Stationary Branch Cutting Setup

Using a Rockwell JAWHORSE to securely hold heavy duty pruning loppers makes an efficient setup to cut up fallen branches and brush into small pieces that fit in trash containers. This method alleviates using two hands on the loppers and bending over to cut up branches. Use one hand to feed the material and the other hand to operate the loppers.

The JAWHORSE also works great to hold large branches when using a chainsaw. Position your garden cart under the branch to catch the cut off pieces. No more bending over to pickup the pieces.

Gracie Mower Blade Snagger

What is the Gracie Mower Blade Snagger and what does it have to do with gardens? Well, there is lawn in many gardens, and where there is lawn there are machines to mow the lawn. And all lawn mowing machines need regular maintenance. For me, removing and re-installing mower blades for re-sharpening or replacement is never an easy task. I have found that using wood blocks to jam the blade to be too cumbersome, requires different size wood blocks for different mower decks, fall out of place, and so on. I also avoid removing my riding mower decks whenever possible. So, this is why I’ve created the Gracie Mower Blade Snagger to solve these blade maintenance problems on different lawnmower models.

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Here is the Gracie Mower Blade Snagger being used to hold the mower blade while removing the mower blade retaining nut on my old Lawnboy push mower. The Gracie Mower Blade Snagger counteracts the leverage applied by the breaker bar wrench while keeping the blade in a fixed position and your hands in a safe working position. The blade contact points are protected by thick nylon spacers. The nylon spacers are reposition-able to extend their life and are also easily replaceable.

Here are some other examples of the Gracie Mower Blade Snagger being used on my riding mower decks.

Husqvarna TS348D, operator’s left side blade removal.
Mid 70’s Sears ST16 blade removal. A two bolt blade attachment is used on this older deck style.

Other features of the Gracie Mower Blade Snagger include an under deck scraper, a heavy-duty magnet to hold blades and blade bolts in place for long reach installation, retrieving out of reach tools or parts on the ground and easy storage. The tool also allows you attach a small magnetic mount light for quick under deck inspections.

You can also use the rounded end of the tool to help with installing or removing tight belts!

Under deck scraper tool end is useful for both concave and right angle deck surfaces.
How to hold a blade and blade bolt together prior to spindle attachment. Toro 17-44 HXL blade.
Retrieve out of reach parts and tools while lying on the ground with the magnet. Sweep the work area for lost parts.
A user supplied inexpensive Harbor Freight Tools magnetic LED light is easily attached to the end of the tool.
Under deck illumination using the Harbor Freight Tools magnetic LED light to inspect for clipping build up, blade and spindle condition.
Easy vertical storage on magnetic metal surfaces.
Readily at hand for the blade removal and re-installation task.

Simple Gate Project

I wanted to add a privacy gate to my existing middle gate which separates two areas of my garden. I found a nice looking prefabricated cedar panel on a big box store website. The manufacturer is located in the North Western US area. They make products like this one and larger fence panels from recycled lumber cutoffs that are too short for use by other wood product manufacturers in the area.

To help keep the lightweight panel square I attached two pieces of 1/8″ aluminum strips that run the length of the bottom and top sides of the panel leaving an inch or so of the aluminum strips extended to mount to large post hinge screws .

I added a wood strip to cover the top aluminum strip and used a piece of rope and attached an old stamped steel circular saw wrench to make a latch that works from either side of the gate. Just lift the rope over the raised metal tab (former wrench). Note: The rope is nailed to the opposite side of the post using a copper roofing nail.

I patiently wait for the elements to weather the gate to match the rest of the structure.