Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Getting a Grip

In our daily quest to become more environmentally conscious I have switched from using a gas powered mower to my wife's push mower. It is quiet, costs less to buy, operate, and maintain, it doesn't create carbon monoxide emissions, helps free us from our dependence on foreign oil, and I can always use a little more exercise.

Unfortunately, the handle grips had worn out and torn on the push mower. As I mowed it would without fail hit a stick or thick weed, jamming the blade, causing the mower blade to stop, causing the handle grip to slide off, inevitably driving the exposed handle into my groin. Needless to say, this upset me greatly and gave me the proper motivation to fix the problem.

I had the great idea of replacing the grips with pieces of an old garden hose. The problem is that the hose is slightly smaller than the handle. I boiled some water to soften the hose hoping it would stretch enough to fit. I sprayed the handle with a silicon lubricant to help get the hose on. This failed miserably. Picture trying to stuff a marshmallow through a keyhole. After about an hour of struggling with it I had it about half way on. And the hose had cooled by this time and wasn't going to come back off the same way it went on. So I set the project aside and hadn't mowed the lawn since.

Then my dad gave me his pipe threader. Either because they don't have pipe in Hawai'i or because it costs to much to ship. So I threaded the handles like a screw. At this point it had to work, 'cause there was no undoing this. I used a heat gun to keep the hose pliable and set about threading the hose onto the handle. It still didn't go easily. 

As you can see there are about 70 threads and each time I rotated the hose about 90 degrees. So it took about 560 turns to get both handles on. It gave me a blister and my hands are very sore. But I got them on and the world is a better place for it. Next time I think I will go to the Boise Bike Project and find some used bike handle bar grips. It just wasn't worth the time or labor to do this since it took me over an hour and now I don't have an excuse to not mow the lawn.


  1. Nice. I want to see you mow your parents yard during the time of year when you can practically see the grass growing with that thing.

    1. I have mowed that yard with a push mower. Our mower broke and Dad borrowed one from someone at church. The whole family went out and took turns pushing that stupid thing around the yard. It seems like it took us a week and I'm certain I did most of the work. One of the downsides to having a one acre lawn. After that, Dad bought a riding mower. That and because I was graduating soon and he was going to lose his free labor.