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Pivot Mower

Kinda like Zimmy's 'Mower Pull Handle attachment', I imagine.
 
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This idea is intended to make corner negotiation and mowing sideways along hillsides easier. Zimmy's idea is the only one I've found that resembles it at all, but it's still quite different.

The idea I'm proposing here is a mower (standard 21-inch self-propelled) with the handlebars attached to a circular pivot such that you can, by pulling a simple lever, free the handle to swing without restriction 360 degrees about the engine. When it gets to the desired position, simply release the lever to lock it there. With this design, you could mow along a hillside to the side or in front of the mower instead of behind it, to make it easier to fight gravity and keep the mower from sliding downward. By swinging the handle out to the side, you could pivot the mower almost on a dime without getting pinned between it and a fence, wall, or other obstacle.

Now, I'm not sure how to make it work without getting all the cables messed up, but as always, I'm open to suggestion. Any ideas?

Edit: I think a way to negate the problem with cables getting twisted would be to do without them completely. Instead of a standard, old-fashioned cable throttle, use radio controls mounted on the handle. While you could definitely do it easier by using a remote control from a lawn chair, the idea is to still get some exercise while mowing the lawn. And if you think using a self-propelled mower keeps you from getting any exercise, you're quite mistaken. You still have to walk to keep up with it, and you still have to fight gravity on hillsides.

21 Quest, Apr 03 2007

whipper-mower hybrid http://www.halfbake...pper-mower_20hybrid
shameless plug [xaviergisz, Apr 04 2007]

Flymo http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flymo
you should get one. [BJS, Apr 05 2007]

[link]






       The groundskeeper at my first school used a Flymo on a rope to mow the steep parts of the school grounds - he'd just walk along the top, using a pendulum motion with the mower. Worked a treat (although at the cost of fine mower control).
neutrinos_shadow, Apr 04 2007
  

       Maybe you could fit a Roomba with blades, and fdrop the whole handle thing entirely.
DrCurry, Apr 04 2007
  

       Not bad, DC, but I think somebody posted a Roomba mower once or twice before here. Also, as I stated in the edit to my post (at the bottom): the idea is to still get some exercise while mowing the lawn.
21 Quest, Apr 06 2007
  

       [21] The cable problem shouldn't be a big deal, so long as there is a little slack in it, and the handle can't rotate 360 degrees repeatedly. Maybe just 359 degrees rotation. And walking alongside a mower on a hill is dangerous. If you're above the mower, you could slip underneath it, if below, it could slide down on you.
wittyhoosier, Apr 06 2007
  

       I like to use a sheep on a leash mower...it's slower, but it self fertilizes the lawn, is quieter, costs very little, in fact it provies twice annual wool for sale to help offset the winter feed costs...and on occassion, we get free mutton, lamb chops and such...it's dandy.
Blisterbob, Apr 06 2007
  

       Witty, the idea of walking underneath it is that you can put more strength into keeping it from sliding. A 21-inch mower with a 4-stroke engine (I don't think they get much bigger than 4-stroke, although I could be mistaken) doesn't have too much weight to handle... for me at least. I guess I can't really speak for anyone else.
21 Quest, Apr 07 2007
  

       Brilliant. And I don't see why the handle couldn't just go round and round. The controls connect in a manner similar to that of a BMX bike with full-rotation front brakes.
  

       I used to see - displayed next to the Flymo - an electric mower whose handle could flip completely from one side to the other, and latch securely at either location. Very convenient; one never ran over one's extension cord that way, unless one was a dunce, which this one was not.
elhigh, Apr 09 2007
  
      
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