It's not as fun? My dad actually has one...he just recently mowed the cord...too annoying for a cord I think, especially with trees an things. I would rather recycle the old mower deck anyway. Just satisfies the need to tinker, *shrug*
Brille actually makes a push-electric cordless reel mower. It doesn't weigh any more than the typical reel mower, but it has the electric motor to spin the blade. But the best part is that it still functions as a regular reel mower without the electric motor running.
For less than $400 including shipping, that gets you a mower that weighs half as much as a converted deck mower, a charger, and NiCads with similar capacity as other mowers.
I'm not saying don't recycle a dead deck mower, but if you are buying a new electric motor, batteries, switch, breaker, AND spending your time to build it, you won't be saving any money. On the other hand, following the Forkenswift build philosophy of recycling as much as possible, project "Mowin'swift" could be built for far less.
Man, I haven't seen one of those in a LONG time. When I was a wee lad, my Pops had one of those for a small yard. I used it later on and the worst was just getting it started (and the grass flew all over if you really got it movin')...It was an old Scott's -- it may have had a bag attachment too.
It would probably take me a good part of 6-hours and a case of heat exhaustion with one of those today
So how about this -- would a good-sized Marine or Deep-Cycle battery have enough energy for the torque of a mower? May need to have a self-propulsion mechanism with the added weight too...
EDIT: I second the motion for a letter-writing plug-in.
The weight issue is why I pointed out the Brille reel mower. They claim it's only 38 lbs, vs. the 75-100 lbs of the typical gas deck mower. Then again, as crappy as my grass is in the back yard, I want powered wheels too.
If you were really green wouldn't you let your lawn just grow?
Actually, the most environmentally responsible thing to do for most people would be to not grow grass at all, but rather a garden. Grass and lawns, although nice little oxygen producers, were originally cultivated by nobles and the wealthy in Europe as way to express their wealth. The idea that they simply did not need to grow their own food at their residence was a form of pretentiousness which has carried over strongy to today in the United States.
The reality is that the average suburbian home built these days doesn't have a large enough lot to provide an adequate food supply for the families that live there. Moreover, many home owner associations outright forbid gardens in front yards, cutting half of what useable land there is in half. Regardless, vegtable gardens still remain viable options for many people - who continue to allow and even cultivate a bunch of relatively useless grass to waste energy and water on.
Ok, I'm not really as 'enviro' as that might seem however. While we have dedicated about 60' sq. of our yard to as much basil, tomatoes, and snap peas as we can stand throughout the growing season, the other 600 square feet of managed yard is mostly grass that I currently cut with a gas mower.