency. Now I can mow my lawn once a month no matter how much rain I get instead of every week or so. I’m a happy man.

06-20-2004, 04:58 PM
I have often thought about a mowing system using the SB-computers I have. Once you set a location to "home the mower" you could operate it one time then re-run the program forever..

I was asked to assist for a GPS operational system for a houseboat (1.3 million dollar boat)
I can figure out a way to make it retrace according to past paths, but if a small fishing boat or other boat got in the path, oops..

I got shuffled away from that project.

I have the software I wrote for my mill, running it by joystick and writing direction changes to file. when you are done a gcode file is there to retrace.. Similar logic..

I think a riding mower can be converted for about $500 with camera, joystick control and SBC controls. Problem now, My partner wants one too.. And, when I am not working I rush to pay child support and don't purchase things like that.. No playing money..

The thing about using a riding mower is that you have the power supply already for the controls.. charging system.. Much cheaper and easier.. the hydrostat trans.. well.. that complicates things..


06-20-2004, 05:51 PM
Nice looking yard Evan,I would have to mow mine three times a week to keep it that short though.My uncle in Ohio comes down and says"gee I wish I could get my grass to grow like that"I says sure you do http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gif

So,just how many times a month do you mow?

06-20-2004, 06:36 PM
IF bulldozers can landscape remote, a mower can too. You ever saw the lasers on the transits and the two white poles on the blade?

They scrape the ground via computer control.. the operator just rides around..


06-20-2004, 06:39 PM

I have to mow at least once a week right now. The weather is getting hotter so the grass will slow down. The biggest reason for all the mowed area is simple. Fire Break. We have no fire protection services here, as in no fire department. If a fire threatens it's your problem. I have more lawn around the front of the house and I also keep the road allowance mowed. I've also been doing some mowing for my neighbour who just got out from a long hospital stay. Part of that was to try to shame his son who lives on the other side of us to do a bit of maintenance on his dad's place when his dad couldn't. It worked.


I have lived in many of the major cities in North America at one time or another. That includes SF, NYC, LA, Toronto, Vancouver, Edmonton, Victoria and stayed in or visited many others including in Europe. I just don't like living in the city. The good parts of city life can be exceptionally good, the incredible diversity of cultural experience really draws me, the excellent variety of restaurants is a bonus, the ready availability of anything you need for a project. However, it is too sterile. I like the natural surroundings I have. I like looking out the living room window and watching the deer graze. I like being able to wander around in my house wearing my "no shirt" and less and not having to draw the curtains since only the wildlife is watching. I am a small "e" environmentalist and avoid using poisons as much as is possible. I put up with the weeds for the most part and if you mow them low enough the grass outcompetes them. We use low power light bulbs, have really good insulation and probably use less than 1/4 of the average daily fresh water consumption (it's my well anyway).

I'm definitely not a tree hugger and will mow the little suckers down without a thought. The little fir trees grow like weeds, dozens to the square metre. When the squirrel population becomes too large it's hunting time. But I try to tread lightly on the land.

I have canoed at least a thousand miles in the back wilderness. I always practice "no trace" camping. You will never know I have been there. When I come across a camp site with garbage left behind, branches stripped from the trees and the formerly white sand beach turned a sickly gray by charcol from beach fires a small tear escapes. I know that many of the people that do this are from the city. People that live in the country I believe have more respect for nature since they are surrounded by it. The amazing waste and pollution that cities engender astounds me. It is easily possible to reduce the amount of waste, but we don't. It will cost us dearly.

06-20-2004, 06:54 PM
I have a friend in town(if you want to call it that)he's got about 2 acres of lawn he keeps emmaculate,he used to ride it,but two years ago he bought a Taiwan knock off of the little robot mowers cost him about $800,wire burying in yard was another $100 for the cable trencher he rented,he did half his yard with one and plans the other this year.The little thing runs and "bumps" the wire turns and keeps going in a new driection,it even has a"home" feature that allows it to plug itself in for charging.I flipped it up to take a look see,all it was were three little dc motors with aluminum cutter heads with square weed wacker string,he says he has to replace them every three weeks but other than that its worked fine.You do have to get used to them though,sitting outside you all the sudden hear this whisper and see a plastic "turtle" walking across the yard http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gif

06-20-2004, 07:17 PM
Very nice!! For a mower that is very quick have a look at:


These are great machines,but $$
I was a dealer for these hear in Newfoundland,but they did not caught on too $$.My home towm has one. What took 5-6 days to mow can be now done in 1-2 days.
maybe you can build something like it!!

06-20-2004, 08:42 PM
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">

The thing about using a riding mower is that you have the power supply already for the controls.. charging system.. Much cheaper and easier.. the hydrostat trans.. well.. that complicates things..



You can use stepper motors to control the tranny.

06-21-2004, 03:12 AM

That looks like a very nice mower. I don't think I can afford it though.

I was kinda hoping that other people on this board would show and tell their own homes.

06-21-2004, 06:47 AM
Here ia a pic of my house.Moved in about 4 years ago.House is about 10 years old.Built by a couple from Denmark when they worked here.Grass is still in the "works" but things are getting better.

[This message has been edited by motorworks (edited 06-21-2004).]

06-21-2004, 06:54 AM
Evan, I have 1 acre of trees and other objects that stand in the way. Got tired of mowing because it took 2 hours to mow less than an acre.

Just bought a zero turn mower a month ago with a 48" deck. Now it only takes one hour.

The real bitch is that the mower is so fun to drive (top mowing speed is 9 mph) that the job is over and I want to keep driving! Almost as much fun to drive as my first dirt bike!


06-21-2004, 08:16 AM
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Evan:

That looks like a very nice mower. I don't think I can afford it though.

I was kinda hoping that other people on this board would show and tell their own homes.</font>

I would,but its hard to see with all the grass http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gif

06-21-2004, 08:16 AM
It takes me about 6 hrs. to cut all my grass at camp, and I hate cutting grass. Only have a 38 in. cutting deck on mower, and needed some new blades. I went to the Cub cadet dealer and picked up the latest in blades- carbide coated to stay sharp longer. Very pricey, but we'll see how long they last.


06-21-2004, 08:35 AM
Is there a simple way to upload pics to this site or do I have to link them to my web page? I took a quick look but didn't see anyway to upload.

06-21-2004, 10:43 AM
They have to be hosted elsewhere so you can link to them. See the networking forum for instructions on how to use Photobucket.

06-21-2004, 10:52 AM

That is a nice house you have. I have been to Denmark and it is very Danish looking. You can't really tell but in the first pic of mine there is a flagpole. Top flag is Canada, second flag is Denmark.

06-21-2004, 04:54 PM
Let's see if this works.
Thanks Evan, I linked it to my web host page so I didn't have to go to photobucket.

06-21-2004, 05:20 PM
Nice place Rob. That is the one thing I don't have, water.

06-21-2004, 05:54 PM
Thats what my Uncle has, a Walker mower.
He bought his used though for much less than new. Unfortunetly it has had the guts run out of it. Needs new motor. Last winter we spent a weekend welding up the mower deck. Amazing what the sand erosion does do those mower decks in Florida.

06-21-2004, 07:09 PM
My house was built by it's only other owner, in 1965, with the garage in the mid 1970's. If you look over the right side of the lower section of the house you can just see the corner of the upper story of the garage.It ain't grand, but it's home.

[This message has been edited by sandman2234 (edited 06-22-2004).]

06-21-2004, 08:16 PM
Thanks Evan, I was lucky when I did this place there was a bunch of springs all in the same spot and it was always wet. I got it dug down 12 feet so the trout could summer over without frying.
The winters are a bear here but we have great privacy and once you have that it's hard to let go of. I've had some offers but I just don't have it in me to do another house. It's smaller than it looks but I like small places and the winter heating bills aren't bad although we haven't seen -40C in a couple of years. I did see about -36C one night last year. You can always tell when it's going to be a cold one the deck cracks really loud!

06-21-2004, 08:34 PM
Thanks Evan
Houses in rural NL go for very good prices,especially since the cod moratorium.
This house would have been way outside my price range,but because of the market here I picked it up for far below the cost to build it.
I am only a minutes walk to the ocean and there is a small brook that runs behind the house.Lots of birds around this time of year!!
ps Home town link

[This message has been edited by motorworks (edited 06-21-2004).]

Tim Mehner
06-21-2004, 10:44 PM
Your place is amazing Evan. Now for the dumb question, since I'm new here. Where do you live?? I'm in Indiana and we sure as heck don't have the long days like you speak of. I've got 5 acres to mow. I'm not a big fan of yard work, so I got ticked off this spring and went and bought a 30h.p. Kubota with a 72" mower deck. Went from 7-8 hrs. mowing time to 3 hrs. It wasn't cheap, but I don't mind cutting the grass now LOL!!!

06-21-2004, 11:19 PM
We live smack in the middle of British Columbia, 52 degrees north latitude. Hit near 90F here today, in southern BC today it hit 104F. We have a wide temperature range, the coldest I have seen was around -45. Good machining weather.