Author Topic: Fixing up a reel mower  (Read 3856 times)

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Offline Nolatoolguy

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Fixing up a reel mower
« on: April 01, 2012, 03:46:40 PM »
I got a job mainting a family plot at a cematry. Normally I would bring my gas mower, but its not that much grass to cut and lots of turns and I think that the old school mower might be better. I have a old reel mower that I think would work perfect, she currently works but not that well. A little squeky and the blades are rather dull. I do not know a thing about how to work on a old Scotts push wheel mower. I want to at least try fixing her up a little, Any tips?

I hope to get her back home next week. Currently shes in my aunts garge with all my other "projects"
And I'm proud to be an American,
where at least I know I'm free.
And I won't forget the men who died,
who gave that right to me.
~Lee Greenwood

Offline john k

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Re: Fixing up a reel mower
« Reply #1 on: April 01, 2012, 05:51:11 PM »
I have a 1950s Pop. Mechanix magazine with a complete tune up on those, even a jig for sharpening the rotary blade, but where it is, good question.  Pull the wheels and gear covers off, grease things up good.  Check and reset the blade gap between the rotary and the stationary blade, stone out any damage to the rotary cutter, helps prevent clogs.  Mowing once a week is mandatory with one of those.  They also make you earn your lunch!
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Online Papaw

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Re: Fixing up a reel mower
« Reply #2 on: April 01, 2012, 06:17:47 PM »
I bet you can find a how-to on Youtube.
Using that mower will be worthwhile in several ways, quiet, efficient. and good exercise.
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Offline OilyRascal

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Re: Fixing up a reel mower
« Reply #3 on: April 01, 2012, 06:26:39 PM »
I like the idea.  <takes hat off> Please post pictures.  You may well inspire me to dig one out of the barn and do something with it.  Maybe I could teach the wife to use the reel mower like I did the tiller.

"FORGED IN THE USA" myself.  Be good to your tools!

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Offline keykeeper

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Re: Fixing up a reel mower
« Reply #4 on: April 02, 2012, 03:35:01 AM »
I got a job mainting a family plot at a cematry. Normally I would bring my gas mower, but its not that much grass to cut and lots of turns and I think that the old school mower might be better. I have a old reel mower that I think would work perfect, she currently works but not that well. A little squeky and the blades are rather dull. I do not know a thing about how to work on a old Scotts push wheel mower. I want to at least try fixing her up a little, Any tips?

I hope to get her back home next week. Currently shes in my aunts garge with all my other "projects"

So, it's a Scott's, eh? ..... You want the wrench that came with one? I have it out in the shed!! I've often wondered what exactly that wrench was for, until this post!!!

-Aaron C.

My vintage tool Want list:
Wards Master Quality 1/2" drive sockets (Need size 5/8), long extension, & speeder handle.
-Vlchek WB* series double box wrenches.
-Hinsdale double-box end round shank wrenches.

Offline Nolatoolguy

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Re: Fixing up a reel mower
« Reply #5 on: April 02, 2012, 12:14:30 PM »
I know they dont do well in thick grass but thats not a problem cause the family is very insistant on it being cut once a week and flowers watered twice if not three times a week, but heck what there paying I will do anything.

I did search youtube and I have found a little on sharpening the blade but none on anything else.

My camera is still out of commision so getting good pictures will be tough. Poor quality pictures from my phone will have to do till I get a working camera.

OilyRascal- that sure is a large area to till. She looks like shes doing a fine job of it thoe. The edges seam to be stright. When I first used a tiller I was jerking it back and fourth side to side cause it kept going to the left and you looked back and it wasnt stright.

ScottG-I will send you a pm soon.

All this reminds me I have a craftsman silent yard man push wheel mower partially restored as she is in pieces. I think I will use the scotts thoe cause the craftsman I want more as a display. Below is a link is one of several videos on my craftsman mower full resteration. The Scotts I am hoping to just tune up.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jh9MZlcFpeU&feature=relmfu
And I'm proud to be an American,
where at least I know I'm free.
And I won't forget the men who died,
who gave that right to me.
~Lee Greenwood

Offline keykeeper

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Re: Fixing up a reel mower
« Reply #6 on: April 02, 2012, 04:17:19 PM »
Does this look like it would fit the bedknife adjusting bolts?? LOL. It is about 5-1/2 inches long. Open end measures right at 9/16"

If you think this is correct for your mower, PM me your address.

We'll work out a trade on it, whenever. I'm not real concerned about getting something for it right at the moment.

If it's correct, it belongs with your mower!!!
-Aaron C.

My vintage tool Want list:
Wards Master Quality 1/2" drive sockets (Need size 5/8), long extension, & speeder handle.
-Vlchek WB* series double box wrenches.
-Hinsdale double-box end round shank wrenches.

Offline Nolatoolguy

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Re: Fixing up a reel mower
« Reply #7 on: April 02, 2012, 07:14:51 PM »
Ahh ha, you do infeact have the corect wrench. The adjuster is just that size. I will send you a pm shortly.
And I'm proud to be an American,
where at least I know I'm free.
And I won't forget the men who died,
who gave that right to me.
~Lee Greenwood

Offline Nolatoolguy

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Re: Fixing up a reel mower
« Reply #8 on: April 06, 2012, 01:57:16 PM »
Got the mower back to my house today. She deffinitly needed a good sharpening. I took of the wheels and there was no grease in them, well actually a tiny bit of dried up grease. I then greased all the gears up well. As I went to put the cotter pin back in to hold the wheel on it snapped, I noticed it was very brittle when I took her out. I need to pick up a pin small enough for her(all the nails I have are to thick). I also need to adjust the bar. Lastly, I plan on strightning out the bent handle somehow.

Not now but maybe later on down the road I will repaint her. The pain is not all that bad and it will do for now.
And I'm proud to be an American,
where at least I know I'm free.
And I won't forget the men who died,
who gave that right to me.
~Lee Greenwood

Offline john k

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Re: Fixing up a reel mower
« Reply #9 on: April 06, 2012, 07:40:47 PM »
Good, you're getting close,, let us know how it cuts,  may have to get one of my own out again. 
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Offline scottg

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Re: Fixing up a reel mower
« Reply #10 on: April 07, 2012, 08:48:17 AM »
Not sure what you did to the blade?? You actually sharpened the curved reel?
 I mowed with these for years. First a push model, and then I found one with a tiny 2hp Briggs and Stratton and a jaunty little striped canvas grass catcher basket.
 
 In the old days they had elaborate grinding machines for sharpening the reels. Those were long gone before I started.
 So to sharpen mine I used the bed knife and valve grind compound.
 
 One wheel is the drive wheel. It has a ratchet mechanism under the wheel. If you take that off you can reverse the ratchet.
 I would reverse the ratchet, set the bed knife pretty tight, load the blade up with compound and then spin the reel backwards. First I made up a crank handle and did it by hand, but eventually a rigged up a small pulley/motor to do it faster.
   When the blade was as sharp as I could get it, I'd clean well and set the bed knife for very light drag.
 
 They always cut good for me.   
But if you found a method for actually hollow grinding the reel, I would love to hear. 
 
I still have a trimmer/edger.
 This is 1/2 a reel with only one wheel, so you can mow against a fence. The edger part is a large round blade you flip the mower upside down to use.
 I have hardly ever used it. I got it in almost mint condition.
 yours Scott 

Offline keykeeper

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Re: Fixing up a reel mower
« Reply #11 on: April 07, 2012, 11:01:22 AM »
Neil,

That wrench I posted earlier is now headed in a westerly direction!! Enjoy.

-aaron
-Aaron C.

My vintage tool Want list:
Wards Master Quality 1/2" drive sockets (Need size 5/8), long extension, & speeder handle.
-Vlchek WB* series double box wrenches.
-Hinsdale double-box end round shank wrenches.

Offline Nolatoolguy

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Re: Fixing up a reel mower
« Reply #12 on: April 07, 2012, 11:08:06 AM »
When I started to take a closer look at it looked like it seen years of use hitting rocks and sticks. Many nicks in the blade. I took a fine point silver sharpie and drew a line on the blades. I then filled(I was affraid if I used a angle grinder I might take to much and not be even) all that down so the blades were even. I used a calliper to make sure they were close to/ if not even, that itself was very paintstaking. I then sharpened them along with doing the same to the stationary blade. After that I adjusted th gap between the two blades. It took the better part of the morning to do. I slid a sheet of paper in there to see and she cuts perfectly.

I could of sharpened it in reverse but alot of work needed to be done on filing down all the nicks from stones and such.
« Last Edit: April 07, 2012, 11:45:12 PM by Nolatoolguy »
And I'm proud to be an American,
where at least I know I'm free.
And I won't forget the men who died,
who gave that right to me.
~Lee Greenwood

Offline Nolatoolguy

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Re: Fixing up a reel mower
« Reply #13 on: April 07, 2012, 11:09:09 AM »
Neil,

That wrench I posted earlier is now headed in a westerly direction!! Enjoy.

-aaron

Thanks Aaron :)

It is well appreciated.
And I'm proud to be an American,
where at least I know I'm free.
And I won't forget the men who died,
who gave that right to me.
~Lee Greenwood