After a couple years of repairs and replacements, you’ve just got to accept that your lawnmower is not immortal. Even this grass eating machine has an expiration date. But don’t haul that bad boy off to the dump just yet.
Instead of adding another hunk of metal to your local landfill, consider disassembling your lawnmower and repurposing its parts. In the spirit of homesteading, every piece of metal, plastic, and cordage can be reused somewhere around your house or property.
We’ve broken down your options so that you can break down your lawnmower. Piece by piece, here are six repurposing ideas to get your wheels spinning…
A lawn mower’s starter cord is usually around 7 feet of tough rope that you can find a purpose for immediately.
- Clothing or Camping Line – Your lawnmower’s cord is most likely a double or triple braided rope, which makes it quite the durable find. With that in mind, it is fit to hold a bit of weight. Try tying both ends to a pole or tree and now you’ve got a handy hanging line for the outdoors.
- Hauling Equipment – A lawn mower pull cord is pretty long and pretty strong, perfect to bundle items. Tie up a bundle of chopped wood, or thread your screwdrivers and now you’ve got an easy-carry system.
- Bag Straps – Do you have some old worn-out backpacks with torn straps? Don’t throw them out just yet! Replace the straps with some old lawnmower cords. They’re usually thick enough to hold the weight of your bag, but if not, you can make a fancy braid for extra support.
- A Basic Snare Trap – Imagine you’re in the middle of tough times and need to catch some food. Head over to your lawnmower, extract the cordage, and set up a quick snare. You can catch big animals or small, depending on how long your cord may be.
2. The Blades
Depending on the brand, lawn mowers can have up to seven blades. These blades are tough and can be sharpened – so, why would you ever throw them away?
- Knife Blades – The most obvious way to reuse your lawn mower blades is to turn them into knives. A knife for protection, a machete for chopping through the brush, or a simple backyard knife – whatever. There will be some metal work involved, so check out this video tutorial on how to shape and finish your knife.
- Small Parts – Some of those old mower blades are pretty small and thin, so here is where the metal work comes in again. You can carve these pieces of metal into small tools like hinges and shelf brackets. Have fun with the ways in which you can reshape and repurpose your metal with this wood stump workshop tutorial!
- Electrolysis Tank – If you haven’t already heard of one, an Electrolysis Tank is a contraption for removing rust, and it’s pretty popular since it’s so easy to assemble at home. You can DIY this electrolysis tank using the blades as metal rods. Check it out in this tutorial.
Sometimes, our lawnmower’s infrastructure fails but the engine still has some kick to it. If that’s the case, take that sucker and reuse it!
- Wheelbarrow – If that old engine still has some kick to it, then how about fixing it up to make an engine powered wheelbarrow! It may sound odd, but if you’re doing a lot of gardening and landscaping, then it’ll make life a lot easier. You can even reuse those old wheels and handlebars, too.
- Generator – With a little welding and some power tools, you can turn that old engine into a generator! The best part of this project? It’s surprisingly easy once you’ve got the right parts! All you need is the engine, the alternator, a cast iron pulley, electrical wires, an industrial V belt, some brackets, and you’re good to go.
Drain the old oil out of your lawn mower engine so that you get some use out of every last drop.
- Preventing Termites – I know, I know! When you think about it, coating your whole barn or furniture with motor oil is… not ideal. However, you can use oil on the tips and corners of wooden fences, boards, and posts to prevent termites from eating through the base.
- Make a torch – When the electricity is out for days, go syphon the oil out of your machines for a makeshift torch. Get a sock or some old rags and a stick. Just wrap the rag around the end to make it look like a cotton swab, and dip the end in motor oil.
5. Handle Bar
Here’s a video to show you how to remove the handle from your lawn mower. That was the hard part! Now, the fun part…
- Clothing Rack – With some nuts and bolts, you can attach your de-rusted handlebar to your wall. Just like with any other wall rack, hang towels or clothes on it.
- Rolling Bar Cart – Who said every repurpose had to be super practical? Here’s a chic addition to your home in the form of a rolling bar cart. In addition to your handle bars, you’ll need a few metal shelves to create a home bar that your friends will love.
6. Dry Grass
Check your grass collection bag or bin before you start tossing things out! When times are tough, every bit of green material counts.
- Natural Fertilizer – Did you know that you don’t actually have to remove the grass clippings after you’ve cut your lawn? We do this because we want the yard to look nice, but you can literally leave the grass on your lawn, and it’ll decompose to provide nutrients for the soil.
- Animal Feed – If you’re raising animals, then store the dry grass for extra animal feed in the winter. As long as you haven’t been growing your grass with chemicals, then it’s perfectly safe for your livestock.
- Compost – Some people would rather just toss dry grass aside, but don’t forget that it’s a great addition to your compost pile. Green grass won’t compost on its own, however. Remember to balance out the brown materials with green materials.
With the right equipment and a little imagination, there are tons of ways you can repurpose an old lawnmower. While this may feel like extra effort, think of the benefits! By disassembling and reusing all of these parts, you are saving money, learning new skills, and most importantly, not contributing to soil pollution!
Part of homesteading is enjoying the process of learning how to be self-sufficient. Don’t know how to do metal work? Here’s your chance. Want to teach your kids how to tie proper knots? Another opportunity has arisen! Find the lesson in the little things and enjoy this homesteading life.