Spring is in the air and with it comes yard work. For some we have already started planting our gardens, others are tending to their chickens and most have to start cutting the grass. I know you may hear the Home Depot song playing in your mind as you think of mulching and planting and sprucing up after winter’s snooze but I have already been cutting my grass and it is due again for another visit with the lawnmower.
As I started to think about getting out there and cutting the grass, I wondered if there would be a use for items like my trusty lawnmower when the grid goes down. Why? Because if you are like me, the last thing you am going to worry about is a nicely trimmed yard. Heck, we all might need to tear up the pretty green carpet to make way for additional garden capacity and if that happens, what could we do with that mower? Even if we didn’t have a grid-down emergency what other purposes could our mower serve?
A quick search on the internet quickly brought up a couple a great ideas. The first was the reason for this article and the site theepicenter.com has fairly detailed plans for converting your lawn mower’s engine, a spare alternator, wires and know-how into a fully functioning generator.
You will need the following tools/parts.
- Lawn Engine motor
- Alternator – you can usually find one of these very easily in a junkyard or broken down car.
- Electrical Wires – Think wire harness for your car battery
- A belt – for an engine, not your pants.
- Cast Iron Pulley
- Mounting Bracket
The assembly appears pretty straight forward and detailed instructions are on this site. I have also converted this page to a PDF and added that to our resources page if you want to print this out and keep a copy for yourself.
There was another video showing this concept but they took it a step further and converted the lawn mower engine to run off of propane. This could be very useful in an emergency situation where there was no gas, but propane could be used off of your tanks on the grill.
Well, that covers the lawnmower, right? What about that weed-eater that’s sitting in the corner of the garage or shed? Well, there is a guy who has figured out how to convert weed eaters to a boat motor. You can see his video below.
I am still trying to track down other ideas for hedge trimmers but if you have any ideas of your own to share, please let us know and happy mowing!
by Pat Henry