2006 - Volume #30, Issue #1, Page #04[ Sample Stories From This Issue | List of All Stories In This Issue | Print this story | Read this issue]
Worn-Out Mower Blades Converted To Swivel Mount
After reading the story, Harold Gallaher of Farmington, Mo., wrote to say he uses a similar idea to make swivel-mounted blades for his 6-ft. front deck mower.
"The bottom blade in the photo is an original untouched blade. The middle blade is one of my altered blades that I've used for several years. The top blade set is one experiment of many with different configurations. I've found that the simplest arrangement - the middle blade - works best."
Gallaher started with an old set of blades from the mower. "The blades are made from heavy steel and provided a strong base for the replacement tips," says Gallaher. "I just cut off the ends of the old blades and drilled a hole for each shoulder bolt used to mount the new tips. A washer placed between the base and the tip allows the tip to swivel on the shoulder bolt. Balancing the base is a one-time job that doesn't have to be repeated when new tips are installed. I raised the deck 1/2 in. to get the same cutting height. This was the only adjustment I had to make to the mower," says Gallaher.
He says cutting the old blades off was easier than he thought it would be. "I used an abrasive cutoff saw and drilled at slow speed using a lot of oil.
"I've found over the years that I rarely have to replace the bolts when I change blades. I use these blades hard, to say the least. I regularly use my mower to cut light brush and often hit debris when clearing woods. Yet over the years I've broken only one bolt. Even then, the blade tip wasn't thrown far. I found it only about a foot away from the broken bolt.
"Another thing I've learned is that trash hit while mowing isn't thrown as far or as hard as when hit with ęsolid' blades. The swivel action of these blades seems to absorb much of the energy."
The blade tips are reversible. "Hitting a lot of trash tends to dull both sides of the tip (due to the swivel action), but mowing only clear areas of grass should allow you to rotate the blades to get more use out of them. The blade tips are cheap enough that I never try to sharpen them, but instead I just buy new tips whenever the old ones get dull. One set of six blades, at about $9, will usually last an entire mowing season. I bought the swivel-mounted blades at a farm supply store. The blades were originally designed for disc mowers and are available in either left or right hand cut. I chose the right hand cut because of the direction the blades turn on my mower. Blades are available in 3 and 4-in. lengths. I chose the 4-in. length because of the way my blade was made. My only other expense was for the bolts that secure the blades.
"I'm very happy with my new blade arrangement and don't plan to go back to using a solid blade," notes Gallaher.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Harold Gallaher, P.O. Box 944, Farmington, Mo. 63640 (ph 573 701-5633).
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