Here is a great example of necessity being the mother of invention. What do you do when you don’t have the budget to go out and spend $400 on a lawn striper to create wonderful looking stripes on a lawn? You make one yourself for a fraction of the cost as we will see in this discussion from the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum. Perhaps this design idea will inspire you to experiment in creating your own?
One lawn care business owner wrote “I have a 61″ ZTR mower and while it stripes on it’s own fairly well I wanted to get a striping kit, but at $400 I just couldn’t do it yet. So I made my own, I’m not a welder so came up with a bolt on version that works pretty good. The mower has two holes that were drilled in the motor surround already so I just used those.
I then went to my local big box store and bought a heavy rubber floor mat used in bars and restaurants. It’s 36″ wide and I can get 3 strips out of it should it tear. I bought some L-brackets, a couple flat steel brackets and a piece of perforated aluminum angle. Bolted it all on and this is what I have. It really works pretty good and until I can afford the $400 spring loaded one, this will do. I’m pretty pleased that after just 3 mows the stripes are starting to show.
I spent just about $55 total, but $30 of that was the mat alone, and I bought more bolts than I really needed so I probably had less in it than that!
After using it for a bit, I think a heavier version is what I would change if anything. The weight of the mat is decent but if I doubled it up, at least at the bottom, it might show up better on the lawn. I like that it’s cheap and does a fair job at striping, however I still think the spring loaded one that is sold would work better, just not ready to fork over $400 for it until I get more jobs lined up.
With some yards, it’s not necessary to stripe, simply because the grass is mostly weeds. I can remove it pretty easy if I need to with just 4 nuts and bolts but so far I haven’t felt the need to take it off. Even if I don’t think the yard is going to stripe, it doesn’t get in the way so I just leave it on, for now.
It’s a flap style design and while I think it works fine for the time being, I hope I can get the roller soon to make them really pop. I do think its great for someone on a budget to make themselves. Just a few bolts and a bar floor mat and you get a pretty heavy stripe kit that will work.
I’ve also considered using a piece of PVC pipe with either sand or cement inside then a couple of arms coming down so the PVC can roll. I haven’t really worked it out on paper or anything, but if you put a threaded rod through the center so it could let it spin I think would be a good option.
The real question with all this is would it be cheaper to go through all this experimentation rather than just buy a factory made one? The answer depends on your budget.
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