Living

Electric mower can help cut emissions

Ariens Co. recently introduced an electric riding lawn mower that it says has the same drive and cutting power as a conventional gas-powered, rear-engine riding mower.

The AMP Rider is quieter than a gas mower and requires less maintenance, because it has no oil or belts to change, the company says. It charges in 16 hours and runs up to 75 minutes on a charge. An optional 20-amp charger is available that will recharge it in five hours.

The mower has a 4-horsepower drive motor, two 1.7-horsepower cutting mowers and a 34-inch-wide cutting deck.

The AMP Rider is available from Home Depot’s Web site, www.HomeDepot.com, and some Ariens dealers. Fill out a form at www.ampbyariens.com to be notified when the mower is available in your area.

Suggested retail price is $3,299. Legislation has been introduced that could provide a 25 percent federal tax credit for the purchase of the lawn equipment powered by alternative energy.

The battery is designed for 200 charges – three or four years’ worth of mowing – and costs an estimated $749 to replace.

VINTAGE PROJECTS FOR MODERN ERA

After World War II, servicemen brought home a can-do spirit and a need for moneymaking skills. Popular Mechanics responded with booklets to teach those men crafts they could turn into small businesses.

Now the best of those projects have been reproduced in the book “Man Crafts: Leather Tooling, Fly Tying, Ax Whittling, and Other Cool Things to Do.”

“Man Crafts” is how-to at its most macho, featuring such guy-approved projects as log furniture and woven-leather belts. Many of the projects seem kitschy today, but the skills involved are timeless, and the original illustrations are entertainment in themselves.

“Man Crafts” is published by Hearst Books and sells for $9.95 in paperback.

TRY VINEGAR MIXTURE TO FIGHT STAINS

The backing from a throw rug has stained my off-white carpet. Can the stain be removed? – Corrine

If the stain indeed came from the rubberized backing or from glue holding the backing to the rug, it’s permanent, said Greg Davis, manager of Coit Services in Akron, Ohio. However, if the stain was caused by a pH imbalance in the carpet dye, it’s reversible, he said.

Davis recommended spraying the stain with a 50-50 solution of white vinegar and water, and just letting it sit. Don’t rub. The treatment may take some time and a couple of applications, he said.

If that doesn’t work, he said, a professional carpet cleaner can try stronger chemicals to remove the stain.

Mary Beth Breckenridge, Akron (Ohio) Beacon Journal

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