View Full Version : Advice Needed and Gloat: Repair of Cub Cadet mower bags

07-15-2018, 06:21 AM
Greetings all! Need some help. I have never owned a "riding" lawn mower but my nephew recently found a Cub Cadet for $400 (150 hours on meter) and it looks and is in even better condition and is a more advanced unit than the one in this video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gIgCjF1B6QU. The next cheapest one in this condition in my area is going for $1100. The mower was owned by a guy living in the more affluent area of my city who has a lot of money but no brains. The mower had a very simple mechanical problem which my nephew fixed in a half hour.

It did not come with a bagger but once more my nephew came to the rescue and found one on Craigslist for $35 - the complete unit. As if this Cinderella story couldn't get any better it turned out the guy selling the bagger lived just on the other side of my subdivision so it was easy to get home.

OK, so here's my problem: The owner of the bagger (another guy with more money than brains) in an attempt to get the grass to simply shoot downward back into the lawn and not get bagged removed the bottoms out of the bags (2 bags). So what I have now are two perfectly good bags (no rips or tears) with the bottoms removed. I'm told there was something like a solid piece of plastic forming the floor of the bags and the edges of the bottom of the bags are bent 90 degrees to the vertical forming pliable plastic mesh "flanges", so to speak, which are not damaged in any way. The bottom opening of each bag is about 12" X 18"? or 10"X 14"? - picturing it in my mind.

I need to find a reliable way to fix something to the mesh of the bottom of plastic bags, and for that matter to come up with a material to use. Quarter inch plywood would be perfect except for the weight and the fact that in time it would rot out. Some sort of rigid but thin plastic would be great but then how do I attach it? I'd like to avoid nuts and bolts because in time I think the weight of the grass would rip the fabric of the bags at the point where the mesh is screwed. I had thought of two thin "windows" I could make out of aluminum sheet metal to sandwich the mesh - I don't know, what do you think?

I'm open to any suggestions. Now, I could just buy new bags but the pair, including tax and shipping, would run me another $100. I'm trying to keep it cheap given that I already have most of the bags intact and simply need a repair.

Thanks in advance for any suggestions!


Old School
07-15-2018, 07:28 AM
How about just getting a couple of plastic trash cans and cutting out the bottoms. I think if you got some good industrial epoxy that may work to glue the bottoms to the mesh bags. When you cut the cans you could also cut a strip of plastic to go over the outside or inside of mesh for added support when you epoxy them together. Good Luck !!! I use epoxy for a lot of repairs and I think it would work in this application as well.

07-15-2018, 08:52 AM
As suggested, you might find some HDPE containers (recycle code 2) that were blow molded and have bottoms with smooth edges, in a size that fits. Though soft and flexible, HDPE is among the most abrasion resistant materials. Another option are cheap cutting boards - yard sales or dollar stores. Those can be formed with heat from a heat gun or heated strip of metal, etc. You can also weld it for joining.

You could use attach with zip ties, pop rivets, etc, using some material to prevent tear through and spread load. If you need to make holes in a nylon style grass bag, maybe melting them through with a poker would be less prone to fraying, or a tapered punch.

07-15-2018, 09:18 AM
Old School and Glug

Great suggestion! Now why the hell didn't I think of that!? *LOL* ... Hell yes! I'm sure I could find a couple of trash containers I can cannibalize and make work. I'm thinking a pliable epoxy might be best but I don't know of any. Just thinking that something cures solid might be brittle. I wonder if silicone caulk would work considering all the vibration.

Thanks guys!

07-15-2018, 09:31 AM
You can get a "square" trash can and use the sides to form your new bottom pieces. A heat gun will probably be useful to soften the edges to form into lips about 2 to 3 inches tall to help attach the bottom to each bag. Use a strip of can material to sandwich the bag material and pop-rivet the three pieces together.

07-15-2018, 10:13 AM

Yeah, I would recommend pop rivets with washers on both sides to hold by friction. This is a common method to attach canvas to things. The canvas will rot before tearing.

07-15-2018, 10:46 AM
Upholstery staples (normal heavy duty Arrow, etc.) backed up with a bucking bar when installed to bend the legs over.

07-15-2018, 10:53 AM
38_Cal - I was thinking in terms of something flat to make a base and then concentrate on attaching to the fabric flanges which are parallel to the ground, but your idea is GREAT. The trash cans suggested above by Old School and Glug could be cut about 2" from the bottom along the walls rather than the bottom giving me two planes to attach the mesh to. I might not need to use any heat if I can find a can close enough in dimension to the bags. Old School also mentioned a metal backing and I have some strips of aluminum sheet metal that I think would work. - THANKS A LOT !!!

dalee100 - Canvas is one more option I hadn't thought of. I think the plastic trash can would work but I am going to keep that idea on the back burner in case I can't come up with a good fit with commercial trash cans. I also think pop rivets area good idea but instead of washers I think I might just use some alum strips to keep the mesh edges from crinkling and wearing on the rivets. MANY THANKS !!!

07-15-2018, 11:26 AM
I've used mesh laundry bags to make a similar repair in the past. The repair outlasted the rest of the machine.

If you don't mind soft bottomed bags, the mesh laundry bags are usually in the dollar sore - cheap!

07-15-2018, 12:35 PM
The 'bagging' setup on the Gravely looks similar to the Cadet. But instead of bags there are three hard plastic trash bin-like receptacles that collect the debris (there is also a blower, connected to the pto). They have a lip at the top and slide into place. Would it would be easier to adapt a system like that?

I'd like to replace those bins with something that allows me to empty the clippings without lifting containers, etc. Not sure if that will be a larger container with a trap door, live bottom, etc.

Black Forest
07-15-2018, 12:36 PM
Where do you live roughly? Could you post a picture of the bags you have? Or a link to bags for sale?

Black Forest
07-15-2018, 12:47 PM
OK, I watched a video of a bagger review on a Cub Cadet. I had envisioned a much bigger bag. The guys recommending a trash bucket seem to get the prize! Or just drill some holes in the trash buckets and use them instead of the bag. The mesh just lets the air that is being blown into the bags dissipate I believe. Good luck.

07-15-2018, 01:08 PM
Have a look at this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JNN3pMRO5gs

I have something similar that I probably got at Lowes or H.D. years ago. It rolls up and then springs back out to expand lawn trash bags for easy filling, making them stand upright. It's flexible, of course, but very durable and would probably make a good bottom for a bagger.

I'd probably try sewing it on with one of those hand stitchers, or having it done at an upholstery shop.

07-15-2018, 02:08 PM
Here's what I was referring to: https://www.homedepot.com/p/Bosmere-Plastic-Leaf-Bag-Loader-G185/207144847

....a little pricier than I expected, but you could get two bag bottoms and have stuff left over for some other project ...maybe a heavy duty pastry sheet!

07-17-2018, 05:17 AM
Black Forest and lynnl

Thank you both for your responses.

Actually, all I need is the bottom of the bags. After investigating further I found a video which shows the inside of the bag looking down into it and it appears that the bottoms of plastic kitchen waste containers would make a good match. From what I can tell from the original the bottoms were attached to the fabric with some sort of clips but the bottoms were thin, solid, plastic with reinforcing veins and looked exactly like what Old School suggested in the first response. I think I am going to give that a go first and see what happens.

Many thanks to all who responded. You guys are great!

Norman Bain
07-17-2018, 05:44 PM
Give consideration to pushing the holes thru the "plastic canvas" (if indeed that is what the sides are) with a hot poker. This avoids/reduces tendency to tear.

I did mine (not a ride on) using a piece of wire heated up on a propane stove. For me I pushed the wire thru the plastic as well as drilling was making a crack.

07-18-2018, 04:52 AM
I go to a local tent repair shop to get my bags fixed/strengthened (mine get a workout every spring because they get loaded up with dirt/pine needles/pine cones doing spring cleanup).

It shouldn't be too expensive, and they have a good sewing machine for doing it. Slab of thick canvas across the bottom should do the trick.