Introduction: Lawn Sweeper: Offset Hitch for Two Operations in One Pass
When you have excess, even any, unsightly grass clippings left on your lawn after you mow, a sweeper is a great way to get them up fast! While I love a good looking job, I am always in search of a way to get there faster.
I inherited a sweeper and had not really liked having to take all the extra time it took to make the second trip over, so rarely did so. Then I saw one advertised that had an offset tongue. That was what I needed!
I decided to retrofit my rigid tongue AgriFav model to be offset.
6-8' of 3/4" EMT galvanized conduit
3 each clamps; I used U clamps, but imagine hose clamps would work fine
Hammer, a ball or sledge
1/2 inch bit
Wrench, pliers, screwdriver to tighten clamps
Grinder or file
Step 1: Adapt Conduit to Be a "Tongue"
I had an old sledge hammer that I used to beat one end of the conduit flat.
I then used my drill press to drill a hole in the end. I did some pretty intense measuring (at least by my standards) to get the hole in the exact center. I even used a punch to set a dimple for the start. I slid into my home-made drill press rig (maybe a future Instructable) and used a step bit to drill the hole. I matched the hole size to the hitch pin I use.
I have found that a tongue with rounded corners works better on a tight lawnmower drawbar, believe me, so I used the angle grinder to round the corners, and smooth the hole edges.
Step 2: Fit the New Offset Tongue
My sweeper is 42" wide, and my lawnmower cuts a 30" swath. I wanted to center to the next swath. In the first picture, I lined up based on lawnmower tire. HOWEVER, it's better to line up the sweeper to CENTER OF THE ROW OF DISCHARGED CLIPPINGS! Sorry, I don't have any pics of how I adjusted, but by using clamps, you can alter that final position.
Step 3: All DONE!
Here is a picture of how it looked as I began.
I learned the hard way that this thing works better in dry grass than grass with dew on it. I usually cut mornings instead of afternoons, but will have to change to make this system work.