It Just Figures

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It Just Figures

Post by 75X11 on Mon Jul 20, 2015 3:05 pm

I took the original blade from my recently purchased mower and worked on it for over an hour to get the nicks and cutouts from someone mowing gravel with it. I finally got them all out and then balanced the blade. I put it on and mowed the lawn with it last weekend. Smooth and clean cutting. This weekend, I mowed a small area I had left a couple of times. I walked it 2 or three times. So I find a nice piece of concrete the kids had thrown into the yard. I didn't even have the heart to look at the blade this time. I also finished sharpening and honing the iron on my old Bailey plane. I got a bevel guide and sharpened it with a diamond stone set. It had been given a convex edge by some renaissance man before being given to Goodwill. That thing will free cut newspaper now. My grandfather would be proud.
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Re: It Just Figures

Post by tuberadiogeek on Mon Jul 20, 2015 8:57 pm

Blade + Concrete= Not good. I've hit bricks and brick pieces with a few of my mowers and I imagine it has done a bit of small damage to the blades. Luckily I haven't done any shaft damage yet. With Briggs engines the flywheel key will usually shear before the shaft gets damaged.
However that isn't always the case. A few years ago I was watching my friend mow and as he was mowing his curbside grass I heard him hit something that stalled out the engine. It turns out he caught the edge of a street lamp nut. Apparently the nut covers were broken off the base allowing the mounting nuts to stick up. Surprisingly the flywheel key held and bent the crap out of the shaft. He used it like that atleast for two seasons. I had to barrow his mower once or twice in that condition and it was not fun mowing with a mower that shakes the crap out of you.
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Re: It Just Figures

Post by 75X11 on Mon Jul 20, 2015 9:27 pm

Fortunately this mower uses a formed plastic spacer to yield the torque if such a thing occurs. It's just a pi**er to have to sharpen and balance the blade again after spending so long on it before. I won't use a out of balance mower, as that is one of those things that causes further damage.
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Re: It Just Figures

Post by Wildcat445 on Tue Jul 28, 2015 12:02 pm

Lawn mower blades get a hard life around here. Too many " sex stones", I guess. You may ask me for the definition of a "sex stone" by PM, if you would care to. I need to sharpen my blades relatively often. John Deere blades seem to hold up well. I am still using the original blade on my 1993 John Deere "walk behind" mower, but it is pretty much worn out.

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Re: It Just Figures

Post by Greg Davis on Tue Jul 28, 2015 2:18 pm

Being a knifemaker (as a hobby, not a profession) I know that mower blades aren't really able to hold an edge very long because they are made from mild steel (low carbon content). You want them that way so they don't shatter when you hit a rock. The downside obviously is that it can't hold a keen cutting edge very long.

Personally, I don't think I'd spend too much time worrying about the edge. Sharpen it a bit with files, if you must, but I wouldn't bother with the diamond stones. Gravel, cement and other such debris are inevitable and will destroy any edge, but the sharper the edge the quicker it will be destroyed.
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Re: It Just Figures

Post by 75X11 on Tue Jul 28, 2015 2:53 pm

The diamond stone was for the plane iron. I use a couple of cylindrical stones with my power drill for the mower. The gauge I use for sharpening is by the fray of the grass blades. That coupled with the thoroughness of the mulch. I got the thing resharpened and balanced, then tried it out Sharp tops and coleslaw.
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Re: It Just Figures

Post by Wildcat445 on Tue Jul 28, 2015 3:06 pm

Greg, what is your recommendation as to the angle of a mower blade edge. Is a blunter edge or a finer edge more desirable, from a durability standpoint? I've heard the argument both ways.

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Re: It Just Figures

Post by Greg Davis on Tue Jul 28, 2015 3:09 pm

Generally, blunter last longer, finer cuts more swiftly. Since the blade spins pretty fast, there's no real need for a fine edge. If there was, nylon line trimmers wouldn't work. Wink
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Re: It Just Figures

Post by Wildcat445 on Tue Jul 28, 2015 3:20 pm

The tip speed is faster on a nylon string trimmer versus a metal lawn mower blade, true?

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Re: It Just Figures

Post by Greg Davis on Tue Jul 28, 2015 3:21 pm

That I don't know.
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Re: It Just Figures

Post by Bill Cahill on Tue Jul 28, 2015 4:31 pm

Yes, it is.

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Re: It Just Figures

Post by 75X11 on Tue Jul 28, 2015 5:08 pm

I know one thing. They make a clear plastic trimmer line that looks and feels like vinyl and looks like two lines twisted together. Don't get it. I think even the air wears that stuff away. I got a big coil of it and I have to put 10 ft. More on the spool every time I mow.
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Re: It Just Figures

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