How to Reduce the Speed of a Self-Propelled Lawn Mower
A beautiful lawn near the house plays a decorative role, harmoniously combines different parts of the landscape composition and creates a comfortable atmosphere in the garden. It is impossible to maintain the attractiveness and “neatness” of grass cover without the use of a lawn mower.
The range of modern equipment allows you to choose the optimal type of lawn mower, based on the use of the site and its area. If you wish, you can assemble a lawn mower from improvised means – this is the best option if you want to save money and create a useful thing with your own hands.
- Why do you need a lawn mower
- The main types of lawn mowers
- Device and principle of operation of an electric lawn mower
- Lawnmower Features
- DIY lawn mowers
- Selection of work units and parts
- Electric mower assembly
- The pros and cons of a homemade lawn mower
- Lawn Mower Safety
Why do you need a lawn mower
The lawn mower replaced the traditional tool – a scythe. Mechanical, electric, and gasoline mowers are used wherever a neat and tidy lawn is needed: in parks, gardens, stadiums, and adjoining areas.
The use of lawn mowers gives a number of significant advantages:
- The device cuts the vegetation to the same height throughout the plot. When forming grass cover, the height of the haircut is the main parameter.
- Ease and speed of a lawn mowing.
- If you use a model of a lawn mower with a grass catcher, then after cutting you will not need to work with a rake.
In the garden, the lawn is used as a background for bright elements of landscape design, planted in front of group or solo plants. A perfectly flat emerald lawn is a great place for families and guests to relax.
The main types of lawn mowers
All lawn mowers can be classified according to three main criteria: type of food, method of movement and type of knives used.
Depending on the type of food, the following types of mowers are distinguished:
Cordless Lawn Mowers equipped with an electric motor that receives energy from a removable battery. A lithium-ion or lead power source is supplied. Such mowers are most convenient and mobile, well suited for mowing grass in areas with many obstacles: buildings, flower beds, shrubs, furniture.
Gas mowers distinguished by high power and high performance. Used in large areas for lawn cultivation and grass mowing. A significant plus of such mowers is convenient handling and complete autonomy.
Disadvantages of gasoline lawn mowers:
- The mower makes a lot of noise during operation;
- The presence of exhaust gases.
Mechanical (manual) lawn mowers work without the participation of the engine – the knives begin to rotate due to the movement of the mower. To mow grass with such an aggregate, a person will have to make a lot of physical strength.
The advantages of a mechanical mower include – affordable cost, saving consumables (gasoline and electricity), as well as noiselessness and environmental friendliness of work.
Electric Lawn Mowers are most popular among gardeners and gardeners. They have good performance and are relatively inexpensive. The only drawback of such equipment is the limited movement (cable length up to 60 m). Electric lawn mowers for summer cottages are self-propelled and non-self-propelled.
According to the method of moving lawn mowers for summer cottages are self-propelled and non-self-propelled. In the first case, the wheels rotate from the electric motor, and the user only directs the mower in one direction or another. When working with a non-self-propelled lawn mower, you will have to make efforts to control the device, since the engine transfers power only to the knives.
The mower drive (front or rear) affects the operation of the self-propelled lawn mower. Front-wheel mowers are maneuverable, but devices with rear-wheel drive are preferable, since the rear axle is heavier during mowing.
In different models of lawn mowers, two types of knives can be installed:
- Rotary – one knife with two blades is attached to the shaft; such mowers do better with weeds and tall grass;
- Cylindrical – several knives are used at once; such models cut grass cleanly, without damage – optimal for caring for a decorative lawn.
Device and principle of operation of an electric lawn mower
Electric lawn mower has a fairly simple device. The product consists of the following basic elements:
- Electric motor;
- Control lever.
The electric motor is mounted on a platform with wheels. A knife is installed at the bottom of the case, some models of mowers have a grass catcher at the back. A handle with a control lever is also attached to the platform.
Most lawnmowers work on a single principle. An electric motor rotates the output shaft, which in turn drives the knives. Lawn mowers are washed down with electricity through a cord, which limits the path of the device in the area.
In factory models of lawn mowers, you can choose the mowing height, adjusting to the type of grass and the relief of the site.
When choosing a lawn mower, the technical parameters of the device are of decisive importance.
Power. Electric models, on average, have a power range of 0.75-2 kW, the power of gasoline mowers can reach 8 kW. For a well-groomed ground grass you can choose devices with low power, but with a high, dense and unevenly planted grass, only a high-power gas mower can handle it.
Lawn Mower Width. Mechanical and electric lawn mowers have a small mowing width (30-45 cm) – they are convenient to use in compact areas “overloaded” with plantings and decoration elements. Gasoline lawn mowers with a mowing width of about 55 cm effectively cope with areas of more than 10 acres.
Cutting height depends on the type of lawn. Lawn mowers usually have several mowing modes, the most common – 30/45/60 mm – this range is enough to care for the ground, decorative and meadow grass.
Body material. The market includes models made of plastic (polypropylene, reinforced plastic), aluminum and steel. Aluminum housing is the most preferred, as it has good resistance to corrosion, impact and high temperatures. A lawn mower with a steel platform will cost less than a plastic and aluminum model, but the service life of such an aggregate is less, since the steel undergoes corrosion.
In addition to the listed parameters, the following criteria affect the durability and usability of the mower:
- The mode of operation determines what happens to the grass after mowing.
- Throw to the side or back – after work, the grass will have to be collected with a rake;
- Grass catcher – the grass is collected in a special container;
- Mulching – a special knife is used, which after mowing cuts the grass; mulch is evenly distributed on the lawn, nourishes and protects it from drying out.
- Material and shape of the wheels. The most reliable metal wheels, it is good if they are covered with a tread on top.
- Lever. More comfortable models with folding and adjusting handles.
DIY lawn mowers
Selection of work units and parts
Before proceeding with the manufacture of the lawn mower, we will determine what parts and improvised tools can be used as working elements of the device. So, it is necessary to choose the following main nodes:
- Frame or ready-made chassis for assembling and securing all parts of the mower;
- Electrical engine;
- Control handle;
- Components of the control system (power cable, plug, switches, RCD).
Wireframe. An all-metal sheet (thickness 2-3 mm) is suitable for the manufacture of the frame. The sheet is “cut out” in the shape of a lawn mower, and a hole is drilled in the center to install the motor shaft.
You can take any moving mechanism as the basis of the lawn mower: chassis from a wheelbarrow, old baby stroller, etc.
Engine. For a home-made lawn mower, you can use any induction motor (power from 500 kW, speed – about 3000 rpm).
Video: How to Reduce the Speed of a Self-Propelled Lawn Mower
Good performance is shown by the following combination of work nodes:
- Mowing (diameter of the circle of rotation of the cutting edge) – 50 cm;
- The number of revolutions per minute – 1500;
- Engine power – 1 kW.
A three-phase motor lawnmower circuit should contain a working and starting capacitors. The capacitance of a capacitor for an engine with a power of 2 kW is 200 μF, and for an engine with a power of 600 kW it is 60-80 μF.
For a lawn mower, you can take an engine with a conventional electric drill with a speed of not more than 3000 rpm. Such a lawn mower is useful for caring for a small area of lawn, if you need to mow a large area, it is better to install an induction motor – it will work continuously longer.
Some craftsmen install an electric motor on a lawnmower from an old Soviet-style washing machine (from a drive for a centrifuge for drying clothes). The power of such an engine is small – about 200 watts, but due to its weight the engine has a significant moment of inertia. With a well-sharpened massive knife, this will even mow thick, dry grass and young growth of trees.
Photo of a lawn mower from a washing machine
Knives. Strips of tool steel with a width of 20-50 mm and a thickness of 2-3 mm are suitable as knives for lawn mowers. Steel for the knife must be selected solid, but not fragile, otherwise the knife may break off and injure with a flying piece.
The shape of the knives can be performed in two versions:
- One long knife (30-50 cm) attached to the frame. The ends of the knife are sharpened, and act as incisors.
- Two short knives (50-80 mm) attached at the edges of the platform (frame). Knives can be installed with a small angle or straight.
The cutting edges of the knives can be slightly bent down, like a factory lawn mower. With this form of grass is not so much wound on the motor shaft.
Wheels. The size and location of the wheels must be selected so that the knives are above the ground at a distance of about 5-6 cm – this is the optimal cutting height for the garden.
The choice of the number of wheels depends on the preferences of the manufacturer. Two wheels allow the device to be more maneuverable and work at different angles, three or four wheels provide an even mowing of grass.
Wheels can be taken from the same car, an old baby carriage, or made independently from thick plywood and bearings.
Electric Lawn Mower Assembly
After the work items are selected, you can proceed to assemble them. Consider the order of the work:
- From a metal corner (2525 mm) weld the frame. A platform for installing the engine and knives will be attached to it.
- At the corners of the frame, weld small racks from the same corner. The racks will be used to secure the wheels of the mower. If a three-wheeled device is manufactured, then two wheels must be mounted on the side of the control handle – it will be easier to raise the front of the unit for a turn.
- As a result of the work done, it should look like a trolley, if you use a ready-made chassis from a stroller or a wheelbarrow, then the previous steps do not need to be performed.
- From metal pipes, make a U-shaped control knob, picking its height in height.
- Weld the handle to the mower platform.
- Drill a hole in the platform.
- It is advisable to weld a protective arc from the front of the frame. It can be made from a metal pipe of square section 1010 mm. The protective frame limits the mower’s movement, protecting trees, flowers, shrubs from accidental mowing.
- “Cut out” the knife and sharpen the cutters. Drill a hole in the middle of the knife (diameter – about 8 mm).
- Install the electric motor on the platform so that the motor shaft exits into the prepared hole.
- Install the knife on the motor shaft.
- Center the knife – scroll manually and make sure that the knife rotates smoothly, without distortions. If the knife is not installed smoothly, then it can be balanced by cutting off excess metal from one end of the knife (the total length of the knife cannot be changed).
- Connect the cable to the engine.
- On the handle, fix a piece of wire with a switch and a plug. For ease of use, an extension cord can be connected.
The pros and cons of a homemade lawn mower
Practice shows that lawnmowers assembled with their own hands have their own advantages and disadvantages, like any other device.
Advantages of a home-made lawn mower:
- Significant savings on the purchase of a new device (prices for electric lawn mowers range from 5,000 to 50,000 rubles);
- The ability to use old, unnecessary things to good use;
- Own made lawn mower can be repaired by yourself;
The disadvantages of such a lawn mower are:
- Cutting height cannot be adjusted;
- Sometimes the power of a home-made mower is not enough for mowing too grown or thickened grass;
- Lack of grass catcher;
- Very often, a hand-assembled lawn mower is heavy – this makes the lawn maintenance difficult.
Lawn Mower Safety
When planning the manufacture of a lawn mower, you must be aware of the danger that the use of a poorly assembled device can pose. There are two main threats: injury by rotating knives and electric shock. Both risk factors are very serious, therefore safety measures must be taken very responsibly.
- All places of the electrical wires (on the engine, on the control parts) must be carefully insulated.
- To power the engine, you must use a cable with double insulation, having at least three cores.
- The lawnmower must be connected to the network using an RCD (protective shutdown). The RCD de-energizes electrical appliances that are energized due to inadequate insulation.
- The mower cannot be used without a protective cover.
- Work on the site must be carried out when there are no people or animals nearby. A broken knife flies at a very high speed.
- Mow the grass in closed shoes.
- The work is carried out in conditions of good visibility – in the morning or afternoon.
- If the mower’s engine appears in the area of children, it must be switched off immediately.
- Wet grass cannot be mowed.
- Before turning on the device, you must check the condition of the knives, case and electric cable. Particular attention is paid to the strength of the fasteners of the working units of the mower.
Creating a beautiful lawn and maintaining it in order is not an easy task. And to make it easier, you need a reliable assistant – a lawn mower. There are many good and different models on sale. And although everyone has the same purpose, in a number of parameters they differ from each other. Let’s try to figure them out.
What are lawn mowers?
By the way of moving lawn mowing machines are divided into:
- Manual (trimmers) that are held in hand when mowing,
- Wheeled hand, which you need to carry on the lawn,
By type of drive motor distinguish mechanical, gasoline and electric lawn mowers.
Mechanical Wheel Mowers easy to operate, it does not need electricity or gasoline, but significant muscular effort is needed. They are environmentally friendly, silent and allow you to adjust the height of mowing the grass. The cutting mechanism is a cylindrical knife driven by wheels. Such a tool is good for caring for a young lawn, as the low speed of rotation of the knife prevents pulling out grass with a fragile root system.
Mechanical Wheel Mower
And we will consider gasoline and electric lawn mowers below.
Hand Lawn Mowers (trimmers) fit for regular lawn mowing in a small area even with an uneven surface, as they can mow at any angle. The trimmer is a holder bar, at the lower end of which is a cutting device with fishing line. And with high power – additionally with a circular knife. The mower hangs on a belt on the operator’s shoulder, literally making it easier for him to work.
Trimmer can be equipped electric or gasoline engine. Electric is located on the lower or upper end of the rod, and gasoline – only on the upper.
A protective cover limits the mowing edge and protects the legs of the mower from injury. During operation, the left hand holds the handle of the bar (adjusting, if necessary, the height of mowing the grass), and the right hand holds the handle with the engine control button.
The main advantage of trimmers – the ability to mow grass in uneven areas and close to bushes and trees. But maintain the same mowing height at the same time will not work.
The electric trimmer is powered by a household power outlet. To his merits can include:
- Light weight
- Environmental friendliness (there are no exhaust gases and noise).
Disadvantages of the electric trimmer:
- Binding to a network (outlet),
- The presence of a stable voltage,
- Forever disturbing cable on the lawn
- Low power.
And the cable itself has a limited length: you can’t squint far from home.
Battery Trimmer – the same as the electric one, but the engine does not work from the outlet, so you can mow at any distance from the house. This is his basic convenience. However, the mowing area is determined by the capacity of the battery.
The gas trimmer is designed to work in large areas. Therefore, it is especially in demand by summer residents, and owners of country estates, and workers in urban utilities. However, working with it requires some preparation.
This type of lawn mower is distinguished by an enviable mobility, increased power and practicality. It can be used for mowing not only lawn grass, but also weeds and bushes. And professional models are able to cut stems up to one and a half centimeters thick.
However, even with a small fuel tank, such an assembly:
- Weighs quite a lot,
- Requires a mixture of gasoline with oil,
- Pollutes the environment with exhaust fumes,
- Makes a noise.
But it can work in any weatherat.
The convenience of mowing grass with a trimmer is determined by several points, and one of them is the location of the engine.
Trimmers engine bottom on sale a lot. Most often they rechargeable low power. They overheat quickly, so they require frequent interruptions in work. Protection against moisture and mechanical stress is poor. They cannot work on morning dew and immediately after rain, otherwise a short circuit may occur.
Trimmers engine top more practical, more balanced and more powerful, require less mowing effort, and therefore more comfortable in operation. They have good cooling (less overheating), and, therefore, greater performance.
Engine Top Trimmer
Among the trimmers with an upper engine, I especially want to highlight knapsacks. Their engines are secured behind their backs (like a schoolbag), which significantly reduces the load on the hands and much less restricts movement.
Knapsack petrol trimmer
A nice trimmer option is anti-vibration system. It allows you to reduce the vibration load on the shoulders and hands, protects the arms and back of the mower.
Powerful gas trimmers to reduce the burden on the hands equipped with ergonomic handle, similar to a bicycle wheel. On the right handle are buttons to control the operation of the tool. When buying a trimmer, make sure that the handle and button layout on it are comfortable for you.
Comfortable bicycle handle