All-Wood Brush Mower Built For $125

“It was an economical way to put together a big mower for small brush and weeds,” says Dave Kulzer, Albany, Minn., about the 40-in. wide brush cutter he built out of wood. He uses the wood mower on his mini skid loader.

He removed the engines and blades from two 6 1/2 hp push-type, 21-in. mulching mowers. He mounted the engines on a wood deck with a 2 by 6 frame covered by a 3/4-in. thick plywood top. The two offset Briggs & Stratton 6 1/2 hp engines mount on the deck and shaft-drive a pair of 21-in. blades. The loader forks slide through a pair of slots cut into the back of the deck and are kept in place by strips of wood screwed onto the deck’s underside. A pair of small dolly wheels on front of the deck help keep it level.

“I use it to trim brush around the yard and to cut trails through the woods. It works great and cost only about $125 to build,” says Kulzer.

“It’ll cut brush up to 1 in. thick. The beauty is that I can lift the deck above tall grass and keep going without having to slow down. By using the skid loader I can mow without having to drive over the brush first, and the skid loader’s 4-WD provides good traction.

“I built it because I needed to cut big patches of tall thistles on my property. I tried using a riding mower, but I couldn’t raise it high enough without plugging up the deck. Also, it was hard on the mower. I wanted something right away, but I didn’t want to spend $3,000 on a small brush mower so I decided to build my own using wood.”

He went to Craigslist to buy the two junked-out mulch mowers for $50 apiece. He removed the engines and blades, and then bought a pair of thick mower blades. He cut 8-in. dia. holes in the deck and fastened the engines onto the deck with 4 bolts, adding large flat washers on the bottom to keep the plywood from tearing out. He stacked 2 by 6’s on back of the deck and also added one on top on front for more strength. The dolly wheels on front came off one of the mowers that he tore apart.

“I think it works as good as brush mowers that work off the skid loader’s hydraulics, maybe better,” says Kulzer. “A lot of skid loaders have weak hydraulics which causes the mower to plug up a lot. My mini loader doesn’t have high flow hydraulics, so using an engine on each blade gives my mower the power it needs.

“If you needed a wider cut you could add a third engine. By adding a hitch and a couple more wheels, you could build the mower to pull behind a 4-wheeler. The deck on my mower is open on front, but short lengths of chain could be added to keep debris from flying out.”