LVT Reel Mower and Garden Wagon

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Don't want to start a holy war on rec.gardening.lawns.anal-retentive
Just got a LVT Garden Wagon, WOW that thing is "serious"... built beefy indeed, VERY impressed, sorry I didn't buy one sooner. it will come into great use around the house worksheet, and I'm sure when SWMBO gets here she'll find it suitable for it's intended purpose as a garden wagon.
Looking to get a new Reel Mower for the yard at the new house I wanted a Brill, fell in love with them while working on a golf course in FL but $300 is kinda spendy. I'm strongly considering the 18" Lee Valley Traditional Mower. does anybody have one? How does your SWMBO manage with pushing it?
-- John G. in Memphis, TN Have a nice......... night.
http://www.shavings.net/images/Memphis/reflect_john.jpg
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I've got a reel mower. Works great. My yard is pretty small (maybe 1500 sq feet total). If I had a half-acre of lawn, I'd probably want something powered, but for what I've got it works just fine. My next-door neighbor on one side bought one too, and my neighbor on the other side borrows mine once in a while.
It's not real good at getting close into edges, but I've got an electric weed-wacker for that.
I'm reasonably sure that most of the reel mowers sold under various house names (like Lee Valley and Sears) are made by American Lawn Mower Company (http://www.reelin.com /).
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I picked one up last year at a yard sale for $10 CDN. <neener> (I even told the seller what it was worth new, but they stuck to their guns)
It's superb. My 14 yo daughter asks if she can mow the lawn so she can use it.
djb
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The bigger question, John, is how do you manage to get SWMBO to push it in the first place? :-)
Chuck Vance
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Chuck Vance asks:

Nah. My wife does the push mower, I do the riding mower (but our push mower has a motor: I did my time with a reel type more than 50 years ago, and it's not likely to happen again). She KNOWS my knees are too bad for me to do too much. I hope she keeps on knowing such things.
Grass cutting has become the biggest energy waster in most lives today, IMHO.
Charlie Self "Bore, n.: A person who talks when you wish him to listen." Ambrose Bierce, The Devil's Dictionary
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.comnotforme (Charlie Self) wrote:

    LOML has been using a reel mower on our lawn for about 5 years now. If the LV mower is as good as our generic reel mower, and I'm sure it is, she'll have no trouble with it. I sharpen it every two years, and it cuts as nicely and q u i e t l y as you could ask. The only time we fire up the power mower is if the lawn has gone too long without a mowing (the reel mower works best at keeping a neat lawn trimmed). There's something very satisfying about listening to the whirring and clicking of the lawn being mowed this way - especially when I'm sitting on the porch with a cold fermented beverage while she's doing the work.
Scott
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Scott Cramer responds:

Yes, well, that's great for a small lawn, but we're going to be cutting something on the order of 1-3/4 acres when we move back to Virginia mid-June. Reel mowers don't work too well on that size lawn...actually, I'd guess they'd work fine, but we do have other things to do during the week.
Charlie Self "Bore, n.: A person who talks when you wish him to listen." Ambrose Bierce, The Devil's Dictionary
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I shouldn't start it, but do you remember when the power mowers were reel type mowers with a small gasoline engine mounted on them. I was a kid in '48, and one of the kids in the neighborhood had one. Actually it was his dad's, but dad never had to mow the lawn again. We used to fight over who would get to run it. The owner would contract to cut lawns in the neighborhood and never have to leave the shade of a tree.
I'm surprise that some one hasn't re-introduced that design. I wouldn't be what you want for big lawns, but for a small front yard, the lawn would be well manicured.

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Lowell Holmes writes:

I remembered that earlier today. One guy had one. They cost the earth, or as a character in a John D. MacDonald novel once said, "...costs an ass and a half, sport". We had the typical small in-city yard, but after I'd cut it a few times with our rather crappy reel type, I envied the kid who had a shot at his dad's reel type with motor. Thing was also a bitch to start, IIRC. I sometimes had half our lawn done by the time he got that thing running. He'd finish first most of the time.
Another point: Reel type mowers cut the grass more cleanly, leave a MUCH neater looking lawn, if you don't let the grass get too high.
Charlie Self "Bore, n.: A person who talks when you wish him to listen." Ambrose Bierce, The Devil's Dictionary
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Guy next door was a "progressive" type who got one of the reel-power TORO mowers. Unlike most today, it was a power drive.
Now the one I miss is the half mower we used to have for trimming around close to the house and borders. Had a steel plate on one end, wheel on the other, and cut slicker'n goose goo.

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So indeed, they have. I wonder what the cost Is?, I guess I'll do a Google.
:-)

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Less than $300. Hmm. . . . ..

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I have an Agri-Fab 18" Silent Reel Mower. It seems to me that it's much better made than the American Lawn Mower Company (who also make Great States and Scotts). It cuts the grass really well. After three years I had it sharpened by a guy who works at a golf course and sharpens reel mowers for a living. He said the adjustment mechanism on it is really, really good compared to the American Lawn Mower adjustment.
The Brill is also well made, but it's expensive (as you mentioned), and it has a much more limited height adjustment, which is important for St. Augustine grass (which I have). (St. Augustine likes it best when it's tall.)
You used to be able to buy it at acehardware.com, but it doesn't look like they carry it any more. Do a Google Search and you can find an online retailer that carries it.
Mark

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I have something that looks identical to the Brill 'cept it isn't powered. It may even be a Brill...manufactured in Europe. Its problem is that indeed that it does not go high enough. I lean towards the "organic" care of my lawn (somewhat to my neighbors dismay I detect) and it simply does not go high enough.
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The motors make great go-cart motors, too, as the power takeoff is on the side, not the bottom and they already had a clutch.
scott
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wrote:

That was the first power mower my folks bought. They refused to buy a rotary motor because of reports where flying debris from rotary mowers killed bystanders. Thus, we had to have a reel mower. When it became my job to mow the lawn, I got to where I didn't care what the dangers of a rotary were -- I'd have settled for something that left radioactive waste compared to that reel-mower. On the plus side, it was self propelled, so the effort to push it wasn't too bad. On the down side, that @#$% Briggs & Stratton engine took forever to start. I would spend half an hour cranking and choking and cranking and throttling before it would finally cough to life. Then there was the case where one would run over a stick any larger than one's pinkie (that one being 11 years old or so). It would cause the reel to jam, necessitating stopping, shutting off the engine and backing the stick out of the reel.

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Most of the big power mowers I see used by highway maintenance crews or the parks department are reel mowers. They're pulled behind tractors with shaft drives and hydraulic height adjustments and cut 8 foot wide swaths.
The highway guys sometimes don't get back to a spot until the grass is 3 feet tall. The reel mowers seem to handle it just fine.
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Roy Smith wrote:

Pun (?) intended. Some people insist on calling them "real mowers."
-- Mark
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You must have some neat highways. Hereabouts they whack away at weeds and mixed brush with whirling chain. The rocks, bones and bottles would eat reel mowers for lunch.
Now golf courses love "finishing mowers" like that.

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