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Homebuilt Lawn Mower
When the rear wheels and gearbox failed on Richard Wenkel's 26-in. walk-behind self-propelled lawn mower, he combined the mower deck and 5 hp engine with a 1950's Bolens garden tractor to build his own mower.
"It seemed like I had to make a choice between buying half the mower again in parts or an entire new mower," says Wenkel. "Combining the mower and garden tractor turned out to be a less expensive solution. Although a bit long and heavy, the mower is well balanced and handles easily. I can adjust ground speed according to mowing conditions by varying the throttle settings on the two engines. For a total investment of $12 for the mower belt, it's hard to beat."
Wenkel left the tractor basically unchanged except to replace the over-center belt tightener clutch with a deadman type clutch. He made an angle iron frame to suspend the original mower engine under the handle bars. He made another angle iron frame, using caster wheels from a Bolens sprayer, to hold the mower deck. He bolted the sprayer's mounting bracket to the frame which allows the mower deck to oscillate independently of the tractor. He also added a set of belt guides and a slack side belt tightener to the tractor underframe for the mower deck drive belt.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Richard Wenkel, 1825 Fairview Ave., St. Paul, Minn. 55113 (ph 612 644-5794).

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1990 - Volume #14, Issue #4