The ultimate mower for slopes

Hi,
I have a slope lawn and I think this is just the gadget for solving the problem. Sadly at 16,000 Euros, about $US 20,000 it is a bit pricy. But it sure looks like fun.
What it is is a Kawasaki 17 hp mower hooked up to a 4wD mower base. It is made in the Czech Republic in Europe. There is even a YouTube video about it. And it is also radio controlled so the operator is always safe. Tipping over of the mower is O.K. because the operator can be up to 100 feet or more away. It has a run time of six hours and runs on regular gasoline. So unlike battery powered machines it really has the power to mow stuff.
http://www.spider-cz.com /
Best, Mike.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
hobbes wrote:

Or get a scythe. http://www.scythesupply.com
It has to become a hobby though. I keep an acre mowed with a scythe, a little each day.
An ``outfit'' will run you about $170. (snath, blade, stone, bar peen hammer, larger anvil.) It will cost you about $1000 after you get into it and get all the interesting blades, to get the perfect one for each occasion. And of course you'll want extra snaths so you don't have to swap blades so often just to cut over some uneven terrain with a shorter blade, and so forth...
--
Ron Hardin
snipped-for-privacy@mindspring.com
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I'd imagine by now you have restored a few dead blunt blades to cutting efficiency. Would you explain the process. I pound out a few now and again -but all I ever see are ones that have been abused or blunted by repeated grinding without having been peined for a long time. I am tempted to take them to the forge and then quench the edge in some melon.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
beecrofter wrote:

The European style scythes I use have soft steel blades (I think the American style are hardened. The American are stamped out, the European are hammered.)
You stone-sharpen the European blades every 30 strokes or so, mowing a lawn, to keep it sharp enough. It takes about 15 seconds, and it provides a rest that factors into how hard you work between sharpenings, so it's not really slowing you down.
Every couple of hours, you re-peen the edge, as you will have stoned away enough so that you can't get a really sharp narrow-angle edge any longer. Peening (with a bar-peen hammer and anvil) just amounts to repounding the edge so it's thin again. The book has a hammer pattern of 4 hits working towards the edge, but I've never seen how you can control where you hit closely enough to do that, because you can't see where you hit. I just pound on and off the edge, as determined by sound. Then restone lightly to get a really sharp razor edge again, and you're back in business. (Peening hardens the soft steel edge, as you create a new edge, as well; a new blade needs peening more often but quickly falls into a pattern of a certain hardness preserving the edge better, without going so hard that you can't sharpen it.)
This will have no effect on an American blade. It may be that you have to grind them.
You stone away the upper edge only, by the way, and only go over the bottom to take off the resulting burr. Alternating top and bottom lightly afterwards seems to give the best edge cleaning-up.
--
Ron Hardin
snipped-for-privacy@mindspring.com
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I am finding moving metal by peining even on the Austrian made blades to require quite a heavy hand. Of course we are talking very blunt akin to " it was in my grandpa's shed and I'd like to have it sharpened" condition.
All in all it's nothing compared to what people manage to do to a two man saw, they can easily swallow up a half day of labor.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
beecrofter wrote:

I don't know. It sounds wrong.
Try just hammering the very edge. You ought to be able to produce stray ``tabs'' of metal occasionally, if it's the soft steel that peening is going to work on. (These tabs come off pretty fast when you use the scythe to cut, but they really make it cut nicely while they're there. I use the production of tabs as a gauge of peening correctly, say rather than only hitting the metal too far from the edge. It's about the only visible sign that you're hitting the edge occasionally.)
Peening is explained as forcing thick metal down towards the (new) edge as thinned metal, like some kind of clay being squeezed by the process. But it will not work on hardened steel.
Also are you using a bar-peen hammer? (Like a ball peen, but with the ball shape replaced by a bar shape, so that the same forcing happens over a short length of the edge rather than at a point where the ball hits.)
--
Ron Hardin
snipped-for-privacy@mindspring.com
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Scythe supply also sells a ``jig'' that you run the blade edge through and hammer on, to get the ``correct'' peening, but I've had no great luck with it. It creates an enormous amount of noise, however. It also leaves you with a strikingly dull edge, requiring lots of stoning to restore, even though it may (for all I know) be the correct base edge as advertised. I prefer the bar peen hammer and (larger) anvil, which leaves you with a nearly cut-ready edge.
Also you can peen it very very thin for grass.
--
Ron Hardin
snipped-for-privacy@mindspring.com
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Incidentally, if you're scything the lawn, you need sharpening when partly cut grass sticks on the edge (it will form a clot that keeps grass at the leftward edge of the stroke from cutting). You can persist a little by raising the snath at the beginning of the stroke at the right, and lowering it on the left, thus exposing new blade as the stroke proceeds, but you're actually better off stopping to sharpen ; and if stone sharpening doesn't cure it, repeen.
Cutting grass requires an insanely sharp scythe ; ordinary brush scything is not nearly so critical (nor would you use so light a blade on brush).
--
Ron Hardin
snipped-for-privacy@mindspring.com
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Or for $20K, you can fence the slope and get yourself a goat or sheep or three....
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

For less than $20,000 one can buy a mighty nice real tractor that can mow any slope that Roomba toy can and do a lot more, plus leave enough left over for a small herd of whatever cud chewers floats your boat.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.