Handy Devices

Easy-to-build ideas make your work easier.

Mower lift support system (Progressive Farmer image by Ralph A. Mark Jr.)

BUILD THIS LIFT

Donald Kalla, South Haven, Minnesota, was looking for an easy way to lift the front of his lawnmower to change the blades, grease the bearings, clean the deck and perform other maintenance work. He designed this lift-support system to do that work. The welded steel lift is secured to a floor jack that safely lifts the mower from Kalla's shop floor. Here's how he built it:

The lawnmower support system is five pieces: two wheel supports, two Z-shaped connectors and a T-bar. The wheel supports are made from welded 1-inch-square tube steel. Each support is 10 inches wide and 8 inches deep. The two Z-shaped connectors, fabricated from 1-inch tube steel, are each welded onto an 8-inch side of the wheel supports. The Z-shaped piece is three pieces of welded 1-inch tubing -- a 1-inch section welded to the wheel support, followed by a 3-inch piece welded at a 90-degree angle to the first and last and an 8-inch length of square tubing welded at a 90-degree angle to the second piece.

The two-wheel supports are joined by way of the Z-shaped pieces to a middle T-bar. The welded T-bar is made from 1 1/4-inch tube steel. The horizontal top is 16 inches long. The vertical section in the "T" is 3 1/2 inches long. This piece is important. It lowers onto the saddle of the jack's lifting arm, preventing the support from slipping off the jack. To raise the mower, Kalla lifts the wheel support onto the jack then drives the front wheels of the mower in their respective supports.

The support is adjustable to fit any width wheel track by simply sliding the wheel supports out from or closer to the center of the T-bar.

WINNING IDEAS: Win $400 if your idea is chosen as the month's "Editor's Choice" Handy Device. Win $200 for other ideas used on this page. To submit a Handy Device, please send clear photographs, detailed drawings and a complete explanation of your idea. With each entry, include your name, address and telephone number. Send Handy Device entries to Progressive Farmer, 2204 Lakeshore Dr., Suite 415, Birmingham, AL 35209. Sorry, but we cannot acknowledge submissions or return photographs, drawings or documentation.

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