Welding to Fix Push Mower Handle


I recently came across a FREE Toro mower on Craigslist! Great news! but, there was a reason that it was free… Read the rest of the article for how I fixed it in my own garage with a welder in about an hour.

Score…

My free mower from Craigslist find. Had only been listed 27 minutes :)

My free mower from Craigslist find. Had only been listed 27 minutes πŸ™‚

Drove halfway across town to go pick it up and it was actually pretty nice 6.5hp, guaranteed to start, and only one bald tire! Once I got home, it started right up.

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So why is this worthy of a post on a DIY Welding website?

Well, once I unloaded the mower, I realized why they probably wanted to get rid of it. The handle was only 2ft off the ground!!

There is totally something wrong with this, the handle only comes up to thigh level.

There is totally something wrong with this, the handle only comes up to thigh level.

The source of the issue. The bolts were way too small for the holes and the handle had beaten the tab down another 1/4"

The source of the issue. The bolts were way too small for the holes and the handle had beaten the tab down another 1/4″ on both sides.

First step was to get out my assorted bolt box and find a bolt that fits the hole.

First step was to get out my assorted bolt box and find a bolt that fits the hole.

Adding Toolbox and Jack to tongue of Trailer

My favorite bolt assortment kit.

This bolt kit is SERIOUSLY worth it’s weight in gold. Yes, I might not need every size in there, but I can’t even begin to tell you how many trips to the hardware store it has saved me. They are really pretty cheap, and come in Standard and Metric.

Adding Toolbox and Jack to tongue of Trailer

Here is an example of the contents, though not necessarily representative because I have already used some of the contents..

First, I bent the tab back up and used an angle grinder to clean off the paint to prep for welding.

First, I bent the tab back up and used an angle grinder to clean off the paint to prep for welding.

As some protection for the mower, I like to use old license plates. They are thin aluminum that are bendable yet can withstand a lot of heat and sparks.

As some protection for the mower, I like to use old license plates. They are thin aluminum that are bendable yet can withstand a lot of heat and sparks.

Next, I built up the tab by adding tack welds with my MIG welder until it was built back up to about where it was originally.

Next, I built up the tab by adding tack welds with my MIG welder until it was built back up to about where it was originally.

Same process for the other side. Clean the area, protect the mower, then tack weld until it is built back up.

Same process for the other side. Clean the area, protect the mower, then tack weld until it is built back up.

You can see where the license plate is dark from welding sparks saving the mower paint (not that it is that nice, but a license plate spark shield can be used on other projects, cars, etc.)

You can see where the license plate is dark from welding sparks saving the mower paint. (not that it is that nice, but a license plate spark shield trick can be used on other projects, cars, etc.)

DIY Welder Tip: Use old license plates to protect sensitive areas when welding on projects. I always tend to have a couple laying around the house, and they are free, bendable, and reusable.

The area after building it up with weld.

The area after building it up with weld.

Viola! we have a working mower better than my previous one for the cost of a trip across town, two bolts, and an hour in the garage (I’m always up for excuses to be in the garage!). The lesson here is that if you invest in tools and skills instead of buying everything new, you can save a lot of money by getting stuff cheap/free used then fixing the issue the previous owner was having, which in my experience is usually minor.

So, go out there, find some good deals, and fix them yourself!

 

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