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Discussion Starter #1
I use a 91 430 with a 50 in deck

My lawn is not looking good these days. I plan to get some organics added and dethatch but with limited funds I am trying to figure out a easy way to dethatch. I heard of using a chain mail or chain link fencing dragged around to remove the thatch. I still have lots of snow so was just thinking of prepping for a new way to do this instead of raking by hand for a few weeks.
 

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I am wondering if you can't take a older mower blade set and weld on some spring tooth tines or something like that? I know the welding would screw up the spring temper but maybe mounting the tooth in a bracket of some kind and welding that bracket on? You can cut those tempered tines with an abrasive disk mounted in an angle grinder.
 

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Bill, not sure exactly what your saying but cutting, drilling or welding anything to a mower blade is asking for major problems. You could damage your equipment or worse hurt or kill someone.
 

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how about a piece of plywood with a bunch of nails pointing down into the ground being dragged behind. the problem would be how to prevent clogging.

Or, a 2x4 rectangular box on an axle with wheels and has nails sticking out. Nails long enough for thatch to not clog under the aforementioned plywood. Geez, it sounds more like medieval torture gizmo.
 

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Mike is correct, by all means DON'T try to modify your mower blades, these blades are very hard tempered steel, applying heat will weaken them to a point they may fail prematurely, causing damage to the mower, or worse yet to objects in the area including people.
Tractor Supply or, any good lawn & garden store will have what you need @ a reasonable price, these units are tested & will last you for years to come.
 

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wow, I was surprised at how low the retail prices are, sears has one for $70, and another for $90. TSC has one for $90 too
 

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Discussion Starter #7
70 bucks isn't bad, looks like ill do that unless I find a front mount one
 

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Keep an eye on craigslist for a used one.

Or maybe your local farm store you could buy the tines and make your own?
 

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Discussion Starter #9
guess I need to buy a welder if one does not come up on CL soon
 

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I bought my front mount thatcher for $50 and hauled it home in my Forester along with a 50 cart the same seller had for $100. I did have to adapt the mounting to my 322 as the brackets it had were for something else...but not hard to do and I was going to adapt for hydraulic lift anyway.



Bargain thatcher units are out there -- just keep a close eye on CL and other postings.

Chuck
 

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Don't think I have any pictures, but I made one from an old hay rake bar. Cut it into three pieces & staggered them behind each other in a pull type frame.
 

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Hello
just to let everyone know,
That the basic dethatcher unit is the same
The only thing different is the mounting frame or arms.
Tow behind or front mounted
So a late model unit can be fabbed to fit an older machine
I have the JD unit for my 332 and works great.
It will look like you wrecked the yard.
Mow with a bagger or sweeper and cut your time down.
Then air-rate the yard and your grass will love you
 

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I would avoid any modification to the blades on your mower deck as it could cost you a lot more then the $70-$100 KB mentioned you can pick a new non-JD unit up for. (Probably isn't safe and any damage could cost you a lot more.)

The front units are out there (cheap) but might not be complete. I found mine for less than half of what Chuck has in his. Mine didn't come with the correct lifting hardware, but I simply attach it to the tractor, in the grass off of the driveway, and can hit most of the yard without having to cross any sidewalk or driveway area (simply said - I don't lift the unit - just run it across the yard and avoid the cement areas). It will really pull up the dead stuff as you can see in the photos. Simply the "right too for the job".

Jenny normally likes to do stuff by hand so she can get the exercise; however, when it comes to dethatching the yard - her choice is tractor over the rake...


 

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You could also take a trip a couple hours north and get a JD front mount at a reasonable price. Send me a pm if your interested
 

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You used to be able to buy a dethatching blade for your rotary mower. It was just a mower blade with slots on it for mounting springs to it. I used one for years, it's probably still around here someplace? It worked good, just had to be careful not to set the mower too low or you would have bare dirt!

Steve
 
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