Show us and tell us the stories of your garden equipment

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Kaleb

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Anyone who has a garden will typically have tools that help them keep everything neat and tidy, which most of us take completely for granted since they are so abundant, but are true working engines in their own right. Well here you can finally give these unsung workhorses of the garden the appreciation they deserve. So I'll get the ball rolling.

The fleet at my house is comprised of well used equipment, two thirds of it being scrapyard refugees.



This Rover mower with a Briggs engine was built in 1985, and has been in the family since it was brand new. Despite its age, approaching thirty years, it still starts easily and runs like a new one. Would a modern mower last this long and run this well after all those years? Don't think so.





The first of the scrapyard refugees, which both came from the local mower man, is this Stihl FS38 whipper snipper. (also known as a weed eater, line trimmer, string trimmer, strimmer or grass trimmer depending where you come from.)

When I found it, there was fuel in the tank so I decided to see if it ran at all as it was. I managed to start it, and it would keep itself idling, but it bogged down and conked out as soon as I gave it some throttle. This told me immeadiately there was something amiss in the carby.

I assumed one of the jets was gummed up with lint, so I removed the carby from the engine, took it apart and gave all the little orifices that could clog up a good poke with a needle before re-assembling it.

Sure enough, when I put it back on the engine, connected the fuel lines and the throttle cable, it ran much better, revving up high when given full throttle. After tweaking the fuel mixture and idle setting, it was ready for action. I'm going to make my own guard for it from steel plate so it doesn't throw dirt and pebbles in my face when I'm using it.



The other scrapyard refugee here is this Homelite HB-180V blower. I must point out that not all Homelites are created equal. This is an American Homelite, which I would recommend going for if you decided on the brand. It clearly says "Crafted in the U.S.A." on the label. The other group are the Chinese Homelites which don't have this mark, but they will disclose their origins if you look for the small unobtrusive "Made in China" phrase printed somewhere.

Anyway, this one was found to run quite well, but it was missing its tube, I happened to have another one which I never got to run properly, but did have a tube, so it was a simple matter of swapping the tube over and it was ready for service. I've kept the one which donated the tube as a source of spare parts.

I also get a bit of extra money for my activities on top of my disability pension by selling scrounged stuff of this nature that I have repaired. I've sold two whipper snippers so far, and another three are awaiting their new owners.
 

speedyb

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Equipment... Sorry, but I would have to post a pic of the two Men who I just paid dearly, to REMOVE all the jungle that was called landscaping at my house. :eek: ;D
 

dgjessing

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I'm still using the same Lawnboy mower I used to mow lawns for money back in high school, 38 years ago. I would guess it's about 40 to 42 years old. Starts first pull (most of the time). :)
 

DICKEYBIRD

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dgjessing said:
I'm still using the same Lawnboy mower I used to mow lawns for money back in high school, 38 years ago. I would guess it's about 40 to 42 years old. Starts first pull (most of the time). :)
I had a Lawnboy F-Series for many years, a '72 model and still have the deck with a B&S engine on it I use for a sidewalk and driveway vacuum. The best aerodynamically lifting mower deck around and I'll bet the highest usable power to weight ratio of any mower...ever.

Lawnboy engines had some the most brilliant engineering I've ever seen. The connecting rods were stamped out of flat steel plate, copper coated, the 2 holes drilled & reamed close to size, the holes were hardened (I assume a case hardening process) the copper confined the hardening to the holes only, the holes then ground to size.

The crankshaft webs were made to a size & shape that allowed the bare connecting rod big end to be slid along the crank and into position over the rod journal; the bearing rollers were slid into place and constrained by 2 big 'ol E-clips that snapped into grooves on the crank. Brilliantly simple, cheap to make, unobstructed lubrication access and lasts forever.

Then there was the aerodynamic governor gizmo that had a simple vane in the cooling fan airflow path connected to the throttle butterfly with a simple link.

The whole thing reeked of a brilliant engineering staff with a gift for simple, lightweight & durable designs.

Now back to the OP. My scrapyard save was so good I'm still ashamed to tell the story. My buddy/neighbor down the street called & said "You want this mower my next door neighbor drug out to the curb?" I said heck yeah and he rolled it down to my house. It was a still-shiny rear bag Ariens with a 6.5 hp Kohler. He said it was only a bit over 1 yr old but started running rough and smoking real bad so the owner bought a new Honda to replace it.

I checked it over and found that the oil level was all the way up to the top of the dipstick. It was yellow plastic and the oil so clean it was hard to see where the level was. I drained almost a quart out, rolled it around to the back yard and fired it up on the 1st pull. It sputtered & missed for a while and smoked the place up for 15 minutes or so then smoothed out and ran perfect, no smoking at all. That was 4 yrs. ago and it still runs perfect!

I've offered to pay for it several times but the previous owner said "Don't tell anybody what I did and we'll call it even." ;D
 

rake60

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I have a 17 year old Craftsman lawn tractor, a 1 year old Cub Cadet push mower with electric start and a 2 year
old Poulan weed whacker with attachments that I don't even know what they do.

Then I have a few older self propelled push mowers that are in line for a little fixing up.



When I find the time..... ::)

Rick
 

stevehuckss396

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I had a craftsman lawn tractor (11HP) that was getting old. Bought Mama a new one and that left the old tractor sitting in the garage. I stopped into Grainger and bought 2 pulleys. I went from a 3 to 1 reduction to a 3 to 1 increase. The first time i let the clutch out in 3rd gear it wheelied down the drive way about 40 feet. Being a big chicken I made a wheelie bar from some 3/4 conduit. My neighbor still has video of me doing wheelies down the street. In 6th gear the thing went so fast the front end would start to shake.

The tractor still cuts grass (alot slower) on one of the local islands out in lake St Clair.
 

Troutsqueezer

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My yard is pretty big. The tool I use most is a little bigger than a lawn mower however. It sure does earn its keep. Runs all day on less than a tank of fuel. Doesn't break a sweat when moving boulders, grading the driveway, rototilling or cutting in new pads. It also serves to help me connect with my neighbors. Seems they all want some kind of tractor work done at one time or another.



 

Kaleb

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Is that a Kubota by any chance? They're good little machines for those who don't need a full sized John Deere, Case, Ford or New Holland and can't afford one either.
 

ShedBoy

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I love old garden equipment and can't see it go to waste as there are so many people who like to salvage them and give them some love. These are two I saved lately for the right price and are moving on
http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/Vintage-Rotary-Hoe-/280869772499?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_15&hash=item4165249cd3

http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/Qualcast-Duodrive-Reel-Mower-/280869770390?pt=AU_Lawnmowers&hash=item4165249496

They were too good for the scrap man. Myself I have upgraded garden machines lately. Moved from a B/S sidevalve which came from the tip with a dead sparkplug to a OHV chinese thing which runs quite nice so far, its a honda copy. When I was a kid I used to mow the lawn with a B/S which lasted about 25 years that I know of before snapping a rod. I have pulled several apart and they all have ali bore and soome early ones even have the crank running in the casing. Good ali for melting too :)
Brock
 

sorekiwi

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rake60 said:
Then I have a few older self propelled push mowers that are in line for a little fixing up.



Rick
Hey Rick, do you have a source for the tires on the reel mowers? I need to find a couple for this old Jacobson I rescued last year:



 

Kaleb

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ShedBoy said:
I love old garden equipment and can't see it go to waste as there are so many people who like to salvage them and give them some love. These are two I saved lately for the right price and are moving on
http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/Vintage-Rotary-Hoe-/280869772499?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_15&hash=item4165249cd3

http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/Qualcast-Duodrive-Reel-Mower-/280869770390?pt=AU_Lawnmowers&hash=item4165249496

They were too good for the scrap man. Myself I have upgraded garden machines lately. Moved from a B/S sidevalve which came from the tip with a dead sparkplug to a OHV chinese thing which runs quite nice so far, its a honda copy. When I was a kid I used to mow the lawn with a B/S which lasted about 25 years that I know of before snapping a rod. I have pulled several apart and they all have ali bore and soome early ones even have the crank running in the casing. Good ali for melting too :)
Brock
Great save on both of those! I've got a 2 stroke Villiers which probably was used on an Allen scythe mower. I found it in the scrap bin of a motor spring works. Apparently it belonged to a bloke who lived next door who had since passed away, and his son had no interest, so he dumped it in there with various other stuff. I've had it running, just got to mount it properly to a stand.
 

Troutsqueezer

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Kaleb said:
Is that a Kubota by any chance? They're good little machines for those who don't need a full sized John Deere, Case, Ford or New Holland and can't afford one either.
Hmmm...best not to post something like this in the Tractor By Net forum. You would be instantly excommunicated. ;)

Yep this one is a Kubota, for sure. New, it was $30k. About the price of the brands you mention, depending on size, implements, etc.
 

cfellows

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I have a Lawnboy, modern variety. I much prefer the size and weight of a small electric mower, but hate dealing with the cord. I'm really put off by the fact that nobody seems capable or willing to build a 20" mower that is lightweight. An aluminum deck with a 2 cycle motor would probably weight half as much as the steel deck, 4 stroke models. If my yard was bigger, I would have a self propelled mower, but maneuvering one around my small yard with shrubs and trees is more of a hassle than it's worth.

I have a Black and Decker corded string trimmer. I like it's light weight and lots of power. But I hate the auto-feed head for the line. It feeds out line more often than it needs to and feeds too much when it does. It really gouges he fence and tears up the line along the sidewalk when it unexpectedly feeds too much line. I've replaced the spool several times, but that doesn't seem to fix the problem. I would get a gas edger with bump feed or fixed feed, but they are too heavy, more than twice the weight of my electric. I would also have to mix the gas and oil or get a (still heavier) 4 stroke model.

Nothing is ever easy... :(

Chuck
 

Groomengineering

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Well here's my latest project, an old Dixon ZTR 30" to replace my old Toro rider and it's 1/4 mile turning radius. :rant:

For those unfamiliar with the Dixon, they used to use an interesting cone drive transaxle:



Worked well but from what I've been told the eyebolts for the front adjuster rods all failed eventually. Of course this one was no exception, both bolts sheared and someone was even nice enough to drill one out (almost) and break off a tap in it before unceremoniously strapping it back on with fence wire. :Doh:

So after a little engineering (very little ::) ) it was on to the mill for a couple new holes, a little angle iron and allthread, and we have adjusters.





Back into the mower and all is good.





Still needs a little adjustment, but it runs great and should do the job for many more years.

Cheers

Jeff
 

rake60

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New toy, I mean tool of course.

I bought the edger attachment for my Poulan Pro string trimmer today.



It's a nice set up. You loosen the red knob on the top half of the shaft, pull the string
trimmer head off, slip the edger on and re-tighten the knob.

The sidewalks do need a little patch work but at least the edges are sharp.



Now I'm looking at the other attachment that are available for it.



That little chain saw pruner looks like it would be fun to play with!

Rick

 

Sshire

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Used to take me all weekend to do the yard work, but the new tools allow me much more "chip making" time.
The equipment comes each week on a truck accompanied by 4 guys. Between their gang mower, industrial strength leaf blowers, etc., they finish in 30 minutes. I can see them from the shop.
Best
Stan
 

hopeless

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A tip for you Rick.....if you have little spare time now don't retire. I'm still trying to find out how I had time ton go to work :-X
Pete

rake60 said:
I have a 17 year old Craftsman lawn tractor, a 1 year old Cub Cadet push mower with electric start and a 2 year
old Poulan weed whacker with attachments that I don't even know what they do.

Then I have a few older self propelled push mowers that are in line for a little fixing up.



When I find the time..... ::)

Rick
 

DICKEYBIRD

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rake60 said:
That little chain saw pruner looks like it would be fun to play with!

Rick
I bought the Poulan hedge clipper attachment at Walmart and cut a thin shin to make it fit the Echo string trimmer that was given to me. I adjusted the idle speed high enough to engage the clutch which allows me to use it without having to operate the throttle. The clipper doesn't need much speed to do it's job.

I can now trim my tallest holly bushes without getting out a stepladder or an extension cord. I love it! ;D
 

rake60

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I got to help my cousin with some heavy duty yard work today.

The old terracotta greywater drain pipes from his house and his rental propery next door were
collapsing and clogging.

Solution, rent a Ditch Witch!

This is my cousin running the rented machine.



And, at the end of the day:



All done but the back filling.
There is a total of 380 feet of new 4" DWV plastic pipe in those ditches, all shimmed
and adjusted for proper grade drainage flow.

Thank heaven for Ibuprofen!
I'm sure my cousin would agree statement at this point in time.
:D

Rick


 
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