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Water Powered Lawnmower

self-powered cutting and watering
  (+13, -4)(+13, -4)
(+13, -4)
  [vote for,
against]

Reel Mowers...
are the manual-powered lawn mowers with the horizontal "cylinder" of blades between two wheels: the operator pushes the mower which causes the wheels to turn; the wheels are geared to the reel causing it to spin rapidly. They're much more environmentally friendly than either gas or electric rotary mowers, but they require a fair bit of oomph to make them go... and you have to keep your speed up or the blades will be moving too slowly to cut effectively.

so...

A Water-Powered Reel Mower

Attach a water-hose from the existing outside faucet (water mains are 60-80psi most places) to this uncomplicated garden tool to run the reel and the wheels.

Controls include a valve for water pressure and a couple levers to disengage the wheels and/or blades. (The Mark II may have CVT's instead of gears to allow for variable wheel speed without losing power and/or variable reel speed to tackle heavier growth)

Spent water from the motor streams into a gutter at the rear with holes in it, to drip-water the lawn.

Accessories:
- venturi connector for a bottle of liquid additive such as fertilizer;
- mounted spray nozzles for more intensive or standalone watering;
- tap-side electrical pump to boost water pressure even more[8th of 7];
- water-powered rotary edger/weed-whacker attachment[8th of 7]

Mow, and efficiently and evenly water your lawn, without effort.

Of course if you *like* heavy lifting, the mower can also be run without the hose in "unpowered" mode.

And for people who want to water their lawn from a greywater tank, simply run the hose from a pump; any particulates or small bits of gunk will go through the entire system without clogging (unlike a sprinkler).

AND, a garden hose is heavier than an electric cord; it won't be drawn into the blades even if you or the kids run it over.

FlyingToaster, May 15 2008

Human-powered Ride-on Reel Mower http://www.gelsing.ca/blog/?p=204
My favourite when I googled what I thought was a new idea. [Canuck, May 16 2008]

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       I'm not so sure that dragging a garden hose while mowing would be easy, but (+) for two birds with one stone.   

       If the grass is wet I find that I have to wait for the grass to dry beofre I can mow. So if I water it as I mow, I will have to wait for it to dry again as soon as I start mowing. That means I'd never be able (have) to mow the lawn! Good plan!
Ozone, May 15 2008
  

       [Ozone] the watering device is at the rear of the mower not the front
[phoenix] the water powers the wheels and the blades it isn't the cutting blade, link deleted, sry.
FlyingToaster, May 15 2008
  

       Nice solution. Grass powered would have been cooler, but even less possible.
wagster, May 15 2008
  

       The last reel mower I used was a model that must have been built circa 1930s, with a wooden t-handle and metal wheels. Did a very nice job cutting the grass, but it was heavy (metal wheels, remember?) and very hard to push, especially on the uphill parts of the lawn. I think if I was to try a contemporary model I'd find they are now quite easy to use (relatively speaking).   

       If you feel you need some form of power assist, I'd recommend a neigbourhood teenager instead of a water hose. Managing the hose and cutting wet grass, as already mentioned, would make the inconvenience outweigh the benefit, in my opinion.
Canuck, May 15 2008
  

       All action and no torque.   

       The amount of water necessary to generate a cutting action on the blade would swamp your lawn. The amount of water needed to water your lawn would not drive the blade.   

       Wear galoshes, and tread lightly.
4whom, May 15 2008
  

       Not so, [4whom].   

       // run the hose from a pump //   

       It's all about pressure.   

       [FT]'s idea uses water at standard mains pressure, through a standard (1/2" ?)hose, which powers the mechanism.   

       The alternative is to use a small bore hose and a high pressure booster pump at the tap end, analagous to a pressure washer pump (it may even be possible to adapt this idea to a standard pressure washer). At high pressure less flow is needed, and the umbilical can be much lighter and more flexible.   

       {+}   

       All that is needed is to add a high-pressure water jet "sidearm" in a holster on the mower handle, to allow the operator to take out any lurking felines ....   

       <#include EOSSACR.H>
8th of 7, May 15 2008
  

       [8th] well, personally I prefer the standard (or over-)sized hose to reduce drag and avoid the possibility of the hose sticking up in the air (to be run over by a half-asleep operator), but I likey the auxiliary pump, and your feline-pesterer works good as a weed-whacker: post edited.
FlyingToaster, May 15 2008
  

       Fishbone for trying to cut wet grass   

       If your garden hose cannot be cut by your lawnmower, why not push the power cord or an extension lead through it? That way you'd have an armored cable and it's something you could actually do yourself without a huge effort.   

       Or you could just watch what you were doing with the mower. I find if I dump the bundle of cable in the already cut area I rarely have to wrestle with the cable at all.   

       I also find mowers scare off cats anyway. They're a bit like vacuum cleaners. So no need for a water gun.
Bad Jim, May 15 2008
  

       Would somebody point out to me where I am "cutting wet grass" ?   

       or trying to "scare off cats" ? (not that that's an ignoble pastime, but I don't see where I'm supposedly fixated on it)   

       comic "cable cutting" aside edited out :(
FlyingToaster, May 15 2008
  

       You wouldn't have nearly enough pressure. I have a new reel mower I use on an acre of grass and it is not easy. It saves me a trip to the gym though.   

       I've always wondered why one would go to a gym AND own a powered mower.
bneal27, May 16 2008
  

       -1 for deleting [phoe]'s link - I'll never know now.
po, May 16 2008
  

       Ok [FlyingToaster] let’s fix this thing. At regular pressure you need so much water that by the time you make your next round the water will have soaked into the uncut grass.   

       So we need very very high pressure.   

       If you tether a dirigible to the lawn mower, placing your water supply high enough, the resulting head should be enough to run the lawnmower on a very minute amount of water.   

       If we can come up with a quick disconnect and reconnect to handle over passes we could even expand into water-powered vehicles!
Ozone, May 16 2008
  

       Silly me! I thought the point of this idea was to power a lawn mower using only human energy assisted by water pressure, now we've added pumps, pressure washer parts, and dirigibles. As much as I like balloons and stuff, we need to keep it simple.   

       I still don't understand how managing a garden hose would be any easier than keeping an extension cord out of the way. If you run over the garden hose it won't get caught up in the blades, but it will raise the entire unit as it rolls over the hose and the grass won't get cut there. You'll have to move the hose and go back over those areas again so the lawn is nice and even. Of course, now that grass will be wet...   

       And I still recommend hiring a kid from the neighbourhood if you have none of your own.   

       The thought of a ride-on human-powered reel mower came to me as I re-read the idea, and that sounded pretty good to me. Apparently, it sounded good to others - see the link for my favourite.
Canuck, May 16 2008
  

       Segway Lawn Mower
FlyingToaster, May 16 2008
  

       Whoops I didn't read it properly you do have a way to deal with the water. I guess I'll take that fishbone back.   

       The water gun was 8th of 7s' idea if you read the comments.
Bad Jim, May 16 2008
  

       Our grandkids will say, "What's a glacier?". And, ideally, also say "what's a lawn?"   

       What wasteful things lawns are. Get a bunch of free wood chips from tree trimmers for mulch & grow fruit trees & veggies for zero mowing, 1/10th the water, zero pesticides, 1/10th the labor, and free food besides.   

       Oh, the idea? sorry. [+]. The direction of the physics is right, the order of magnitude isn't, but we forgive rounding errors like that on the HB, right?
sophocles, May 18 2008
  

       //Grass powered would have been cooler, but even less possible.//   

       Hmm, [wagster] do you mind if I run with that?
BunsenHoneydew, May 21 2008
  

       [-] Sometimes your lawn does not need water even if it's time to cut it.
Jscotty, May 21 2008
  

       But, but, but, what if your lawn needs watering, but it isn't time to cut it ? What then ?
8th of 7, May 21 2008
  

       [BunsenHoneydew], I respectfully submit that such a device already exists, and that it is called a goat.
TerranFury, May 21 2008
  

       //the order of magnitude isn't//
heheh, you sure ? 80psi is a nice figure; you may need a 1/2" - 3/4" hose or so before you see any results, but I wasn't going to mention that (sell more aux electrical pumps that way)
  

       [8th of 7] then you just power the wheels and not the reel, maybe fire up the auxiliary spray nozzles, too.   

       goats, btw, are baked.
FlyingToaster, May 21 2008
  

       Roast lamb, certainly, but baked goat? I suspect it would be similar but tougher and more stringy.
neutrinos_shadow, May 22 2008
  

       No, it's like lamb - you eat young goats, a year old or so. With the right preparation, it's very nice, much nicer than camel.   

       Mountain goat has a venison-like character quite different from domestic goat, very lean meat, can be tough but again prepare it correctly and it's very nice.
8th of 7, May 22 2008
  


 

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