Reel Mower Design Help Needed

Tue Sep 14, 2004 8:44 pm

Guys:

I have been talking to another Cubber who had figured out how to put 5 push type reel mowers into a 2 row ganged setup belly mounted on the Cub. Unfortunately, I still have no clue what that design looks like as the file has not been sent... and I haven't gotten any responses to my emails. Still hoping but I fear he may have moved or something. Summer is gone for this year now, so I am kind of hoping to build it for next summer.

I think I just blew my 12.5 HP Craftsjunkman mower (blowing a lot of blue smoke out of the muffler) which means I am gonna need Ellie or Granny to take over the bulk of me mowing chores. Belly mounted finish mowers such as a Woods or a Danco are as plentiful as hen's teeth around these parts, so a self built reel type is probably my best bet.

I am not all that good at designing things in metal, and I am still kind of a greenhorn when it comes to understanding how things move up and down and ACTUALLY WORK :!: :idea: :roll: :roll:

So, I need some help from those of you "Ralph, George" and others who are far more skilled than I to get this thing off the ground.

I was looking at the Sunflower setup:

Image

and I really like the idea of being gang assembly to turn with the tractor instead of skidding through the turn. That would result in a real crappy cut (fixed version)and I would much prefer the smoother version :roll: :) that would actually turn with the tractor.

The mowers I have been able to aquire (I now have 7 or them!) are the 15" reel type (15 inch cut) although the actual outside dimension is approx 19-1/2". I would like to have 3 mowers in the front gang and 2 mowers in the 2nd gang, spaced so that they cut the areas between the front 3 mowers so that there is no ridging. Course, I am thinking maybe it would be better to have 2 in the front gang and 3 in the 2nd gang?

How do I build the frame and how does it lift? How do I make it turn? I had it figured out I thought for a tag-a-long, but that principle will not work for a belly mount.

Image

It appears that the pin is offset in the pic above. Also the adjustable "riser" that allows the mower to freewheel over bumps and stuff, could use a little clarification.

As for the stock to use, I think either 1"x2" tubular steel stock might be a good candidate or would it be better to use channel? With the tubular, I can actually drill the stuff and cut it with what metal working equipment I have on hand. Not so sure about how square the cut would be with channel. Round stock is out of the question due to the limitations I have with vises etc.

How about it guys? Can ya help?

Tue Sep 14, 2004 9:30 pm

Rudi
Just some thoughts :?
I looked at that under belly contraption and it would take a little on site engineering but it should be something possible.

Image

It looks as the reel units have a adjustable stabilizer to keep the unit level to the ground.

It also looks as though the units are pulled by a king pin sort of a set up so they will steer (probably the hardest thing to engineer).

The hight of the entire unit is set by the front pins and the chain on the lift.

Now I don't know anything about this set up never seen one . But iIf I had some of them reel units and a pile of scrap I think I could make it work.

Tue Sep 14, 2004 9:48 pm

Rudi,

The pitfall of this setup may be traction for the drive wheels. When the units were used as hand mowers, the thrust of the handles increased the apparent weight on the wheels. Before I spent a great deal of time building, I would do some experimenting towing a single unit to assure that it would work as planned.

Tue Sep 14, 2004 10:11 pm

Just to add to the reel mower discussion, my Dad restored the reel push mower they had as kids back in the early '50's. I tried it not too long ago, and, as George said, traction could be a problem. Seems you had to push down AND forward, then once you got it going...it had some momentum. Plus, I remember it ratcheting when dragging it backwards. They may be better made these days, as a mowing implement. I sorta got the impression you were going to take several of the pusher types together as a home made gang. I think the Updike book has a picture of a front mounted gang. Couldn't tell if it pivoted.
Seems it would skid when turning.
HR

Tue Sep 14, 2004 10:20 pm

It looks as if the belly "gang" reels could flip debris right into the kisser too. :x

Tue Sep 14, 2004 10:53 pm

It may be a good idea to look into a salvage jacobson golf course mower. It made get expensive, but the gangs are heavy enough for the traction you are looking for. Just a thought.

Tue Sep 14, 2004 10:56 pm

hr's49cub wrote:It looks as if the belly "gang" reels could flip debris right into the kisser too. :x
The flipping up depends on how fast you are going. It does happen, but you can control it.

Tue Sep 14, 2004 10:59 pm

hr's49cub wrote:Just to add to the reel mower discussion, my Dad restored the reel push mower they had as kids back in the early '50's. I tried it not too long ago, and, as George said, traction could be a problem. Seems you had to push down AND forward, then once you got it going...it had some momentum. Plus, I remember it ratcheting when dragging it backwards. They may be better made these days, as a mowing implement. I sorta got the impression you were going to take several of the pusher types together as a home made gang. I think the Updike book has a picture of a front mounted gang. Couldn't tell if it pivoted.
Seems it would skid when turning.
HR
The ratcheting sound you remember is like a differential that helps control skidding while turning.

Tue Sep 14, 2004 11:12 pm

Rudi I emailed you some photos of the Sunflower mowers. 7 total Let me know if you need more. Bob k.

Wed Sep 15, 2004 5:04 am

Rudi,

Before you spend too much money and effort trying to recreate the reel mower unit, consider adapting a riding mower deck to the Cub. Gravely, among others, used shaft drive mower decks for several decades and could use existing Cub components with modification. Use angle iron to attach the deck to the rear finals and sickle mower components to power the deck. I'm sure someone out there has already done a conversion.

Just a thought.

Carl

Wed Sep 15, 2004 6:01 am

Rudi, I mowed for years with a Toro 3-gang towed behind our Ford. The reels were/are very heavy, traction was never a problem. HOWEVER, the one thing I dont like about reels is that they don't cut long stuff, like dandelions, although I guess they're supposed to be "better for the grass". It's frustrating to finish the job and an hour later see all the dandelions standing up again. HAVING SAID THAT, the project is intriguing. You could probably mow at a lower engine RPM than with a pto-powered rotary which might add life to the engine. And, you'd have a rig like none other. Keep us posted (I'm sure you will!).

Wed Sep 15, 2004 6:45 am

Hey Rudi,
Don'twant to stop you on your mission, but if a gang reel mower is what you want check out this web site, http://www.4apromow.com/flex58.html it might help with design or you might just want to tow the reels like in the movie. They also go up to 7 gangs wide, which is almost an 8 foot cut with a Cub WOW!!!!

Wed Sep 15, 2004 7:52 am

think I just blew my 12.5 HP Craftsjunkman mower (blowing a lot of blue smoke out of the muffler) which means I am gonna need Ellie or Granny to take over the bulk of me mowing chores.


Rudi, I'm sorry to hear that you'll have to use the cubs for mowing now.
It's going to be hard to park the craftsman. :cry: :cry: :wink: :lol:

Wed Sep 15, 2004 8:04 am

Wouldn't the weight of the iron used to rigg this up give you enough traction for the reel mowers to do their thing? From the pictures of the mowers posted all the weight of the hardware past the pivot in the lead mower is on the mower wheels. The adjusting rods to the rear of each unit keep the backs from rising off the ground. This is a problem that I remember happening from when I used to cut lawns for 30 Cents ( American)per hour. I don't remember if it caused a problem, but I do remember the rear rollers rising off the ground.
Bill

Wed Sep 15, 2004 8:28 am

The rollers and the knife bed make up most of the weight of the gang mower. On one of the push type mowers the pushing down on the handle is what keeps the rear down.