Home Made Velke

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by ztec, Aug 22, 2004.

  1. ztec

    ztec LawnSite Member
    Messages: 33

    Hey everyone this is my first post here. Anyway I do all my own welding and fabrication and I want to build my own velke. I was planning on using a trailer gate hinge for the up and down hinge, but I cant seem to find a good product that would work for the left and right hinge. The best idea I can come up with is getting an old bike and cutting the downtube off of the frame were the fork goes through and using that piece. I was just wondering if anyone else has done this and what they used for that part. I saw the one Flex-Deck made and that is a real good idea using a ball hitch. I made some of the pieces and bought a trailer gate hinge so I would like to try and finish with the standard velke design, but If that doesnt work out I am going to start over again with Flex-Decks plan.
  2. tiedeman

    tiedeman LawnSite Fanatic
    from earth
    Messages: 8,745

    welcome to the site.

    I will first of all help you clear up between Velke and Sulky. Sulky is the name of the product, while Velke (Jim Velke) is a manufactor of sulkies.

    People often get those two confused

    LA LAWNS LawnSite Member
    Messages: 146

    buy one and use it...duh
  4. Royalslover

    Royalslover LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 382

    I bought a couple used sulkeys at an auction for $20. I made my own platform because I haven't found any that I like. If I was going to make one from scratch, I think I might try to incorporate a U joint somehow. I'd mount the U joint on a fixed braket that sticks out the bck of the mower about 6''. Then the platform would pivot both ways. I haven't thought this through completely but I think it would work. One thing to make sure of(duh) is that the wheels run in the tracks of your mower and that you have a wide platform to stand on.
  5. Itsgottobegreen

    Itsgottobegreen LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,177

    Other people here have built their own. Some are really neat. But save yourself the trouble and just by a Velke. Jim figured it out years ago. Like back in 1988. Most of the ones people built are just copies of Jim Velke's design. I have seen the original Velke and the first couple of prototypes that Jim built. But that was a few years ago when I last saw them.
  6. op4_camper

    op4_camper LawnSite Member
    Messages: 99

    Just buy one. if you build one you have to make sure that when you back up it will pivit back around and not jack knife.
  7. ztec

    ztec LawnSite Member
    Messages: 33

    I dont really want to buy one when I can build one for around 50 bucks.

    JPLAWNSERVICE LawnSite Member
    Messages: 101

    I agree with the others on just buying one. I am a machinist by trade and I built my own two wheel sulky. If I was doing it again I would definitely buy the velke brand 2 wheel sulky. Mine was too heavy and if you buy wheels that will hold up you will easily have $50 dollars in them. The $5 to $10 tractor supply wheels just won't be able to handle the abuse. Don't ask me how I know this. Anyway, for the trouble I think it would be very hard to beat the factory built versions. Just my 2 cents.
  9. stevesmowing

    stevesmowing LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 847


    I built that one last winter. So far it has cost me more than I thought. I keep having to replace the piviot bushings because they are wearing out. The tires I got were like the $10 ones and they last about 20 lawns so i put in better bearings and now they last about 70 before the hub breaks. The peice you see in the pics that is unpainted I have had to beef up 3x. First for the rod going to the back. Second for the side to side piviot. 3rd I had to reweld the rod back into the C bracket after it pulled out of a weld that was .5" thick! The sulky is heavy too, about 70lbs. If i were to do it over again I would buy one, but if u wanna try making one go for it. PM me if you want the compter design file I made and went off of.
  10. Royalslover

    Royalslover LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 382

    Ztec, I disagree with these guys. I didn't have any problems with mine and I used it for several years before I bought a stander. If someone's wheels are wearing out they're not using the right ones. I'm sure you could find some on e-bay. Try to find some that have "symetrical" axles. ie, the axles stick out the same distance on either side of the hub. You've got to change the bearings about once or twice a season but that's a two minute job and they cost a couple bucks. Also, the bushings are going to wear out on any sulky no matter who makes it. I used 1" square tubing and expanded metal for the platform. I liked it better because I could spread my feet out wider than on the "bought" models.

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